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Ratings: Cowboys-Eagles Game Nabs NBC’s Top ‘Sunday Night Football’ Score of Fall

The Dallas Cowboys’ victory over the rival Philadelphia Eagles dominated last night’s ratings race, picking up NBC’s top “Sunday Night Football” score of the fall and contributing to a season low for ABC’s “Once Upon a Time,” which aired its fall finale.

According to Nielsen metered-market overnights, “Sunday Night Football” averaged a 14.9 household rating/24 share — the second best Sunday night score of the football season, and the best since the late-summer contest in Week 1 between Indianapolis and Denver (15.1/25). On NBC’s stations, the game averaged a 7.7 rating/21 share in adults 18-49 and 21.8 million viewers overall from 8:30 to 11 p.m., with its final total viewership expected to be in the vicinity of 25 million.

ABC opened the night with small numbers for the special “Backstage With Disney on Broadway” (0.5/1 in 18-49, 2.9 million viewers overall), which certainly contributed to the season low for “Once Upon a Time” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall), even if the ratings for the fairy tale-themed series is adjusted up a tick in the nationals; a year ago, the show’s fall finale did a 1.9 in the demo. Despite the low finish, “Once Upon a Time” finishes fall up 13% vs. last year in adults 18-49 rating (3.6 to 3.2).

From 9 to 11 p.m., “Barbara Walters: 10 Most Fascinating People of 2014” did a 1.4/4 in 18-49 and 7.7 million viewers overall, beating the CBS dramas head-to-head in the demo.

Ratings for CBS are subject to revision due to a football overrun in some markets, but “Undercover Boss” had a solid return (1.7/5 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall) with a special episode in advance of its move to Fridays nights. The feel-good reality show held all of its demo lead-in from “60 Minutes” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 11.6 million viewers overall) and was slightly above the average of “Madam Secretary” in the timeslot this fall. “Boss” was followed by firstrun dramas “The Mentalist” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 8.4 million viewers overall) and “CSI” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall).

Fox, which benefited from an NFL overrun, was paced by a repeat of “The Simpsons” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall). It was followed by an original “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall), a repeat “Family Guy” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.1 million viewers overall) and a new “Bob’s Burgers” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall). The net hasn’t aired a lot of “Family Guy” originals this fall, which probably is a smart idea opposite the likes of “Sunday Night Football” and “The Walking Dead,” and thus will have mostly firstrun episodes in the new year.


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