UPDATE THURSDAY: The final numbers are in — ESPN’s 2016 Monday Night Football regular season finale – a Dallas Cowboys 42-21 victory over the Detroit Lions – delivered a total average live audience (TV + Streaming) of 18.964 million viewers and a 10.1 U.S. household rating, up 18% from last year’s MNF regular season finale. This is ESPN’s highest-rated and most-viewed MNF telecast since the Washington Redskins-Dallas Cowboys MNF game on October 27, 2014 (19.083 million viewers, 11.4 U.S. household rating). Meanwhile, ABC’s Happy New Year, Charlie Brown and Rudolph’s Shiny New Year were adjusted down to a 0.9 and 0.7 in 18-49, respectively. Charlie Brown still was the highest-rated program on broadcast TV Monday night, helping ABC to finish No.1 in the demo.
PREVIOUS TUESDAY: ESPN’s 2016 Monday Night Football wrapped an up-and-down regular season on a high note, with Dallas Cowboys’ 42-21 victory over the Detroit Lions logging a season high 10.7 overnight rating from 8:15-11:43 PM ET. This is the highest-rated regular season MNF game since Redskins-Cowboys delivered a 12.1 overnight rating on October 27, 2014. MNF propelled ESPN to a dominating primetime ratings win on Monday in all key categories.
Meanwhile, Happy New Year, Charlie Brown and Rudolph’s Shiny New Year proved again that age is just a number as the perennial holiday favorites led ABC to the top spot among the broadcast networks on Monday. The network’s fast nationals once again were inflated by NFL preemptions, but Happy New Year, Charlie Brown (currently at 1.2) and Rudolph’s Shiny New Year (1.3) lead over the rest of the pack — all repeats — is insurmountable. ABC aired The Great American Baking Show rerun at 10 PM (currently at 1.1).
CBS, No.2 for the night among the broadcast nets, is using the holidays to get extra sampling for its new comedies, with encores of Kevin Can Wait (0.8, 0.7 adjusted down to a 0.6 in the finals) and Man with a Plan (0.7, 0.6) airing from 8-10 PM, followed by a Scorpion rerun (0.5). NBC was third with a rebroadcast of its Hairspray live musical (0.5), followed by Fox (0.4 with repeats).