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CBS rode pro football’s AFC Championship and the season’s most-watched episode of “NCIS” to the biggest weekly ratings victory for any network this season — well, at least until NBC airs the Super Bowl in a couple of weeks.

The New England Patriots-Indianapolis Colts averaged a big 13.9 rating in adults 18-49 and 42.14 million viewers overall to stand as the season’s most-watched primetime telecast, but the 45-7 outcome resulted in lower tune in in the fourth quarter. That in turn somewhat dampened the net’s special post-football episode of “Scorpion,” which matched the rookie hit’s season high in adults 18-49 but didn’t come close to a high in total viewers (12.29 million on Sunday vs. 13.90 million for its series premiere).

No. 2 for the week was the first ever College Football Playoff championship game on ESPN between Ohio State and Oregon, which on Monday set cable records in both adults 18-49 (11.0 rating/29 share) and total viewers (33.25 million). It was up about 30% in both the demo and total viewers vs. the final championship game in the previous, Bowl Championship Series format (Auburn-Florida State did an 8.7 in the demo and 25.57 million total viewers).

The biggest news on the entertainment series side was Fox’s “Empire,” which became the rare show to rise in its second week and logged the highest demo rating (4.0) for any drama telecast on the Big Four since the September 2013 series premiere of ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.” The combo of it, “American Idol” and “Gotham” could make Fox more competitive than expected down the stretch.

Overall for the Jan. 12-18 frame, CBS (3.4 rating/11 share) more than doubled runner-up Fox (1.5/5), which was followed by ABC (1.3/4), Univision (1.2/4) and NBC (1.1/4). The Peacock, without football, “The Voice” or “The Blacklist” to keep it afloat, suffered its lowest-rated week of the season.

In total viewers, CBS (14.22 million) outdrew the combined tallies of NBC, ABC and Fox (14.14 million).

While “Empire” led among all series for the week, CBS had eight of the top 15. And in total viewers, it claimed 12 of the week’s 15 most-watched series telecasts — led by “NCIS” with a season-best 19.87 million.

CBS is off to a good start in the new year on Fridays thanks to timeslot-winning “Undercover Boss” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 8.35 million viewers overall), which seems to mesh better with “Hawaii Five-0” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 10.59 million viewers overall) than “Amazing Race” in the fall. “Five-0” and lead-out “Blue Bloods” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 12.73 million viewers overall) were the night’s top two scripted programs (and among the week’s top 10), with the former having now drawn its three largest overall audiences in the three weeks with “Boss” behind it.

The big week vaulted CBS to within a tick of NBC for the season lead in adults 18-49 (2.5 vs. 2.6), while the Eye moved ahead of the Peacock in adults 25-54 (3.4 vs. 3.2).

Of note at ABC was a season-high demo score (and series high in total viewers) for Friday’s “Shark Tank” (2.2/7 in 18-49, 8.64 million viewers overall). The show may have gained some new viewers thanks to a special Tuesday original that did fairly well (1.8/6, 7.48).

The net’s new “Marvel’s Agent Carter” (1.5/4, 5.10 million viewers overall) fell off by 21% in its second week, while Sunday’s “Galavant” (0.9/2, 3.42m) took a hit opposite football on Sunday but will get a chance to bounce back with its finale this week opposite lesser competition.

Fox’s “Glee” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.99 million viewers overall) continues to finish its run on a quiet note (and make the net look smart for dumping it on Friday) — despite a decent lead-in from the premiere of alternative series “World’s Funniest Fails” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 3.32 million viewers overall).

At NBC, “Celebrity Apprentice” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 5.85 million viewers overall) held up nicely opposite college football and continues to perform well with its first edition in two years. And “Parks and Recreation” looked healthy as it kicked off its sixth and final season (1.5/5 in 18-49, 3.75 million viewers overall), out-rating all NBC comedies since week 2 of the “Voice”-inflated “Marry Me” in October.

“Constantine” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 3.06 million viewers overall) matched its low as it slid down to 8 p.m. on Fridays, a move that allowed the net to generate stronger numbers than usual at 10 p.m. with new slot occupant “Dateline” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 4.52 million viewers overall).

CW was still mostly in repeat mode, but did decently with Thursday special “World Dog Awards” (0.5/1 in 18-49, 1.97 million), which performed better in the demo than the “Critics Choice Awards” on the comparable week a year ago.

Telemundo saw a strong finish for “Senor Acero” on Monday (1.3/4 in 18-49, 2.76 million viewers overall), winning its time period among the Spanish-language networks and was No. 1 regardless of language in men 18-49 and adults 18-34.  The network categorizes the program as a “super series,” designed to be edgier, more action-packed and faster-paced than traditional novelas.

Lifetime scored Saturday with the premiere of “Whitney” (1.7/6 in 18-49, 4.53 million viewers overall), which was the week’s No. 1 scripted program on cable. It was also Lifetime’s most-watched telecast since 6.06 million watched the premiere of “Flowers in the Attic” in January of last year.

Discovery’s “Gold Rush” continues to impress on Fridays (1.5/5 in 18-49, 4.57 million viewers overall), tying CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0” for second in 18-49 for the 9 o’clock hour (behind only “Shark Tank”). And with roughly 68% of its audience comprised of men, “Gold Rush” finished No. 1 on all of television for the night in men 18-49 (2.0/7) and men 25-54 (2.6/8).

Disney Channel’s premiere of the spy comedy series “K.C. Undercover” starring Zendaya averaged 3.51 million viewers on Sunday, becoming the young year’s top cable telecast in kids 2-11 (1.7 million), kids 6-11 (1.4 million) and tweens (1.4 million).

At TLC, “Kate Plus Eight” returned Tuesday (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.80 million viewers overall), teaming with the series premiere of “My Big Fat Fabulous Life” (0.5/1 in 18-49, 1.31 million) to lift the network to a No. 2 cable rank on the night in women 18-49 (behind ABC Family).

Showtime’s two-airing gross audience on Sunday for “Shameless” (2.195 million) was up from its week-earlier premiere (2.174 million) to lead the premium cablers, but “House of Lies” dipped (820,000 vs. 895,000).

And at HBO, “Girls” (1.051 million vs. 851,000), “Togetherness” (674,000 vs. 582,000) and “Looking” (270,000 vs. 251,000) were all on the rise in week 2.

 

TOP PRIMETIME NETWORKS

Adults 18-49
CBS                    3.4/11
Fox                     1.5/5
ABC                    1.3/4
Univision              1.2/4
NBC                    1.1/4

Total Viewers (in millions)
CBS                   14.22
ABC                    4.99
Fox                     4.76
NBC                    4.39
UNI                     3.21

TOP PRIMETIME PROGRAMS

Adults 18-49
1.  AFC Championship: Indianapolis-New England (CBS), 13.9/37
2.  College Football Championship: Ohio State-Oregon (ESPN), 11.0/29
3.  Empire (Fox), 4.0/12
4.  Scorpion-Sunday (CBS), 3.2/10
5.  American Idol-Wednesday (Fox), 3.0/9
5.  Modern Family (AMC), 3.0/9
7.  NCIS (CBS), 2.8/9
8.  American Idol-Thursday (Fox), 2.6/8
9.  The Big Bang Theory-r (CBS), 2.5/8
10.  Mom (CBS), 2.4/8
11.  The Goldbergs (ABC), 2.3/7
11.  NCIS: New Orleans (CBS), 2.3/7
13.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 2.2/7
13.  The Middle (ABC), 2.2/7
13.  Shark Tank (ABC), 2.2/7
16.  Mike & Molly (CBS), 2.1/6
16.  Two and a Half Men (CBS), 2.1/6
18.  The Big Bang Theory, Monday-r (CBS), 1.9/6
18.  Black-ish (ABC), 1.9/6
20.  Shark Tank (ABC), 1.8/6
20.  The Bachelor (ABC), 1.8/5

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  AFC Championship: Indianapolis-New England (CBS), 42.14
2.  College Football Championship: Ohio State-Oregon (ESPN), 33.25
3.  NCIS (CBS), 19.87
4.  NCIS: New Orleans (CBS), 16.39
5.  Blue Bloods (CBS), 12.73
6.  Scorpion-Sunday (CBS), 12.29
7.  The Big Bang Theory-r (CBS), 12.10
8.  American Idol-Wednesday (Fox), 10.87
9.  Mom (CBS), 10.84
10. Hawaii Five-0 (CBS), 10.59
11.  American Idol-Thursday (Fox), 10.42
12.  Empire (Fox), 10.32
13.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 10.31
14.  Person of Interest (CBS), 10.16
15.  The Big Bang Theory, Monday-r (CBS), 10.08
16.  Modern Family (ABC), 9.44
17.  Two and a Half Men (CBS), 9.38
18.  The Mentalist (CBS), 9.36
19.  Mike & Molly (CBS), 9.19
20.  Shark Tank (ABC), 8.64