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Sunday Night Football” scored big for NBC in its first weekend outing of the season, but the match-up between the the New England Patriots and the Arizona Cardinals was down year over year in preliminary numbers. The game notched a 7.5 rating in adults 18-49 and 20.7 million viewers, versus last season’s comparable opener, which earned a 9.2 rating for the game between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. “Sunday Night Football” notched a 14.8 overnight rating in metered markets, the best-ever for an NBC NFL regular-season telecast featuring the Cardinals.

Fox’s own afternoon NFL coverage offered a primetime boost to new comedy “Son of Zorn,” which offered a preview at 8 p.m., nabbing a healthy 2.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 6 million viewers. The animated/live action hybrid was up against CBS’ “Big Brother” (1.8 rating, 6.5 million viewers), and ABC’s “Celebrity Family Feud” finale (1.3 rating, 6.6 million viewers). Following “Zorn,” Fox opted for repeats opposite NBC’s football coverage, while ABC aired the annual “Miss America” pageant, which earned a 1.3 rating and 6.2 million viewers, down 0.2 from last year’s telecast. CBS aired a double bill of political dramedy “BrainDead” from 9-11 p.m. to close out its season, with hour one posting a 0.5 in the demo and 2.4 million viewers, and the finale earning a 0.3 rating and 2 million viewers.

For the night, NBC averaged a 6.1 rating in adults 18-49 and 17 million viewers; Fox was second with a 3.2 rating and 9 million viewers; ABC scored a 1.1 rating and 6 million viewers, and CBS brought up the rear with a 0.9 rating and 4.7 million.