Due to the nature of live sports programming the ratings for NBC (primetime overrun & Sunday Night Football) and CBS (1 hr 15 min. primetime football overrun) are approximate and subject to significant revisions in the final numbers. See below for more information on these Fast Affiliate Ratings.

Of course NBC and Sunday Night Football won on Sunday night, but an hour and fifteen minute football overrun into primetime gave CBS a huge boost into second place overall for the night, as Fox and ABC were neck and neck for third.

These fast affiliate ratings for Sunday are a mess right now because of the CBS primetime football overrun (of 1:15) which gave a gigantic boost to their early evening numbers, but completely scrambled the ratings table. NBC also had a  football overrun, but I’m not sure how long it was. It will be hard to untangle the results for CBS until the final ratings are in this afternoon, but based on the 10:30 numbers, I wouldn’t wait for good news for Three Rivers. And Cold Case was pre-empted completely.

NBC’s Sunday Night Football Bears/Falcons contest delivered a 6.1 adults 18-49 rating for the primetime portion in the fast affiliate ratings, that’s up from last weeks Colts/Titans game which delivered a 5.5 rating.

With football causing all the ratings hub-bub, ABC and Fox ratings held only a bit of excitement.

The Simpsons annual “Treehouse of Horror” was up 5% over the same night last year to a 4.1 adults 18-49 rating. The Cleveland Show was down a tick in the 18-49 demo from last week. A repeat Family Guy was down 0.4 18-49 ratings points from a new episode last week, as was a new American Dad.

ABC’s lineup was very stable, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was flat vs. last week, Desperate Housewives was down a tick (0.1) to a 4.6 18-49 rating, and Brothers & Sisters was up 0.2 ratings points to a 3.2 adults 18-49 rating.

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
7:00 CBS Football  Overrun 6.3 19 20.107
NBC Football Night In America 2.1 6 5.956
ABC America’s Funniest Home Videos 1.7 5 6.937
FOX Brothers 1.7 5 4.465
7:30 CBS Football  Overrun 6.7 19 21.519
NBC Football Night In America 2.3 6 6.022
ABC America’s Funniest Home Videos 2.2 6 8.658
FOX The Simpsons (repeat) 2.1 6 4.616
8:00 CBS Overrun/60 Minutes 5.2 13 18.082
NBC Football Night In America 4.1 10 10.899
FOX The Simpsons 4.1 11 8.588
ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 2.7 7 9.528
8:30 NBC Sunday Night Football: Bears v. Falcons 5.6 13 14.638
FOX The Cleveland Show 3.8 9 7.747
CBS 60 Minutes 3.4 8 13.937
ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition 3.4 8 11.227
9:00 NBC Sunday Night Football: Bears v. Falcons 6.1 14 15.978
ABC Desperate Housewives 4.6 11 13.38
FOX Family Guy (repeat) 4.2 10 8.236
CBS 60 Minutes / Amazing Race 3.1 7 12.011
9:30 NBC Sunday Night Football: Bears v. Falcons 6.1 14 16.023
ABC Desperate Housewives 4.6 11 13.692
FOX American Dad 3.1 7 6.204
CBS Amazing Race 2.8 7 9.408
10:00 NBC Sunday Night Football: Bears v. Falcons 6.1 15 15.248
ABC Brothers & Sisters 3.4 8 10.289
CBS Amazing Race / Three Rivers 2.4 6 8.804
10:30 NBC Sunday Night Football: Bears v. Falcons 6.4 17 15.53
ABC Brothers & Sisters 3.0 8 9.241
CBS Three Rivers 1.7 5 6.878

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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