thefollowing_season2UPDATE, 12:50 PM: The numbers for the NFC Championship Game are in, and the competitive matchup that came down to the game’s final drive drew 55.9 million viewers and a 28.5 household rating. That marks Fox’s most-watched non-overtime NFC Championship Game since 1995 and the highest-rated since 1997.

PREVIOUS: The NFL‘s penultimate game of the season — the NFC Championship Game between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers — was the only game in town last night, delivering blockbuster ratings from 6:41-9:54 PM. It also powered Fox drama The Following to series highs. The dark thriller opened its second season to a 4.4 rating in adults 18-49 last night, airing at 10:18 PM following the postgame show. That was up 38% vs. Following‘s series premiere last January. It also outperformed significantly the Hawaii Five-0 episode (3.4), which aired on the same night last year following CBS’ coverage of the AFC Championship Game.

Like last year, all other networks except ABC stayed largely out of the way, with CBS airing 60 Minutes (1.3) and drama repeats, and NBC broadcasting the feature comedy Bridesmaids. The controversy surrounding Bachelor star Juan Pablo Galavis’ comments on gays over the weekend didn’t impact The Bachelor special one way or another. It logged a 0.9, on par with the fast national for last Sunday’s Bachelor special. Revenge (1.3) took a hit, down 19% from last week, tying a series low. The season (and likely series) finale of Betrayal (0.7) was down a tenth from last Sunday to tie a series low.