NFL Thanksgiving Day Game Ratings Steady On NBC, ‘Elementary’ Rises, ‘NFL on CBS’ Scores

There was a lot to be thankful for if you were the Seattle Seahawks on Thanksgiving Day 2014. There was great NFL primetime game by the Emerald City’s Richard Sherman, the less than stellar performance by the San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick, and of course, the critical breaking of a 5-game losing streak for the Seahawks with that 19-3 blowout. In its third primetime Thanksgiving game, NBC got a 5.8/20 rating among adults 18-49 with 17.73 million viewers. With just a slight 3% decline, that’s pretty steady with the fast nationals of last year’s primetime NFL Thanksgiving Day match-up that got a 6.0/19 and 18.61 million. The much closer 22-20 November 28, 2013 Thanksgiving game between the victorious and then Super Bowl champs Baltimore Ravens over the Pittsburgh Steelers went up to a 6.9/23 and 21.073 million watching in final nationals.

All in all, like the Seahawks, last night was a fairly easy win for NBC both among the demo (5.6/19) and total viewership (17.28 million).

As always, Thanksgiving or otherwise, expect adjustments in live sports results in the final nationals. However, in metered-market result, last night’s Seahawks-49ers game was a steady win for NBC with a 12.5/25. That’s a 6% rise from the Ravens vs. Steelers game of last Thanksgiving. It is also the best the primetime Thanksgiving game has done ever in MM results since it started on the NFL Network in 2006 and then moved over to NBC in 2012. Unsurprisingly the top market for last night’s game was Seattle with a solid 35.5/74. Sacramento (26.4/56) was next, then Portland (19.8/44) and then San Francisco (18.8/49) in fourth place and Las Vegas (18.4/36) in fifth.

In other NFL Thanksgiving news, The NFL on CBS also scored yesterday with the best holiday game result in 16 years. The 12:45 – 4 PM 34-17 game between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears pulled in a 15.3/35 overnight. That’s a slight 3% rise over last year’s later afternoon game between the Oakland Raiders and the Dallas Cowboys and a 9% uptick over the 12:30 – 3:45 PM game between the Green Bay Packers and the Lions on Fox. As on the field, no matter how close, a win is a win.

Back to primetime, ABC and Fox both had specials in the 8 PM hour as their original Thanksgiving offerings. The former’s unsung heroes tribute Thank You America With Robin Roberts (0.6/2) came up short against the latter’s FOX’s Cause For Paws: An All-Star Dog Spectacular (1.6/6). However, with afternoon NFL games on Fox, Cause For Paws’ number are likely more than a bit pumped up. On CBS, a Big Bang Theory repeat had a 1.7/6 rating with 8 million viewers – almost as much of an audience as the ABC and Fox special put together. The CW was all repeats all night.

The only network to stick reasonable close to its regular Thursday schedule was CBS. Having said that, the network is categorizing its shows last night as specials and hence not counting the results to season averages. Not a bad idea all things considered as Mom (1.6/6) and Two and A Half Men (1.5/5) were down 35% and 32% respectively from last week as they faced a much more competitive NFL game on NBC. Troubled freshman The McCarthys (1.1/4) also took a double digit hit, down 21% from last week. With that, a little but of Sherlock Holmes obviously was something for some to be thankful for. After hitting a season low last week, Elementary (1.1/4) rose 10% with last night’s show.

Hope everyone had a great holiday.

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