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TV Ratings: Giants Win Over Cowboys Lift NFL Ratings on Sunday Night

Variety logo Variety 12/12/2016 Oriana Schwindt
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That’s better: NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” finally caught a big break in Week 14, with a Cowboys-Giants match-up that hauled in a 16.5 overnight household rating as America’s Little Brother (Eli Manning) led the Giants to a victory over America’s Team, 10-7.

That’s the best overnight household rating for a primetime NFL game in nearly three years, excluding the always highly rated kickoff weekends. (Incidentally, the last game that drew this big of an overnight rating, played Dec. 29, 2013, was a Cowboys-Eagles brawl.) From 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. — the game ended around 11:45 p.m. — the contest drew a preliminary 7.6 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and an average audience of 23.43 million.

Elsewhere on the dial Sunday night:

CBS’ lineup was rendered hinky by NFL overrun in multiple large markets, so these numbers will adjust in the finals: “60 Minutes” came in with a 1.1 and 9.76 million viewers. A colorized episode of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” drew a somewhat anemic 0.7 in the demo and 7.32 million viewers. “Madam Secretary” reeled in a 0.7 as well, and 6.44 million viewers. The first half-hour of “Elementary” brought in a 0.5 and 4.48 million viewers.

Fox once again saw a lift from an afternoon NFL game that spilled over into prime. “The Simpsons” pulled in a 2.4 rating in the demo and 5.71 million viewers. “Son of Zorn” came in with a 1.3 and 2.95 million viewers. “Family Guy” pulled in a 1.4 and 3.04 million. The “Last Man on Earth” midseason finale nabbed a 1.0 and 2.21 million viewers.

ABC brought in a decent audience with an airing of “Frozen,” which was a vast improvement on the night’s usual series with a 1.7 in the demo and 6.5 million viewers. It followed the “Frozen” shot with a making-of special that pulled in a 0.9 and 3.5 million viewers.

Earlier in the weekend:


CBS still reigns on Fridays. “MacGyver” attracted a 1.0 in the demo and 7.46 million viewers. “Hawaii Five-0” drew a 1.2 and 9.33 million. “Blue Bloods” weighed in with a 1.2 and 10.08 million viewers.

On ABC, “Last Man Standing” pulled a 1.1 in the demo and 6.51 million viewers. “Dr. Ken” came in low with a 0.8 and 4.48 million viewers. “Shark Tank” ticked down to a 1.0 and 4.87 million. “20/20” brought in with a 0.8 and 3.93 million viewers.

On Fox, “Hell’s Kitchen” (1.0 in the demo, 3.27 million viewers) couldn’t boost “The Exorcist,” which reeled in a low 0.6 and 1.72 million. The CW had its usual Friday lineup of “The Vampire Diaries” (0.4 and 1.05 million viewers) and the still-low “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (0.2 and 580,000 viewers).


“Saturday Night Live” bounced back from a post-election low. The John Cena-hosted Dec. 10 episode drew a 4.8 household rating in the metered market overnights, and a 2.3 overnight demo rating.

As a reminder, many of these series will see lifts of 50% or more once viewing within three and seven days is counted. However, most of those gains won’t translate to the ratings networks guarantee advertisers.


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