The face-off between the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers may have pushed "American Idol" out of primetime for much of the country — and screwed up DVR-ers in the West — but it gave Fox a big victory Sunday night, according to preliminary numbers.
With the overtime championship game — followed by the network's post-game show at 10:30 p.m. — Fox's football coverage gave the network an average 18.7 rating/40 share in the adults 18-49 demographic and an average 50 million total viewers throughout the night. (Those numbers are subject to revision due to the nature of live sports).
And even pushed back to 10:57 on the east coast, "American Idol" took a 7.9 rating in the demo and 19.8 million total viewers, according to time-zone adjusted numbers — a considerable leap from the 5.7/15 and 14 million total viewers that Thursday's episode received.
With Fox being the clear victor for the night, ABC took a distant second, with its roster performing mostly on a par with last week despite the football competition. "America's Funniest Home Videos" at 7 ran flat with last week for a 1.2/3 in the demo and 5.1 million total viewers.
"Once Upon a Time" the following hour posted 3.2/7 in the demo and 9.2 million total viewers, while "Desperate Housewives" at 10 dipped slightly to a series low with a 2.6/5 and 7.4 million total viewers. The network ended the night with its struggling airline drama "Pan Am," which grew slightly to a 1.3/3 in the demo and 3.8 million total viewers.
CBS' night started with "60 Minutes" at 7, which ran flat with last week for a 1.5/3 and 7.9 million total viewers, followed by "Undercover Boss" at 9, which suffered a 27 percent decline from last week's season premiere, receiving a 2.2/5 in the demo and 9.1 million total viewers. Repeats fleshed out the rest of the network's evening.
NBC ran "Dateline" at 7, which posted a 1.1/2 in the demo and 5.1 million total viewers, followed by "Prime Suspect" at 9, which dropped 20 percent from its last telecast in late December for a 0.8/2 in the demo and 4.2 million total viewers. The finale of "Prime Suspect" at 10, which brought the series to a close on a low of 0.7/2 in the demo and 3.6 million total viewers.