A boffo 90-minute NFL overrun from the overtime playoff game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers helped Fox cruise to a primetime ratings victory on Sunday, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen.
Numbers are a bit sketchy because it was a live telecast, but the fast-affiliate ratings suggest that the conclusion of the Packers’ 20-17 victory roughly averaged a huge 15.1/37 in adults 18-49 and 36.5 million viewers overall. That boost also propelled Fox’s comedies that followed, including “The Simpsons,” to winning ratings as well.
NBC was runner-up on the night in adults 18-49, led by a winning perf at 9 from “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (5.7/13 in adults 18-49, 16.1 million viewers overall) and at 10 from a repeat of the drama (4.6/12 in adults 18-49, 12.7 million viewers overall).
CBS was solid from 9 to 11 with “The People’s Choice Awards” (4.1/10 in adults 18-49, 13.9 million viewers), although the kudocast was down from a year ago, when the Eye had a substantial football lead-in to primetime.
ABC ran fourth, with both “Alias” (3.8/8 in adults 18-49, 9.1 million viewers) and “The Practice” (3.6/9 in adults 18-49, 9.8 million viewers) finishing behind its major-net rivals.
The WB did well with the second-season premiere of reality series “The Surreal Life” (2.7/6 in adults 18-49, 5.2 million viewers).
Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 10.3/24; NBC, 4.0/10; CBS, 3.6/9; ABC, 3.0/7; WB, 2.1/5.
In total viewers: Fox, 24.2 million; CBS, 13.7 million; NBC, 11.1 million; ABC, 8.5 million; WB, 4.4 million.