Due to the nature of live sports programming the ratings for NBC (NFL Football) and CBS (NFL overrun) are approximate and subject to more than the typical adjustments in the final numbers. See below for more information on these Fast Affiliate Ratings.

Of course NBC and Sunday Night Football dominated the ratings, but all the Fox and ABC season premieres except Brothers & Sisters (which was even) fell vs. last year’s premieres.

As has been typical for this season’s broadcast premiere week, veteran shows have opened below their premieres last fall, but somewhat above their spring ratings levels.

The Simpson’s 3.7 adults 18-49 rating was down 14% from last season’s premiere (9/27/09). The Cleveland Show’s 3.1 rating was down 37% from its series premiere last season. Family Guy’s 4.5 rating lead the night, but was down 15% vs. last season’s premiere.

Update: There were NFL overruns in a number of Fox local markets that boosted the 7pm half hour ratings (but didn’t change any telecast times for the national shows), so the Simpsons repeat is more than likely to be adjusted in the final ratings.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’s 2.5 adults 18-49 rating was down 19% from last season’s premiere. Desperate Housewives 4.2 rating was down 11% from last season’s premiere. Among Fox and ABC shows only Brothers & Sisters was steady vs. last season’s premiere with a 3.0 rating.

Let me disclaim, once again, that CBS and NBC numbers are all likely to be significantly revised in the final ratings, but given that fact, here are the fast affiliate ratings currently available:


  • 7:30-8:30p  NFL Overrun/60 Minutes  (P)  3.8/11
  • 8:30-10p     60 Minutes/Amazing Race (P)  3.6/9  (Note – Last season’s Amazing Race premiere on 9/27/09 posted a 3.4 rating)
  • 10-11p        Amazing Race/Undercover Boss  3.7/10   (Note – Last season’s first Undercover Boss airing without the SuperBowl lead-in posted a  5.2/13)


  • Football Night in America -3 (8-8:30):  5.2/14
  • Sunday Night Football (NY Jets vs. MIA Dolphins):  6.5/16

Broadcast primetime ratings for Sunday, September 26, 2010:
Note: 60 Minutes was scheduled to begin at 7:30pm Eastern time, but it and the rest of the CBS schedule was delayed approximately 17 minutes in the Eastern and Central time zones by an NFL football overrun.

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
7:00 CBS NFL Football 5.7 18 17.668
FOX The Simpsons (repeat) 2.9 9 7.649
NBC Football Night In America 2.0 6 6.046
ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (season premiere) 1.2 4 5.010
7:30 CBS NFL Overrun / 60 Minutes 4.5 13 16.369
NBC Football Night In America 3.3 10 8.680
FOX The Simpsons (repeat) 2.4 7 5.353
ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (season premiere) 1.7 5 6.074
8:00 NBC Football Night/ Sunday Night Football Jets v. Dolphins 5.2 14 13.433
FOX The Simpsons (season premiere) 3.7 10 7.759
CBS 60 Minutes 3.0 8 14.297
ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (season premiere) 2.3 6 7.728
8:30 NBC Sunday Night Football Jets v. Dolphins 7.0 18 17.878
CBS 60 Min. / The Amazing Race (season premiere) 3.5 9 13.575
FOX The Cleveland Show (season premiere) 3.1 8 6.603
ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (season premiere) 2.7 7 9.071
9:00 NBC Sunday Night Football Jets v. Dolphins 6.4 15 16.413
FOX Family Guy (season premiere) 4.3 10 8.845
ABC Desperate Housewives (season premiere) 4.2 10 12.893
CBS The Amazing Race (season premiere) 3.6 8 10.940
9:30 NBC Sunday Night Football Jets v. Dolphins 6.3 15 15.741
FOX Family Guy (season premiere) 4.7 11 9.407
ABC Desperate Housewives (season premiere) 4.1 10 12.760
CBS The Amazing Race (season premiere) 3.7 9 11.249
10:00 NBC Sunday Night Football Jets v. Dolphins 6.3 16 14.911
CBS Amaz. Race / Undercover Boss (season premiere) 3.7 9 11.159
ABC Brothers & Sisters (season premiere) 3.1 8 9.990
10:30 NBC Sunday Night Football Jets v. Dolphins 6.3 17 14.721
CBS Undercover Boss (season premiere) 3.6 10 10.899
ABC Brothers & Sisters (season premiere) 2.8 7 9.293

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2010 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. 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.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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