End of Olympics, Start of ‘Amazing Race’ Soft on Busy Night That Includes Daytona 500

A delayed Daytona 500 race on Fox only added to another crowded Sunday — with options including NBC’s closing night of Olympics coverage, AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and the finale of PBS’ “Downton Abbey” — and may have contributed to the soft premiere numbers for CBS’ 24th edition of “The Amazing Race.”

In preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, the Closing Ceremony from Sochi averaged a 3.3 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 and 15.3 million viewers overall from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m., down sharply from the 2010 Vancouver closer (5.5/14 in 18-49 and 21.4 million total viewers). With the data currently available, the Sochi Olympics were down from the Vancouver Games by 17% in adults 18-49 (5.5/16 vs. 6.6/18) and by 13% in total viewers (21.2 vs. 24.4 Mil).

Prior to the Closing Ceremony, the 90-minute special “Nancy and Tonya” averaged a 2.6/8 in 18-49 and 12.6 million viewers overall from 7 to 8:30 p.m. And following the Olympics, a special preview episode of comedy “Growing Up Fisher” averaged roughly a 2.1/6 in 18-49 and 9.4 million viewers overall in advance of its regular-timeslot premiere on Tuesday.

Fox started with repeats of “Bob’s Burgers” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall) and “Family Guy” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall) before resuming its coverage of auto racing’s “Daytona 500,” which didn’t wrap until about 11:30 p.m. ET. In the prelims from 8 to 11 p.m., the race averaged a 2.5/7 in 18-49 and about 8 million viewers overall.

At CBS, “The Amazing Race” averaged roughly a 1.6/4 in 18-49 and 7.4 million viewers overall for its premiere; these numbers are subject to change due to a golf overrun that delayed the start of “60 Minutes,” which in turn pushed back the start of the reality show by about 13 minutes in most of the country. It’s likely that last night will mark the lowest-rated premiere in the franchise, which a year ago opened to a 2.5/6 in 18-49 and 9.6 million total viewers.

“Race” was followed by special repeats of “The Mentalist” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall) and “The Good Wife” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 3.1 million viewers overall).

ABC aired a repeat of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall), followed by the network premiere of Sandra Bullock-Ryan Reynolds feature film “The Proposal” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall). A special off-night encore of “Castle’ closed things out (0.9/2 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 2.9/8; Fox, 2.0/5; ABC, 1.3/4; Univision, 1.2/3; CBS, 1.0/3; Telemundo, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: NBC, 13.5 million; Fox, 6.3 million; CBS, 5.5 million; ABC, 5.1 million; Univision, 2.9 million; Telemundo, 0.7 million.

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