Ratings: ‘The Firm’ Premieres Soft; CBS Wins Night With NFL

ABC’s struggling “Pan Am” drops to a series low after five-week absence

NBC's new drama "The Firm" was off to a wobbly start Sunday night, while CBS took a win on the strength of the AFC wild-card playoff game, according to preliminary numbers.

"The Firm," based on the John Grisham novel and movie adaptation, had a two-hour premiere at 9 p.m. that earned an anemic 1.4/3 in the adults 18-49 demographic — a 46 percent drop from last year's debut of the now cancelled "The Cape" and NBC's lowest in-season drama debut on record. It had 6.2 million total viewers. "The Firm" was preceded by the two-hour season premiere of "Dateline" at 7, which improved modestly over last January's premiere with a 1.2/3 in the demo and 6.2 million total viewers.

CBS began its primetime slate with the AFC wild-card game between the Denver Broncos and the Pittsburgh Steelers. While the numbers for the game are approximate, the spillover from 7 to 8 drew the evening's best numbers by far, posting a 14.8/36 in the demo, with 41.8 million total viewers. The 8-8:30 slot was split between more NFL coverage and "60 Minutes," and scored an 11.4/26 in the demo and 33.3 million total viewers. The continuation of "60 Minutes" at 8:30 posted a 4.5/10 in the demo and 17 million total viewers, while the 9-9:30 slot — which was divided between the conclusion of "60 Minutes" and the beginning of "The Good Wife" — drew a 3.4/8 in the demo and 14.3 million total viewers. "The Good Wife" continued at 9:30, posting a 2.6/6 in the demo and 11 million total viewers, and "The Good Wife" conclusion and the beginning of "CSI: Miami" at 10 grabbed a 2.8/7 in the demo with 11.4 million total viewers. The network's night ended with the conclusion of "CSI: Miami" at 10:30, and received a 2.5/6 in the demo and 10.1 million total viewers.

Following repeats of "Bob's Burgers" and the "Cleveland Show," Fox aired "The Simpsons" at 8. Against the conclusion of the wild-card game, it was down 23 percent from its last original airing a month ago, and scored a 2.3/5 in the demo and 5.1 million total viewers. "The Cleveland Show" at 8:30 posted a 2.1/5 in the demo and 4.3 million total viewers, while "Family Guy" at 9 received a 3.0/7 in the demo and 6 million total viewers. "American Dad" closed out the night at 9:30 with a 16 percent drop from its last original airing four weeks ago, receiving a 2.1/5 in the demo and 4.5 million total viewers.

ABC ran "America's Funniest Home Videos" at 7, which received a 1.4/3 in the demo and 5.7 million total viewers. Despite airing against the conclusion of the wild-card game, "Once Upon a Time" at 8 posted a 28 percent increase from its last original airing a month ago with a 3.7/8 in the demo and 10.3 million total viewers. "Desperate Housewives" at 9 was likewise up, growing 11 percent from its last original five weeks ago with a 3.0/7 in the demo and 8.7 million total viewers. The network closed out on a down note, with the struggling "Pan Am" dropping to a series low at 10, slipping 13 percent from its last original airing five weeks ago with a 1.3/3 in the demo and 4 million total viewers.