Ratings: ‘Sunday Night Football’ Boost Gives NBC a Big Win

Thirty-one percent surge in NFL coverage makes network best-rated and most-watched for the night

NBC's "Sunday Night Football" received a considerable boost over last week's performance to further solidify its dominance on Sunday night, according to preliminary numbers.

NBC, which typically wins the night with "Sunday Night Football," increased its lead over the competition last night thanks to a greatly increased performance of "SNF." Following three consecutive episodes of "Football Night in America" from 7 to 8:30, which drew a 2.5/7 and 7.8 million total viewers, a 4.3/11 and 11.8 million, and a 6.2/15 in the demo and 16.8 million, the network aired the game between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys, which jumped 31 percent. "Sunday Night Football" grabbed an 8.5/20 in the demo, making it the best-rated programming of the night, and 22.5 million total viewers, which made it the most-watched program of the night. Overall, NBC's football coverage made it the highest-rated network of the night with an average 6.9/17 in the demo. It was also the most-watched network, with an average 18.6 million total viewers.

CBS' numbers are approximate due to football coverage. NFL overrun at 7 pulled a 5.2/14 in the demo and 17.8 million total viewers. Football spillover and "60 Minutes" split the 7:30-8:30 hour, drawing a combined 3.7/9 in the demo and 15.6 million total viewers. The 8:30-9:30 hour was split between the second half of "60 Minutes" and the beginning of "The Amazing Race" finale, pulling a combined 3.2/8 in the demo and 11.8 million total viewers. "The Amazing Race" finale shared the 9:30-10:30 hour with "The Good Wife," with a combined 2.4/5 in the demo and 11.2 million total viewers, while the 10:30 half hour was split between "The Good Wife" and "CSI: Miami" with a combined 2.0/5 in the demo and 11 million total viewers.

Following an "America's Funniest Home Videos" repeat at 7 p.m., ABC's "Once Upon a Time" at 8 slipped 9 percent compared to last week, taking a still-strong 2.9 rating/7 share in the demo but nonetheless hitting a low for the series, which premiered in October, with 8.9 million total viewers. The network closed the night with the movie "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," which pulled a 1.3/3 in the demo and 3.7 million total viewers.

Following repeats of "Bob's Burgers" and "The Cleveland Show" on Fox, "The Simpsons" at 8 was down from last week, which benefited greatly from an NFL lead-in, slipping 25 percent to a 3.0/7 in the demo, with 6.4 million total viewers. "The Cleveland Show" had its time-period premiere at 8:30, dropping 8 percent from last week's airing with a 2.3/5 in the demo and 4.9 million total viewers. "Family Guy" dropped 14 percent., taking a 3.1/7 in the demo and 6 million total viewers, but the network closed out the night on a bright note with "American Dad," which grew 14 percent compared to its last airing two weeks ago, grabbing a 2.5/6 in the demo, with 4.9 million total viewers.