Everybody knew there would be interest in Peyton Manning’s return to Indianapolis on Sunday Night Football (9.5/23) last night — but there really was a lot of interest it turns out. The Colts’ 39-33 victory over Manning’s favored Denver Broncos surged up 30% over the fast nationals of last week’s Cowboys-Redskins game, which is commonly one of the top draws in the NFL. In the 8:30-11 PM block, Broncos-Colts was watched by 25.87 million viewers, up 6 million from the 19.65 million who tuned in last week. In metered market households, last night’s game pulled in a 17.3/29, up 28% over last week’s metered market result and 48% over the 11.7 of last season’s Week 7 game (Pittsburgh-Cincinnati). The 8:30 PM-12:15 AM game pulled a 10.0 rating among adults 18-49, 64% better than what the No. 2 demo show — AMC’s The Walking Dead — got with its 6.1. It was also the fourth-best metered-market result in the 8 years NBC has had its primetime NFL package (No. 1 remains the 18.3 of the Cowboys-Redskins NFC East title game on December 30, 2012) and the best October primetime NFL game result since the 17.5 Minnesota-Green Bay drew on October 5, 1998. As always with live events like sports, expect an adjustment in the final numbers later today. Having said that, there’s little doubt NBC will retain its top spot among adults with a 7.8/20 rating and 21.45 million in total viewers for Sunday night. CBS was second with a 2.7/7 rating and 12.27 million viewers.
CBS’s Sunday primetime was pushed back more than a half an hour in most of the East and Central time zones because of the Green Bay-Cleveland NFL game. With that slide in mind, the approximately 7:30-8:30 PM 60 Minutes (3.2/9) saw inflated results. The Amazing Race (1.9/2) was steady with last week’s series low while The Good Wife (1.4/3) rose two tenths from its series low last week. The Mentalist (1.2/3) was down a tenth in the demo from its October 13 show to hit a series low.
There were no sports on ABC last night, but American’s Funniest Home Videos (1.1/3) was tackled for a loss, slipping 8% from it Season 24 debut last week. Facing football again, Once Upon A Time (2.0/5) fell 17% from the fall episode low of it October 13 episode to hit an all-time series low. Revenge (1.5/4) dipped 6% from last week to hit a new fall episode low. Freshman Betrayal (0.9/2) saw the only rise of the night for ABC. The fourth week of the drama moved up 13% from its October 13 result.
With NFL overruns at the beginning of the night, Fox ran a full primetime of animation block encores.