Ratings: ‘The Simpsons’ Hits Season High; ‘Sunday Night Football’ Continues Hot Start

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” continued its record-breaking start to the season with another dominant performance last night, again beating the other broadcast networks combined. Elsewhere of note, Fox’s comedy block hit a season high thanks to its annual Treehouse of Horror episode of “The Simpsons,” while ABC rookie “Quantico” was down slightly to its low.

The “Sunday Night Football” game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers averaged a 6.9 rating/19 share in adults 18-49 and 18.9 million viewers overall on the network’s stations between 8:30 and 11 p.m., with these numbers expected to rise by more than 10% in the finals. The game did a 13.6 overnight household rating/22 share in the metered markets; while this was the second lowest score this fall, it means that, for the first time, the franchise has stayed above a 13 overnight rating for the first six weeks of the season. It’s also the highest-rated overnight to date for a “SNF” contest involving the Panthers.

Fox, which had the NFL overrun for the first time in three weeks, predictably saw higher ratings for its comedies “The Simpsons” (2.7/8 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall), “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 4.3 million viewers overall), “Family Guy” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 3.9 million viewers overall) and “Last Man on Earth” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall). “The Simpsons,” with its Treehouse of Horror episode, matched its season high in 18-49 (and should set a new outright high in the nationals) as well as total viewers, while “Brooklyn” and “Family Guy” slightly out-rated their previous season highs set three weeks ago with the football lead-in.

At ABC, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall) benefited from Fox’s football coverage wrapping by 7:30 p.m. in the East, as it rose 0.3 from last week when football filled the entire opening hour of primetime in most of the country. It was followed by steady numbers for “Once Upon a Time” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) and “Blood & Oil” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall), but “Quantico” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) was down a tenth to its lowest score in five airings to date. For the season in Nielsen’s “most current” ratings, “Quantico” has improved the 10 p.m. hour for ABC vs. last year’s “Revenge” by 53% in adults 18-49 (2.6 vs. 1.7).

Numbers for CBS are again subject to revision due to football; though the network didn’t air the national late game, its lineup started about 35 minutes late in six top-30 markets (Washington D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, Indianapolis and Nashville). In the prelims, “60 Minutes” averaged a 1.3/4 in 18-49 and 10.2 million viewers overall, followed by “Madam Secretary” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 10.9 million viewers overall), “The Good Wife” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall) and “CSI: Cyber” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall).

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