All good things must come to an end, and for the New England Patriots, last night saw the demise of their undefeated season. With a 30-24 overtime loss to the Denver Broncos and QB Brock Osweiler, the defending Super Bowl champs finally went down – which meant that Sunday Night Football went up.
On a night that had the midseason finale of The Walking Dead on cable and Kobe Bryant taking the court just hours after announcing his retirement, the NBC and NFL big show scored a 16.2/26 result in metered-market ratings. That’s up a whopping 38% from last week’s season low and a 16% jump over last year’s Week 12 Dallas Cowboys-NY Giants game. All told, while not the best SNF has done this season, last night’s hard-fought 8:30 PM-midnight ET game is the best the flagship football show has done since the 16.3/7 that the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers got in Week 2. It is also the best Week 12 SNF MM result since the high of 2006.
In fast nationals, SNF had a 7.8/21 rating with 22.87 million viewers. That’s up 24% among adults 18-49 from the final numbers of the Arizona Cardinals’ 34-31 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on November 22, which had a 5.6/16 in fast nationals. Last week’s SNF drew an overall audience of 18.01 million. So, no overtime is needed to declare that NBC will win primetime in both the demo and in total viewers this week. The wild card might be if TWD’s winter finale will deny SNF the top demo spot in all TV for last night.
With NFL overruns pushing CBS’ primetime start back more than an hour in the Eastern and Central time zones, the net’s numbers likely are inflated once again and all tentative. As it is, an 8:01 PM ET-starting 60 Minutes got a 2.5/7, Madam Secretary had a 1.2/3, and The Good Wife pulled a 0.9/2, which actually is even with last week. CSI: Cyber was pre-empted in the affected time zones and an encore was played on the West Coast and in the Mountain time zone. Fox’s only original of the night was the science-oriented Breakthrough Prize (0.4/2), which didn’t prove much of a breakthrough for the net on a very competitive Sunday.
ABC took a hit on the full night with both Once Upon A Time (1.3/4) and freshman Quantico (1.2/4), both down to hit lows. After taking last week off for the American Music Awards, the 8 PM fantasy procedural fell 19% from its previous original of November 15 to an all-time series low. At 10 PM, the FBI-set newbie dipped 8% in the key demo from its previous new show of two weeks ago – though that could be made up in adjustments in the final numbers. ABC opened the night with America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.0/3), which was down 9%. The trimmed and almost over Blood & Oil (0.9/3) delivered ABC its only upward movement of the night with a 12% rise over its last original of November 8.