Fox's 'Family Guy,' 'Simpsons,' Others Hit

All shows up double-digits week to week; ABC's 'Once Upon a Time' ends year on low note

Fox’s animated comedies, boosted by a big NFL lead-in and benefiting from facing a lackluster football contest in primetime, drew their best ratings in nearly a year Sunday, a night that also saw a solid-enough season finale for CBS vet “Survivor.”

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” matchup of the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers averaged a 4.9 rating/13 share in adults 18-49 and 14.6 million viewers overall on the net’s stations from 8:30 to 11 p.m., with these numbers expected to rise by about 10% in the nationals. The game, which saw the home team Steelers open up a 20-point halftime lead en route to a 30-20 victory, looks likely to stand as the season’s lowest-rated “SNF” game.

In Nielsen’s metered markets, the game did a 39.4 household rating/54 share in Pittsburgh and a 33.2/48 in Cincinnati.

Fox’s night opened with the conclusion of the Green Bay Packers-Dallas Cowboys game, which didn’t end until about 7:40 p.m. ET. That helped “The Simpsons” at 8 p.m. (3.5/9 in 18-49, 8.4 million viewers overall), with the laffer ruling as the night’s No. 1 entertainment series in 18-49 — up 13% week to week to an 11-month high.

Also up double-digits week to week and drawing their best numbers since January were “Bob’s Burgers” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall), “Family Guy” (3.0/7 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall) — with Brian the family dog coming back to life in something of a Christmas miracle — and “American Dad” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall).

From 8 to 10 p.m., Fox was the No. 1 entertainment network in 18-49 (2.8 to 2.6 for CBS).

Numbers for CBS are subject to revision due to a football overrun in some markets, but “60 Minutes” did roughly a 1.7/5 in 18-49 and 10.6 million viewers overall in the 7 o’clock hour. From 8 to 10 p.m., the conclusion to the 27th edition of “Survivor” averaged a 2.5/7 in 18-49 and 10.2 million viewers overall, and was followed by the “Survivor Reunion” special (1.9/5 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall). These will probably be the lowest finale scores for “Survivor” (down nearly 20% from last fall), but it wrapped higher in 18-49 than ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” finale last month and figures to top the conclusion of Fox’s “The X Factor” this week.

At ABC, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall) was down a bit week to week, and 8 p.m. drama “Once Upon a Time” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) slid a bit more and matched its demo low. The rest of the night held up better, with “Revenge” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall) on par with last week’s prelim  in the demo and hitting a six-week high in total viewers, and “Betrayal” up in both categories (0.8/2 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) and drawing its largest overall audience in 10 weeks.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 4.1/11; NBC, 4.0/11; CBS, 2.2/6; ABC, 1.4/4; Univision, 0.8/2; Telemundo, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: NBC, 12.2 million; Fox, 11.0 million; CBS, 9.7 million; ABC, 5.7 million; Univision, 1.9 million; Telemundo, 1.1 million.

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