With CBS and Fox alternating in getting football overruns, the only networks with fair week-to-week comparisons are NBC and ABC. For CBS and Fox, ratings gains the week the network has a football overrun are followed by a decline the following week. (with the exception of CBS’ Undercover Boss, which does better with no overrun as football pushes its start time to 10-11 PM.) NBC was solid with football last night, while ABC’s lineup showed across-the-board erosion.
NBC is expected to once again win the night with Sunday Night Football. The Philadelphia Eagles’s 27-24 victory over the San Francisco 49ers drew an 11.7 overnight rating/19 share. The game was up 8% from last year Week 5 game and dominated the other prominent primetime sports offering last night, TBS’ coverage of the series-clinching baseball playoff game between the Philadelphia Phillies over the Cincinnati Reds (3.9).
ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (2.3/6) was down 12% from last week. Desperate Housewives (3.8/9) was down 14% for its lowest-rated fall telecast ever despite, in my opinion, having a creative rebound from last season’s ridiculous eco-terrorist plot. Housewives still was the top-rated entertainment program of the night. Brothers & Sisters (2.8/7) continues to hang in there. After a couple of weeks of flat or up ratings, it slipped 7%.
Fox’s comedy lineup once again resembled a ratings seesaw, with all series posting double-digit declines without last week’s NFL lead-in: The Simpsons (3.0/8, -29%) was followed by The Cleveland Show (2.6/7, -16%), Family Guy (3.4/9, -15%) and American Dad! (2.5/6, -17%).
CBS’ regular Sunday lineup started at 7:58 PM because of the football overrun. At 7:58 PM, 60 Minutes (3.8/10) was up 90% from last week’s 7 PM telecast. The Amazing Race (3.8/10) was up 12%, while Undercover Boss (3.5/9) was down 13%.