Ratings: ACM Awards Show Spikes With 50th Edition as CBS Dominates Sunday

The ACM Awards lifted CBS to an easy primetime ratings victory in key demos on Sunday, as the kudocast grew from last year and contributed to a sizable drop at NBC for its new drama series, “A.D. The Bible Continues.”

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “60 Minutes” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 9.9 million viewers overall) led into the “50th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards” on CBS (3.7/11 in 18-49, 16.2 million viewers overall for its primetime portion), with the awards show rising 10% from last year’s 3.3 rating in the 8-11 p.m. prelims; this year’s was the first that the ACM Awards extended until 11:30 p.m., with that extra half-hour resulting in slight overall ratings decline. The “ACMs” also drew their largest overall audience in 17 years, even if the extra half-hour brought its projected final tally to about 15.8 million.

The 3.7 rating in 18-49 was about three times what CBS has been doing from 8 to 11 p.m. with its Sunday dramas this spring and beat the combined scores of ABC, NBC and Fox. In host city Dallas, the kudocast did a big 7.7 rating/23 share in adults 18-49.

NBC had a sluggish night, and its “A.D. The Bible Continues” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall) was down a big 0.6 week to week and fell below half of what its premiere logged just two weeks earlier. It’s likely that a chunk of the Middle America audience that drives “A.D.” may have flipped over this week to CBS for the country music awards show.

Nothing else did much on the night for NBC, with “Dateline” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 4.4 million viewers overall) and a repeat of last week’s “A.D.” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall) leaving the network in fourth place from 8 to 10. And following “A.D.,” fellow newbie “American Odyssey” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall) was down another 0.2 week to week.

ABC held up pretty well opposite the ACM Awards, with “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) likely benefiting from late-afternoon basketball on the Alphabet; it was up 0.3 from last week when it had to contend with the conclusion of the Masters golf tournament in much of the country. “Once Upon a Time” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) matched last week’s score, followed by “Secrets & Lies” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) and “Revenge” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall).

Secrets & Lies,” building to its May 3 finale, moved comfortably ahead of NBC’s “A.D. The Bible Continues” in 18-49 (1.4 vs. 1.1 and it has a good chance of rounding up to a 1.5 in the nationals) after trailing by 0.4 in their first match-up a week ago. In Live+3 data for last week’s episode, “Secrets” shot up by 0.8 (or 62%) in 18-49, matching the show’s biggest jump to date, and its 2.1 rating in L+3 was within a tenth of its series high.

Fox followed encores of “The Simpsons” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall) and “Bob’s Burgers” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 1.9 million viewers overall) with an original “Simpsons” at 8 (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall), which was down a tenth from its most recent original of five weeks ago. “Family Guy” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall) was up 0.2 as it moved back to its regular 9 p.m. timeslot, and “The Last Man on Earth” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall) was up a tick from last week.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 3.0/9; ABC, 1.4/4; Fox, 1.1/3; NBC, 0.8/2; Univision, 0.7/2; Telemundo, 0.6/2.

In total viewers: CBS, 14.6 million; ABC, 5.1 million; NBC, 4.5 million; Fox, 2.6 million; Univision, 2.0 million; Telemundo, 1.7 million.

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