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NBC closes Olympics with dominance

Nearly 27 million tune in to the Closing Ceremony

The Closing Ceremonies of the London Olympics was a fitting finale to NBC’s ratings dominance during the two weeks of the Games.

Sunday’s four-hour primetime telecast drew a 7.8 rating/22 share in the 18-49 demo and 26.9 million viewers from 7-11 p.m., but the coverage continued on later in the night. A sneak peak of NBC’s “Animal Practice” pilot aired at approximately 10:58 p.m.

Millions of DirecTV subscribers missed out on about 30 minutes of the ceremonies when the transmission was lost, and many viewers were upset when the network left the ceremony — highlighted by Brit bands such as the Spice Girls and the Who — to go to “Animal Practice.”

As expected, no other programming was close. CBS’ “Big Brother” earned a 1.9/6, 5.6m — down slightly from a week ago — while Fox did all right with a handful of toon reruns. Best of the bunch was the 9 o’clock “American Dad” (1.8/5, 3.6m).

At 7 o’clock on the Eye’s venerable newsmagazine “60 Minutes,” CBS aired an interview with GOP presumptive nominee Mitt Romney and his newly elected running mate Paul Ryan. Show drew a 1.0/4, and was the most-watched show of the night (5.9 million) after the Olympics.

Through Saturday night, the London Olympics was averaging 31.1 million viewers — 12% better than Beijing in 2008 and the best for any non-U.S. Summer Games since 1976.

Ratings for the “Animal Practice” sneak will be available later today. In comparison, last Wednesday’s preview of “Go On” earned a 5.6 rating in the demo and 16.1 million viewers overall.

The Peacock is now waiting to see if those Olympics-borrowed eyeballs will stay with both sitcoms when they officially launch in September.

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