Academy Of Country Music Awards Viewership Best Since 1998, ‘A.D.’ Falls, ‘Revenge’ & ‘Last Man On Earth’ Steady

There were big wins for Miranda Lambert and co-host Luke Bryan as well as performances by Garth Brooks and George Strait and a heartfelt presentation to Taylor Swift from her own mother last night at the 50th Academy Of Country Music Awards (3.6/11). Unlike last year, the show also wasn’t up against the season premiere of Game Of Thrones last night and it went an extra half hour for the first time. All of which saw the ACMs rise 9% among adults 18-49 over last year big fall from 2013. With 15.77 million watching the 8 -11:30 PM ceremony, the ACMs gave CBS another type of win with a 10% rise in viewership from 2014 to hit its best audience result in 17 years.

Even though lead-in 60 Minutes (1.2/4) was down 33% from its Masters Tournament inflated result of April 12, CBS still took Sunday night easily. Besting ABC, NBC and Fox combined, the network snagged a 3.0/9 rating in the key demo and 14.61 million total viewers. ABC was a far second with a 1.4/4 and a total audience of 5.11 million watching.

Speaking of ABC, that network actually saw some growth for its Sunday shows last night. America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.4/5) rose 27% from last week and while Once Upon A Time (1.6/5) was even with the series low of its April 12 show, Secrets & Lies (1.4/4) and Revenge (1.0/3) were up 8% and 11% respectively.

As ABC saw rises for its Sunday offerings, NBC saw some hard falls as both A.D. The Bible Continues (1.1/3) and American Odyssey (0.6/2) dropped double digits from last week. On a night of strong competition from the ACMs and in their third weeks, the Mark Burnett and Roma Downey produced Bible drama was down 35% from its April 12 show while the Anna Friel starrer tumbled 25%. Since its Easter Sunday premiere, A.D. has seen a stumble of 52% among adults 18-49 – however, the wild card of the ACMs last night could play a big role in that, at least in terms of overlapping audiences. A new Dateline (0.8/3) opened NBC’s night at 7 PM. There was some good news there as the news mag was up 33% from its April 12 show. At 8 PM, NBC played an encore of last week’s A.D. to pull in a 0.6/2 rating.

With a 13% rise in the key demo from last week, Fox’s 9 PM Family Guy (1.7/5) was the second highest-rated show of the night after the ACMs. It was a steady bag otherwise for the network with 8 PM’s The Simpsons (1.4/4) slipping 6% from its last original of March 15, while 9:30 PM’s The Last Man On Earth (1.4/4) bopped up 8% from its April 12 broadcast.

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