On almost any other Monday, the season finale of Dancing With the Stars (1.3/5) would be the top competition on TV, but the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs decided last night wasn’t just any other Monday.
Handing out thousands of tickets to brave men and women who fought the fires that have ravaged California in recent weeks and honoring those heroes on the field in the City of Angels, last night’s Monday Night Football ended up being one for the history books.
Probably the best game of the season so far, the 54-51 win for the hometown Rams on ESPN marked a season high for MNF and the first time in NFL history where both teams scored more than 50 points each. The Week 11 matchup was also the highest-scoring game in MNF’s nearly 50-year lifespan and the third highest-scoring gridiron battle in the league’s history.
— ESPN (@espn) November 20, 2018
Snagging an 11.3 in metered market ratings, the Rams-Chiefs game was a big double-digit winner all around for the NFL and the Disney-owned cabler. Up 53% in the early metrics from last week’s New York Giants victory over the San Francisco 49ers, last night’s MNF also jumped 57% from the Atlanta Falcons’ win over the Seattle Seahawks on November 20, 2017.
In fact, last night’s game is the best any MNF has done in metered market ratings since October 27, 2014, when the Dallas Cowboys played the Washington Redskins. The Rams-Chiefs game hit its own high in the 11:45 PM-midnight ET slot with a 12.5 as KC tried to go for the win. BTW, the 10.4 MM rating the game had on ESPN in the Los Angeles market was the best the cabler has done in the area in more than two years.
All of which means, ESPN will clearly be winning the night both on cable and broadcast television.
For some other context, last week’s MNF went on to earn a 3.5 rating among adults 18-49 and 10.5 million viewers. The comparable Falcons-Seahawks game last year also had a 3.5 rating with an audience of 10.8 million.
Shifting focus a bit, most of the rest of primetime didn’t have such a strong night against that once in a generation MNF.
Up 44% from last week, at least DWTS saw its Season 27 finale match its comparable Season 25 ender in the key demo with a 7% dip in viewership to 8.55 million tuning in. ABC finished the night with The Good Doctor (1.2/5) rising 20% from its November 12 show. Having said that, a number of ABC stations such as LA affiliates pre-empted programming last night for the football game so expect potentially larger than usual adjustments later today.
Things weren’t so pretty on NBC where The Voice (1.4/5) fell 18% form last week to a series Monday low in the key demo. Lead-out Manifest (1.1/5) was grounded by that to some extent, matching its low of November 12.
It was all season lows over on Fox with The Resident (0.9/4) and 9-1-1 (1.2/5) both taking a tumble. The CW’s Arrow (0.3/1) was down a tenth from last week, while DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (0.3/1) remained the same, as that Zeppelin song says.
Over on CBS, The Neighborhood (1.1/5), and Magnum P.I. (0.8/3) matched their last originals as Happy Together (0.9/4) was up a tenth.