This is good news for Fox’s The Cleveland Show, whose future beyond the current fourth season is in limbo: The Family Guy spinoff kicked off Season 4 with a 2.2/6 among adults 18-49 at 7:30 last night. That was up 22% from the show’s 7:30 PM premiere last fall and the animated comedy’s highest-rated telecast ever. Cleveland was helped by a solid lead-in from a The Simpsons repeat (2.0/6) at 7 PM, which was juiced up by a NFL coverage in 17% of the country. At 8 PM, The Simpsons‘ annual Treehouse Of Horror episode (3.1/8) was down 18% from the show’s season premiere last week, which was boosted by an NFL overrun. Bob’s Burgers (2.3/6) was down 12% from its season premiere, while Family Guy (3.4/8) and American Dad (2.6/6) perked up — both up a tenth from their season openers last Sunday.
NBC is expected to once again win the night in adults 18-49 and total viewers with Sunday Night Football, though the San Diego Chargers-New Orleans Saints game (11.7 rating/19 in the metered markets) was down 25% from last week’s Giants-Eagles matchup.
ABC’s lineup bled profusely after an OK start at 7 PM with the 23rd(!) season premiere of America’s Funnies Home Videos (1.5/4), which was flat with last fall’s opener. But the network’s dramas were all down double-digits despite facing a lower-rated football game on NBC. Once Upon A Time (3.3/8) was down 13% from the fast national for its season premiere last week, which followed a Once recap. Revenge (2.6/6) was down 19%. The most alarming drop came at 10 PM for rookie 666 Park Ave, down 23% from the fast national for its series premiere last week to a low 1.7/7.
CBS, whose Sunday lineup activated the 7:30 PM start because of an NFL doubleheader, didn’t get much of a boost from football overrun beyond 60 Minutes (3.8/11). The Amazing Race (2.5/6) was flat with last week’s season premiere. The Good Wife (1.7/4) was down a tenth from last week’s season opener to a series low. The Mentalist drew a 1.6/4 from 10:30-11 PM, which was down 24% from last week’s 10 PM season premiere, and the series will likely hit a new series low when the finals are released tomorrow. Still, the football overrun sealed a No. 2 nightly finish for CBS in adults 18-49 and total viewers.