With NBC airing by far its best rated show (Sunday Night Football), while the competition was still mostly in summer mode, they had an easy time topping the primetime ratings in the final week of the year long "annual" broadcast primetime season, as opposed to the ~35 week long "traditional" broadcast season that ends in late May.
CBS was reasonably close in second, helped by an NFL overrun into Sunday primetime, plus the premiere of Survivor and a strong finish by Big Brother during the week.
Bad news for the combined English broadcasters. Their combined adults 18-49 ratings for the week were down 13% compared with week 52 last year. That's primarily due to the fact that week a year ago included a pretty much complete NBC new fall line up including the highly rated premiere week of The Jay Leno Show.
The network's average viewership is charted in millions of viewers, just like we report all other average viewership information on the site, and adults 18-49 is charted as ratings points. Note the units (million viewers on the left, rating on the right) below the bars.
Note that the chart includes both AVERAGE VIEWERSHIP (on the left side) and ADULTS 18-49 RATINGS (on the right) using the same vertical axis scale.
Each adults 18-49 rating point is a percentage of the adults 18-49 US TV population in that demographic group and equals 1.32 million adults 18-49.
You can see past week's broadcast network primetime weekly TV ratings results here.
Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2010 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.