Tom Brady’s heroics last night delivered big ratings for NBC’s Sunday Night Football in what already had been billed as a marquee “Manning-Brady XIV” matchup. The 14th face-off between the NFL superstars — which featured an epic comeback for the Brady-led Patriots over Peyton Manning’s Broncos from a 24-0 halftime deficit to a thrilling overtime win — drew a 17.0 overnight household rating from 8:30 PM-12:30 AM. That was the highest primetime overnight for a November game in 17 years, the second-highest-rated SNF game this season behind the 17.3 for Manning’s return to Indianapolis on October 20, and the fifth-highest-rated game overall in SNF’s eight-year history.

Even with that level of competition that bled deep into West Coast’s primetime, ABC’s American Music Awards (4.5 in adults 18-49) posted big gains vs. last fall when it faced a football game that only averaged a 12.2 in the overnights. Boosted by wide promotion and buzzy music acts like Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and One Direction, the AMAs soared 32% above last season’s all-time low to a four-year high — since 2009. In total viewers, the awards show averaged 12.9 million, up 30% from last year and its second-largest audience in 11 years. In teens, the AMAs surged 86% year to year to hit a 9-year high.

On CBS, The Mentalist wrapped (or so it seems) its main Red John storyline with a season high audience of 10.6 million and a 1.5 in 18-49, up a tenth from last week and matching a season high. The rest of CBS’ Sunday lineup was down week to week. 60 Minutes (1.6, off by 6%), The Amazing Race (1.5, -25%) and The Good Wife (1.3, -7%) (CBS’ primetime was delayed by 10-17 minutes by football in several markets)

Jed
12 months
Thank goodness I didn't tune into that trashfest of an awards show. Way too many of these...
Fran
12 months
AMAs producers were VERY smart by including so many Latino elements this year. Glad to hear it...
rico
12 months
Miley was creepy last night and the cat thing even creepier.

Buoyed by an NFL overrun, Fox’s The Simpsons (2.9) was up 61%. Bob’s Burgers (1.9) was up 27%, while Family Guy (2.2) was even with last week. The animated veteran killed off (at least for now) a lead character (you can watch the tribute video below). American Dad (1.8) was up 13%.