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Sub-Par Football Matchup Still Rules Sunday Night for NBC

CBS, aided by end to huge afternoon NFL game and big 'Amazing Race,' wins in total viewers

Robert Griffin III
Rob Carr/Getty Images

After a couple weeks of monster ratings, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” came down to earth this week, but its New York Giants-Washington Redskins matchup still dominated the primetime ratings race.

AMC’s “The Walking Dead” was expected to easily rule as the evening’s No. 1 entertainment series, with estimates for the zombie drama expected later today.

On the broadcast side, “Sunday Night Football” averaged a 5.4 rating/13 share in adults 18-49 and 15.4 million viewers overall on NBC’s stations from 8:30 to 11 p.m., with these numbers expected to rise by about 10% in the nationals. Sunday’s game, a matchup of teams with losing records, came in well below the two most recent “SNF” games (both featuring the Denver Broncos), which topped 26 million viewers — the best numbers for a November primetime game in 17 years.

Elsewhere, numbers for CBS are approximate as its football coverage didn’t wrap until about 7:45 p.m. ET. Following the end of the highly rated Denver-Kansas City game (which will come in around 30 million for its final half-hour), “60 Minutes” averaged roughly a 3.4/8 in 18-49 and 16.1 million viewers overall in the 8 o’clock hour. The net’s stations then averaged a 1.9/4 in 18-49 and 10.4 million viewers overall at 9 p.m. (with mostly “The Amazing Race”) and a 1.6/4 in the demo and 10.1 million from 10 to 11 p.m. (with mostly “The Good Wife”).

It’s hard to get a read on “Good Wife,” but it appears to be up week to week as it celebrated its 100th episode. And “Amazing Race” may have hit a season high in total viewers, with CBS winning the night by this measure.

ABC opened with an average “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall), followed by “Once Upon a Time” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 6.6 million viewers overall), which matched its low in 18-49. And from 9 to 11 p.m., the Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation of “Christmas in Conway” did a quiet 1.1/3 in 18-49 and 6.5 million viewers overall. A year ago, a holiday-themed HHOF movie did a 1.8 in the demo.

At Fox, an original of “Bob’s Burgers” at 8:30 p.m. (1.6/4 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall) was up a tenth in the demo from its repeat “The Simpsons” lead-in (1.5/4 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall). Similarly, a fresh “American Dad” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall) fared slightly better among young adults than the 9 p.m. repeat of “Family Guy” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 4.4/11; CBS, 3.7/9; Fox, 1.5/4; ABC, 1.3/3; Univision, 0.6/2; Telemundo, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 16.0 million; NBC, 12.6 million; ABC, 6.6 million; Fox, 3.4 million; Univision, 2.0 million; Telemundo, 1.0 million.