NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” remained the dominant ratings force last night, once again growing over the comparable game a year ago and overwhelming its broadcast competition, which included decent returns for CBS’ “Madam Secretary” and “The Good Wife” but sluggish numbers for the timeslot debut of “CSI: Cyber.” ABC’s “Quantico,” meanwhile, continues to look good, matching last week’s premiere score even though lead-in “Blood & Oil” sagged and is clearly the network’s weak link on the night.
Ratings for AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead” finale are expected to be released later today or early tomorrow. It will again stand as Sunday’s No. 1-rated entertainment series in 18-49.
Looking at the entertainment programs on the night, ABC opened with a pair of “The Muppets” repeats, which averaged a 0.6 in 18-49 and 2.6 million total viewers for the hour. The net had to be pleased that 8 p.m. veteran “Once Upon a Time” (preliminary 1.8 rating/5 share in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall) held steady in its second week after looking sluggish kicking off its season, but “Blood & Oil” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) fell 0.2 from its modest bow of last week.
Despite the softness at 9 p.m., “Quantico” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall) again impressed by building sharply on its lead-in, this week by an even greater 58% in 18-49 (1.9 vs. 1.2). Last week’s episode of “Quantico” was an especially strong gainer in delayed viewing too. Realizing “Quantico” is airing in a difficult timeslot, and not getting a lot of lead-in support, ABC will look to give the show more exposure by again repeating it on Tuesday night at 10.
Over at CBS, “60 Minutes” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 11.6 million viewers overall) was followed by the second-season premiere of “Madam Secretary” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 11.9 million viewers overall), which was down from its pre-season premiere a year ago but out-rated the final nine episodes of its rookie season. (Due to a football overrun in a handful of markets, including biggies like New York and Philadelphia, the ratings for “Madam” and other CBS shows could be adjusted in the nationals.)
“The Good Wife” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall) similarly was down from its year-ago premiere but above its low spring averages. And at 10 p.m., “CSI: Cyber” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall) was clearly impacted by ABC’s hot newcomer in the hour, coming 0.2 lower in 18-49 than any of its 13 episodes on Wednesday and Tuesday last season.
Fox benefited from an NFL overrun, and as usually is the case, that halo affect diminished as the night wore on. “The Simpsons” (2.6/8 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) was the clear leader of the pack one week after the entire lineup delivered roughly the same rating. It was followed by “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall), “Family Guy” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall) and “The Last Man on Earth” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall).
At NBC, “Sunday Night Football” averaged a 14.8 overnight household rating/24 share in Nielsen’s metered markets for its nail-biter matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints — up 1 point from last week’s Denver-Detroit matchup (13.8/23) and 8% higher than when the same teams met at this time on “SNF” a year ago (13.7/23). In the nationals, look for Sunday’s game to approach a 9 demo rating and about 24 million total viewers.
In each of its first five games this season, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” has been up vs. the same game for the prior season in metered-market households — a first for the franchise in its 10-year history on the network. New Orleans was the highest-rated market last night with a 46.1 rating/61 share, and Dallas ranked second (37.3/54).
In L+3 delayed viewing for Wednesday night, Fox’s “Empire” grew by 2.2 ratings points in 18-49 (5.5 to 7.7), leaving it down 11% from its premiere (8.7) after lagging by 18% in same-day numbers. The net’s “Rosewood” remains a modest gainer in L3, but its 20% build (1.99 to 2.38) means it came within 15% of its premiere (2.81).
At CBS, the series premiere of “Code Black” rose in L3 by about 50% in 18-49 (to 2.3 rating) and by 34% in total viewers (to 11.47 million). Lead-in “Criminal Minds” picked up 1 full point (to 3.0), opening up a bit of a cushion over NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” (2.5 in L3); the Eye veteran had led by 0.3 in same-night.