On a Sunday night that was skewed by both live football and President Obama's speech about the Newtown, Conn., school shootings, NBC took a commanding ratings win with a rising "Sunday Night Football," while Fox's "The Simpsons" took a dive without the benefit of a football lead-in and CBS was the night's most-watched network, according to preliminary numbers.
While the data for NBC, CBS and Fox is highly subject to revision due to the nature of live sports, NBC currently holds a decisive first place in the advertiser-sought 18-49 demographic with a 6.2 rating/15 share and is second place in total viewers with 16.7 million. Following three consecutive episodes of "Football Night in America" from 7 to 8:30 p.m., which posted a 2.6/7, 3.2/8 and 5.7/14 respectively, the ratings for the game between the San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots grew 10 percent from last week's "Sunday Night Football" for a 7.6/18 and amassed 20.2 million total viewers.
CBS drew second place in ratings and first in total viewers with a 4.9/12 and 17 million. NFL overrun combined with the beginning of "60 Minutes" from 7 to 8 posted an 8.5/23 and 27.8 million total viewers, while the remainder of "60 Minutes" combined with Obama's speech the following hour drew a 4.6/11 with 17.8 million total viewers. The season finale of "Survivor" inched up 3 percent from the spring finale (but dropped 20 percent from last year's fall finale), posting a 3.2/8 and taking 11.1 million total viewers. "Reunion," which aired aired outside of primetime in the eastern and central time zones, drew a 2.3 with 8.8 million total viewers.
Fox came in third in ratings and fourth in total viewers with a 1.5/4 and 3.4 million. NFL overrun combined with a "Cleveland Show" repeat at 7 posted a 1.3/4 with 3.1 million total viewers, while a new episode of "The Cleveland Show" at 7:30 fell 13 percent from last week with a 1.4/4 and had 3 million total viewers. "The Simpsons" at 8, which last week had the benefit of a football lead-in, dropped 44 percent from last week with a 1.9/5 and posted 4.4 million total viewers. Coverage of Obama's speech combined with "Bob's Burgers" at 8:30 grabbed a 1.2/3 with 2.8 million total viewers, while the conclusion of "Bob's Burgers" combined with a "Family Guy" repeat at 9 drew a 1.6/4 with 3.3 million total viewers. Repeats filled out the rest of the network's primetime slate.
Univision took fourth place in ratings and fifth in total viewers with a 1.2/3 and 3.1 million.
ABC came in fifth in ratings and third in total viewers with a 1.1/3 and 4.2 million. Following an "America's Funniest Home Videos" repeat at 7, a "Wipeout" repeat combined with Obama's speech the following hour drew a 1.2/3 with 3.7 million total viewers, while the special "Bachelorette: Ashley & JP's Wedding" at 9 drew a 0.9/2 with 3.4 million total viewers.