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NFL’s Return on NBC Dominates While CBS Shows Hold Steady

No change in Sunday ratings for 'Big Brother' on its first night during net's Time Warner dispute

Preseason NFL action on NBC dominated Sunday’s ratings action, which also included steady numbers for CBS’ “Big Brother” in its first airing since Time Warner pulled the network’s signal in about 3 million homes.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “Big Brother” averaged a 2.2 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and 6.8 million viewers overall in the 8 o’clock hour, nearly identical to its week-ago averages. Time Warner Cable last Friday removed CBS stations primarily in New York, L.A. and Dallas as a result of a lengthy spat between the cable company and network over retransmission fees, but at least on Sunday night it didn’t seem to affect the net’s numbers.

Also for CBS, “60 Minutes” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall) also was on par with last week, and firstrun drama “Unforgettable” was down a smidge from its week-ago return (1.2/4 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall). Closing out the night was an encore episode of “The Mentalist” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall).

In the afternoon Sunday, CBS Sports’ coverage of the final round of the Bridgestone Invitational Golf Tournament — won by ratings draw Tiger Woods — earned a strong 3.8 overnight household rating/9 share in Nielsen’s metered markets, up 138% over last year and the highest-rated final round since 2009.

The influence of the Time Warner blackout on national ratings is expected to be minimal. Through the first three nights, CBS Research estimated a minor 1% impact on viewership.

Preliminary numbers for live football action on NBC are subject to revision, but the Hall of Fame Game between the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys averaged a 3.4 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 and 9.1 million viewers overall on the network’s stations from 8 to 11 — up a bit from two years ago, the last time it aired on NBC. Even without an expected rise in the nationals once all West Coast viewing is accurately included, the exhibition game ranks as easily Sunday’s No. 1 program.

At ABC, a repeat of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall) was followed by the season premiere of “Secret Millionaire” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall), which was down from its early-June season opener of last year (1.5/5 in 18-49 and 5.7 million viewers overall) but up a bit from last week’s “Celebrity Wife Swap” in the same Sunday 8 p.m. hour and a larger overall audience than every “Wife Swap” from this summer. They were followed by “Whodunnit?” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall) and a repeat of “Castle” (0.5/1 in 18-49, 2.9 million viewers overall).

Fox aired repeats of its animated comedies “American Dad” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall), “The Simpsons” at both 7:30 (0.9/3 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall) and 8 (1.3/4 in 18-49, 2.7 million viewers overall), “Bob’s Burgers” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall) and “Family Guy” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 3.1 million viewers overall at 9 and 1.6/5 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall at 9:30).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 2.9/9; CBS, 1.3/4; Fox, 1.2/4; ABC, 0.9/3; Univision, 0.8/2; Telemundo, 0.6/2.

In total viewers; NBC, 8.0 million; CBS, 6.6 million; ABC, 3.8 million; Fox, 2.5 million; Univision, 2.0 million; Telemundo, 1.5 million.

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