NBC’s hot football season continued with last night’s Eagles-Cowboys game. With a 16.5/25 overnight rating, the game delivered the best overnight rating in the five-year history of Sunday Night Football, tied with last fall’s Week 2 game between the Giants and the Cowboys that marked the debut of the new Dallas Cowboys stadium. The two games’ overnights also rank as the highest for a Sunday/Monday NFL primetime game in 12 years, since Broncos-Dolphins on Dec.21, 1998 on ABC (17.4/27). Versus last year’s Week 14 game, the Eagles-Cowboys face-off was up 20% and delivered another dominating Sunday win for NBC. Just how hot this year’s football coverage on NBC has been? Five SNF games this season rank among the top six NBC primetime games ever.
Following America’s Funniest Home Videos (2.2/6 in adults 18-49), which hit a season high, ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (2.4/6) was up 9% from last week, but the fall finale of Desperate Housewives, which featured a Dallas-style (Who shot Paul Young?) cliffhanger was down a tenth to tie its season low. (BTW, J.R. aka Larry Hagman, is set to make a guest appearance on Desperate Housewives later this season.) Brothers & Sisters (2.5/6) rebounded nicely from last week’s series low with its holiday-themed episode, up 19% from last week.
At Fox, The Simpsons (3.3/8) was down 21% from last week when it had a football overrun as a lead-in. An hourlong holiday-themed episode of Family Guy (4.0/9) from 8:30-9:30 PM was up 21% from the show’s last original almost a month ago (Nov. 21) The ratings gains carried over to American Dad (3.1/7), which was up 24% from last week when it aired behind The Cleveland Show to hit a season high. And featured in the 7 PM burn-off slot was a repeat of doomed freshman comedy Running Wilde (1.2/3), which finished a distant fourth in the half-hour. The last time Fox slotted a series at 7 PM was Nov. 21 when a repeat of The Cleveland Show drew a 2.0. Fox had originally scheduled Running Wilde originals at 7 PM this past and next Sunday but later subbed them with reruns. The remaining fresh episodes of the Will Arnett-starring comedy will be re-scheduled later this season.
CBS’ ratings performance is once again hard to judge as a football overrun pushed the start of its primetime lineup to 7:26 PM. From 7-8 PM, NFL/60 Minutes drew a 5.7/16 in 18-49. From 8-9 PM, 60 Minutes/The Amazing Race fall finale did a 3.7/9. From 9-10 PM, the conclusion of The Amazing Race finale and Undercover Boss averaged a 3.2/7, and from 10-11 PM, Boss/CSI: Miami posted a 2.7/7. According to estimates, Amazing Race is running 5% lower than last fall’s finale.