Ratings: ‘Sunday Night Football’ Hits 10-Week High; ‘Once Upon a Time’ Falls to Low

Sunday Night Football Ratings Broncos Patriots
AP Photo/Jack Dempsey

It was tough going for ABC’s top Sunday dramas “Once Upon a Time” and “Quantico” last night, as the former hit a low and the latter matched its as they returned after a week off and opposite the top-rated primetime NFL game of the television season.

Meanwhile, Nielsens for AMC’s “The Walking Dead” won’t be released until tomorrow, but last night’s fall finale averaged a 7.2 overnight household rating, up from a 7.0 the previous week. This should translate into roughly a 6.8 rating in adults 18-49, which would make it second for the night to “Sunday Night Football.”

In Nielsen’s 56 metered markets, the Denver Broncos’ 30-24 overtime victory against the previously undefeated New England Patriots averaged a huge 16.2 household rating/26 share on NBC — a 10-week high for the “Sunday Night Football” and the second best Week 12 result of the NFL season in the 10-year history of the franchise. The 16.2 is the highest since the Sept. 20 contest between Seattle and Green Bay (16.3), one night before the start of the television season.

The game peaked with a 17.6 household rating/34 share for its conclusion from 11:30 p.m.-midnight ET. In Boston, the 44.0/65 was the second best local rating among 22 Patriots “Sunday Night Football” games.

Elsewhere, CBS opened the night with the conclusion of its thrilling NFL game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks, which was shown nationally with the exception of the Bay Area. The game netted a 16.7 overnight household rating from 4:25-7:55 p.m. ET, putting it a bit ahead of the primetime game on NBC.

Numbers for the Eye programs are subject to change, but “60 Minutes” averaged roughly a 2.5 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and 14.1 million viewers overall in the 8 o’clock hour. It was followed by “Madam Secretary” at 9 (roughly a 1.2/3 in 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall) and “The Good Wife” at 10 (0.9/3 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall), while “CSI: Cyber” did not air.

At ABC, an encore “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall) was followed by “Once Upon a Time” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall), which was easily at its season low in its return after a week off. “Blood & Oil” held up better in coming back from its two-week hiatus (0.9/2 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall), up a tick from its prior two results, and “Quantico” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall) matched its low and figures to again show big gains in delayed viewing.

Fox punted on this night with the special “Breakthrough Prize” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall), followed by encores of “The Simpsons” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.3 million viewers overall), “Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 2.2 million viewers overall), “Family Guy” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall) and “The Last Man on Earth” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.8 million viewers overall).


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  1. Dunstan says:

    Traditional network programming can’t hold a candle, quality wise, to what’s available elsewhere.

  2. EK says:

    Quantico’s plot mash ups are getting too tiresome, especially for late-evening viewing. Hence lower real-time viewing and increased time shifting. Next week is season finale and t will stagger across the finish line with audience hopes of some resolution and not a left-in-the-lurch cliff hanger.

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