Due to the nature of live sports programming the ratings for NBC (Sunday Night Football) and ABC (NASCAR), and CBS (NFL overrun) are approximate and subject to significant revisions in the final numbers. See below for more information on these Fast Affiliate Ratings.

The American Music Awards drew football-style ratings (5.5 rating for adults 18-49), but NBC managed to edge ABC in the nightly ratings averages. CBS benefited from an NFL overrun and Cold Case didn’t seem to get much if any boost from moving to 9pm, while Fox’s normally strong Sunday lineup got pounded.

While CBS’ lineup and ratings were jumbled because of the NFL overrun, it does look like Cold Case averaged a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating, which is just above its season average of 1.93 (in final ratings), but below last weeks 2.1 rating (in fast overnight ratings). Break out the bingo cards, and tally the fan excuses!

Here’s more information on the American Music Awards from an early ABC press blurb:

Marking its 3rd straight year of Total Viewer gains and 4th straight with young adults, the “American Music Awards” surged year-to-year by 2.0 million viewers (14.2 million vs. 12.2 million) and by 8% in Adults 18-49 (5.5/14 vs. 5.1/12). In fact the “American Music Awards” attracted its largest audience since 2002 and its highest Adult 18-49 number since 2004.

I am awaiting more information on the Sunday Night Football ratings, but NBC’s nightly 18-49 ratings average fell from a 6.0 last week to a 4.8. Bears (pants or not) vs. Eagles is no Colts vs. Patriots.

Update: Sunday Night Football Game 11: Eagles vs. Bears delivered a 5.6 adults 18-49 rating /14 share from 830-11p, down from last week’s Game 10 (Patriots vs. Colts) which posted a 7.5/18 in the Fast Nationals before rising to an 8.6/22 from 8:31-11:46p in the Finals.

Presumably because of the youth focused American Music Awards (and vs. last week minus an NFL overrun), Fox’s line up got crunched. The Simpsons crashed from a 4.2 adults 18-49 rating last week to a 3.3 rating. The Cleveland Show was down a tenth also to a 3.3 rating. Family Guy fell 0.4 ratings points from last week to a 3.8 rating. And American Dad was down a tenth to a 2.8 rating for adults 18-49.

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
7:00 CBS NFL Overrun 6.0 17 20.614
NBC Football Night In America 2.3 6 6.922
ABC NASCAR Ford 400 1.6 5 5.660
FOX Brothers 1.0 3 2.614
7:30 CBS 60 Minutes 3.4 9 16.268
NBC Football Night In America 3.3 9 8.792
ABC America’s Funniest Home Videos 2.0 5 6.454
FOX Simpsons (repeat) 1.9 5 4.043
8:00 NBC Football Night In America 4.5 11 12.445
ABC 2009 American Music Awards 4.3 11 11.997
CBS 60 Minutes 3.4 8 15.013
FOX The Simpsons 3.3 8 7.036
8:30 NBC Sunday Night Football: Philadelphia v. Chicago 5.7 14 15.888
ABC 2009 American Music Awards 4.9 12 13.646
CBS Amazing Race 3.5 8 11.942
FOX The Cleveland Show 3.3 8 6.532
9:00 ABC 2009 American Music Awards 5.9 14 15.446
NBC Sunday Night Football: Philadelphia v. Chicago 5.5 13 15.396
FOX Family Guy 3.8 9 7.386
CBS Amazing Race 3.4 8 11.615
9:30 ABC 2009 American Music Awards 6.3 15 15.670
NBC Sunday Night Football: Philadelphia v. Chicago 5.9 14 15.559
FOX American Dad 2.8 7 5.520
CBS Cold Case 2.0 5 9.041
10:00 ABC 2009 American Music Awards 6.1 15 15.179
NBC Sunday Night Football: Philadelphia v. Chicago 5.6 14 14.322
CBS Cold Case 2.0 5 9.342
10:30 NBC Sunday Night Football: Philadelphia v. Chicago 5.5 15 14.227
ABC 2009 American Music Awards 5.3 14 13.030
CBS Three Rivers 1.6 4 7.652

You can see TV ratings from other recent Overnight ratings reports here.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2009 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.


Fast Affiliate Ratings: These first national ratings, including demographics, are available at approximately 11 AM (ET) the day after telecast, and are released to subscribing customers daily. These data, from the National People Meter sample, are strictly time-period information, based on the normal broadcast network feed, and include all programming on the affiliated stations, sometimes including network programming, sometimes not. The figures may include stations that did not air the entire network feed, as well as local news breaks or cutaways for local coverage or other programming. Fast Affiliate ratings are not as useful for live programs and are likely to differ significantly from the final results, because the data reflect normal broadcast feed patterns. For example, with a World Series game, Fast Affiliate Ratings would include whatever aired from 8-11PM on affiliates in the Pacific Time Zone, following the live football game, but not game coverage that begins at 5PM PT. The same would be true of Presidential debates as well as live award shows and breaking news reports.

Rating: Estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.

Share (of Audience): The percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. (See also, Rating, which represents tuning or viewing as a percent of the entire population being measured.)

Time Shifted Viewing – Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data – Live, Live+Same Day (Live+SD) and Live+7 Day. Time shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs which are currently in approximately 24.4% of all U.S. TV households. Live+Same Day (Live+SD) include viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3:00AM local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live+7 Day ratings include incremental viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

For more information see Numbers 101 and Numbers 102.

  • In metered-market households, football ruled the night, with NBC’s 8-11 p.m. average 12.8/21 in the metered markets establishing a 19% margin of victory over CBS’s second-place 10.8/17.
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