Football finishes big for NBC

ABC originals return to solid numbers

The finale of NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was below its season average but strong nonetheless for the last game of the year, dominating a night that included original episodes of ABC’s regular lineup.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, the NFL game between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers averaged a 5.7 rating/15 share in adults 18-49 and 15.8 million viewers overall on NBC’s stations from 8:30 to 11 p.m., with its final numbers expected to rise by 10% or more.

In Nielsen’s metered-market overnights, the game earned a 12.6 household rating/19 share – up 11% from last year’s finale (New York Jets-Cincinnati Bengals) and the best for the last game of the regular season since a Minnesota-Baltimore matchup on ABC in early January 2002. The game pulled a 38.7/53 in St. Louis and a 35.4/58 in Seattle, whose Seahawks won to advance to the playoffs this weekend.

Elsewhere, Fox ran second in demos thanks to a strong NFL overrun and post-game show. It then went with repeats of “The Simpsons” (2.7/7 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall), “The Cleveland Show” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) and an hourlong “Family Guy” (2.6/6 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall).

ABC had a solid night with the first original episodes of the New Year for “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall), “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (2.7/7 in 18-49, 9.3 million viewers overall), “Desperate Housewives” (3.8/9 in 18-49, 12.1 million viewers overall) and “Brothers and Sisters” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall).

CBS benefited from a football overrun of its own, leading into “60 Minutes” (2.7/7 in 18-49, 13.6 million viewers overall), “CSI: Miami” (2.1/5 in 18-49, 11.1 million viewers overall), “Undercover Boss” (2.9/7 in 18-49, 11.8 million viewers overall) and “CSI: Miami” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 8.6 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 5.1/13; Fox, 3.4/9; ABC, 2.7/7; CBS, 2.4/6; Univision, 0.7/2; CW, 0.5/1.

In total viewers: NBC, 14.3 million; CBS, 11.3 million; ABC, 9.4 million; Fox, 8.6 million; Univision, 1.8 million; CW, 1.5 million.

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