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
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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.