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'Voice' and 'Blacklist' also strong for net; CBS gets lift from 'Rudolph,' Garth Brooks concert

A pair of NFL contests powered NBC to a rather easy victory in the young-adults demo during Thanksgiving week, a  frame that saw mixed returns for a handful of specials.

This is the time of the year that football can be especially dominate the week’s ratings race, and a special extra helping of pigskin on Thanksgiving night proved too much for NBC’s rivals to overcome. Pro football action actually accounted for three of the week’s top four primetime programs in adults 18-49, as ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” moved up to fourth.

The week’s top entertainment series in demos were AMC’s midseason finale of “The Walking Dead” (6.1/14 in 18-49, 12.05m), NBC’s Monday edition of “The Voice” (3.4/9), a Thanksgiving night repeat of CBS comedy “The Big Bang Theory” (3.3/11 in 18-49, 11.16m) and NBC’s Monday drama “The Blacklist.”

CBS’ “60 Minutes” also ranked in the top 5 in demos (3.9/10 in 18-49, 5.2/12 in 25-54) and was No. 2 in total viewers (18.09 million), as it followed the most-watched football game of the weekend. The Denver Broncos’ 35-28 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs averaged a big 28.11 million viewers, peaking with more than 34 million in the 7 p.m. ET half-hour.

Overall, NBC ruled in adults 18-49 with a 2.9 rating/9 share, and was followed by CBS (2.3/7), ABC (1.4/4), Fox (1.2/4) and Univision (1.0/3). It also led in adults 25-54 (3.5/9 to a 3.0/9 for CBS) while the Eye won by a lash over the Peacock in total viewers (9.6 million to 9.5 million).

Auds gravitated to the familiar among the week’s specials, starting Tuesday with CBS’ annual presentation of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (3.0/9 in 18-49, 11.30m), which was up across the board from last year. NBC did reasonably well Wednesday with its “SNL Thanksgiving” clips show (1.6/5 in 18-49, 4.83m) but just OK kicking off the night with a behind-the-scenes look at the net’s upcoming live “Sound of Music” production (1.0/3 in 18-49, 4.96m).

Similarly, ABC on Thursday was solid with “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 5.32m), but its “Lady Gaga & The Muppets’ Holiday Spectacular” did modest numbers (1.0/3 in18-49, 3.64m).

And on Friday, recently holiday additions “Hoops & YoYo Ruin Christmas” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 2.08m) and “Elf on a Shelf” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.79m) failed to excite viewers, but the net’s two-hour Garth Brooks concert from Las Vegas was the night’s top show (1.8/6 in 18-49, 8.85m).

WEEKLY NETWORK AVERAGES

Adults 18-49 (rating/share)

NBC             2.9/9
CBS              2.3/7
ABC              1.4/4
Fox               1.2/4
UNI              1.0/3
TEL              0.5/2
CW               0.5/1

Total Viewers

CBS             9.56 million
ABC            9.52 million
NBC            7.03 million
Fox              3.74 million
UNI             2.69 million
CW              1.43 million
TEL             1.24 million

WEEK’S TOP PRIMETIME PROGRAMS
(Live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49
1.  NFL Thursday Special (NBC), 6.9/23
2.  Sunday Night Football (ESPN), 6.2/16
3.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 6.1/14
4.  Monday Night Football (ESPN), 4.9/13
5.  60 Minutes (CBS), 3.9/10
6.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 3.4/9
7.  The Big Bang Theory-r (CBS), 3.3/11
8.  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (CBS), 3.0/9
8.  The Blacklist (NBC), 3.0/8
8.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 3.0/8
8.  Talking Dead (AMC), 3.0/8
12.  How I Met Your Mother (CBS), 2.9/8
13.  2 Broke Girls (CBS), 2.7/7
14.  Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (ABC), 2.6/8
15.  Mike & Molly (CBS), 2.5/6
16.  Dancing With the Stars finale-Tuesday (CBS), 2.7/7
16.  NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), 2.4/7
16.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 2.4/7
19.  Mom (CBS), 2.3/6
20.  Survivor (CBS), 2.2/7
20.  Person of Interest (CBS), 2.2/6
20. Sleepy Hollow (Fox), 2.2/6

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  NFL Thursday Special (NBC), 21.07
2.  60 Minutes (CBS), 18.09
3.  Sunday Night Football (NBC), 17.75
4.  Dancing With the Stars finale-Tuesday (ABC), 14.75
5.  Dancing With the Stars (ABC), 14.61
6.  Monday Night Football (ESPN), 13.16
7.  NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), 12.32
8.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 12.05
9.  Person of Interest (CBS), 11.89
10.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 11.52
11.  Castle (ABC), 11.41
12.  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (CBS), 11.30
13.  The Big Bang Theory-r (CBS), 11.16
14.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 11.10
15.  The Blacklist (NBC), 10.96
16.  CSI (CBS), 10.94
17.  The Good Wife (CBS), 10.42
18.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 10.34
19.  The Amazing Race (CBS), 10.29
20.  Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (ABC), 9.69

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