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NBC took the sweeps staple of crossover storylines to a new level last week, as a running plot involving characters from the net’s three Dick Wolf dramas produced a ratings surge for each show. The stunt, along with “Sunday Night Football,” “The Blacklist” and three nights of “The Voice” carried the Peacock to a ratings victory in key demos.

In a down week for CBS, NBC also scored a rare victory in total viewers —  its first for a full week in the November sweep since 2002, and its first in any sweep month (excluding Olympics weeks) since the week of the “Friends” finale in May 2004.

“Sunday Night Football,” featuring a great quarterback matchup between Tom Brady’s New England Patriots and Andrew Luck’s Indianapolis Colts produced strong ratings (7.1/19 in 18-49, 20.82 million viewers overall), standing as the week’s No. 2 primetime show in 18-49 and No. 1 in total viewers, according to Nielsen.

AMC’s “The Walking Dead” (7.3/20 in 18-49, 14.07 million viewers overall) was the week’s No. 1 primetime program in 18-49 for a fourth time this fall. The show amazingly continues to outpace last season, with Sunday’s episode up 20% over the comparable year-ago week in 18-49 (7.3 vs. 6.1).

Looking at NBC’s week on the entertainment programming side,  the net enjoyed great success with its two-night crossover involving “Chicago Fire” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 9.06 million viewers overall), “Law & Order: SVU” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 10.01 million viewers overall) and “Chicago PD” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 9.54 million). “Fire” was up 29% from its prior telecast, while “SVU” and “PD” were up 50% and 57%, respectively.

All three dramas also generated series-record increases of more than 50% when going from “live plus same-day” to “live plus 3” ratings. “SVU” hit a four-year high in L+3 rating (3.8) and a six-year high in total viewers (13.1 million).

“The Blacklist” wrapped its fall batch of episodes on an uptick (2.5/8 in 18-49, 9.75 million viewers overall), matching its top demo rating since Oct. 13.

ABC continued its good start to the season, claiming seven of the 20 highest-rated broadcast shows in 18-49, including top dramas “Scandal” (3.2/10 in 18-49, 10.05 million viewers overall) and “How to Get Away With Murder” (2.9/9 in 18-49, 9.25 million viewers overall) and the top new comedy in “Black-ish” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 7.78 million viewers overall). Through eight weeks, it’s the only broadcaster up vs. last year in the demo.

The net’s Friday is off to its best beginning to a season in seven years, with leadoff hitter “Last Man Standing” last week posting season highs (1.5/5 in 18-49, 6.98 million viewers overall). And on Sunday, a special lead-in from “Once Upon a Time” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 6.80 million viewers overall for a two-hour episode) helped propel “Revenge” to hit a season high (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.23 million viewers overall).

Fox had a good Sunday, as “The Simpsons” was the top broadcast series in 18-49 (3.0/8 in 18-49, 6.70 million viewers overall), “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (2.2/5 in 18-49, 4.53 million viewers overall) and “Family Guy” (2.2/5 in 18-49, 4.46 million viewers overall) both spiked by more than 15%, and “Bob’s Burgers” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 3.35 million viewers overall) delivered nearly double the previous week’s “Mulaney” ratings in the 9:30 p.m. timeslot

CBS had its lowest-rated week of the season, placing fourth in 18-49 for the first time and running fourth or lower in the demo on four nights (Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday). The net fared OK on Thursday thanks to leadoff hitter “The Big Bang Theory” (4.5/15 in 18-49, 16.90 million viewers overall), but the back half of the night stumbled as rookie half-hour “The McCarthys” had a weak showing (1.4/4 in 18-49, 6.36 million viewers overall) and drama “Elementary” hit a series low (1.0/3 in 18-49, 6.53 million viewers overall).

The Eye’s attempt at launching a new TV awards show was a bust, as the “Hollywood Film Awards” settled for a 0.5/2 in 18-49 and 4.10 million viewers overall on Friday — less than half the net’s demo score of the previous week and making it the lowest-rated night of original programming for any Big Four net this fall.

At CW, “The Flash” had another good showing (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.46 million viewers overall), spiking in Live+3 numbers to a 1.85 rating in adults 18-34 and 5.47 million viewers overall — best-since-premiere numbers in both categories. And the 200th episode of “Supernatural” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.16 million) also rose in time-shifted viewing to its best scores (1.3 in 18-49, 2.92 million total viewers) since its season premiere.

Lifetime drew solid numbers Saturday for its original movie “Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 3.22 million viewers overall), which was television’s top non-sports program of the night in 18-49. The pic starring Alexandra Shipp as the actress and music sensation, ranks as the year’s No. 2-rated movie telecast on cable, behind only Lifetime’s “Flowers in the Attic.”

Hallmark fared well with holiday-themed movies “Northpole” on Saturday (0.7/2 in 18-49, 4.01 million viewers overall) and “Angels and Ornaments” on Sunday (0.4/1, 3.33 million viewers overall). The former was among the week’s top 10 cable programs in total viewers, and the network ranked behind only ESPN and Fox News Channel among cablers.

Discovery continues to dominate cable on Fridays with “Gold Rush” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 3.99 million viewers overall), which was also television’s No. 1 show of the night — ahead of “Shark Tank” and others — in men 18-49 (2.0/7) and men 25-54 (2.4/7).

Outside of primetime, Fox News Channel’s “MediaBuzz with Howie Kurtz” delivered its largest audience to date on Sunday (1.3 million) and was the No. 1 cable news program for the day in adults 25-54 (300,000). CNN’s competing Sunday morning media program, “Reliable Sources,” averaged 415,000 million viewers, including 86,000 in the 25-54 demo.

 

NETWORK RANKINGS
(Live plus same-day for week of Nov. 10-16, 2014)

Adults 18-49
NBC              2.5/8
ABC              2.0/6
Fox                1.6/5
CBS               1.5/5
UNI               1.2/4
ESPN            1.1/3
CW                0.7/2
AMC             0.7/2
USA              0.5/2
TEL               0.5/2

Total Viewers (in millions)
NBC              9.15
CBS               8.64
ABC               7.58
Fox                4.49
UNI               2.99
ESPN            2.99
Fox News     2.08
HALL            1.96
CW                1.81
TEL               1.23

 

PROGRAM RANKINGS
(Live plus same-day for week of Nov. 10-16, 2014)

Adults 18-49
1.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 7.3/20
2.  Sunday Night Football: New England-Indianapolis (NBC), 7.1/19
3.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 4.5/15
4.  Monday Night Football: Carolina-Philadelphia (ESPN), 4.1/13
5.  Scandal (ABC), 3.2/10
5.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 3.2/9
5.  Modern Family (ABC), 3.2/9
8.  Saturday Night Football: Florida State-Miami (ABC), 3.0/10
8.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 3.0/9
8.  The Simpsons (Fox), 3.0/8
11.  How to Get Away With Murder (ABC), 2.9/9
12.  Talking Dead (AMC), 2.8/7
13.  Mom (CBS), 2.6/8
14.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 2.5/8
14.  The Blacklist (NBC), 2.5/8
14.  Black-ish (ABC), 2.5/7
17.  Law & Order: SVU (NBC), 2.4/7
17.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 2.4/7
17.  Once Upon a Time (ABC), 2.4/6
20.  NCIS (CBS), 2.3/7
20.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 2.3/7
20.  Survivor (CBS), 2.3/7

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  Sunday Night Football: New England-Indianapolis (NBC), 20.82
2.  NCIS (CBS), 17.49
3.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 16.90
4.  NCIS: New Orleans (CBS), 14.99
5.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 14.07
6.  Dancing With the Stars (ABC), 13.31
7.  Madam Secretary (CBS), 12.77
8.  60 Minutes (CBS), 12.65
9.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 11.48
10.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 11.42
11.  Mom (CBS), 11.07
12.  The Voice-Wednesday (NBC), 10.64
13.  The Good Wife (CBS), 10.55
14.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 10.35
15.  Scorpion (CBS), 10.08
16.  Scandal (ABC), 10.05
17.  Law & Order: SVU (NBC), 10.01
18.  Modern Family (ABC), 9.83
19.  The Blacklist (NBC), 9.75
20.  Chicago PD (NBC), 9.54