With nowhere else to turn to during a time of seemingly never-ending reruns during the Christmas-New Year’s Day time-frame, broadcast networks saw a mammoth drop in ratings as viewers traveled and spent time squabbling with family members. That is, a ratings drop for everything except for football.
19.04 million viewers watched NBC’s telecast of the Dallas-Washington Sunday Night Football game, easily becoming the top-rated show of the week. Still, CBS dominated the ratings and won all of the other top-ten positions sans NBC’s pre-game show, which averaged a 7.3 rating and a 12 share. Meanwhile, ABC landed in second place with a 5.9 rating and 10 share. Fox earned a 5.2/8 and last place NBC, despite the solid numbers and ratings from its NFL game and mini-series finale of The Sing Off, could not move past its 4.9/8.
For evening newscasts NBC drew solid numbers with NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams retaining the lead with an average of 9.37 million viewers. Diane Sawyer took over the anchor’s desk at ABC’s World News without much fanfare and attracted a healthy 8.56 million viewers. The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric trailed with 6.2 million viewers.
There was also little change in viewership for the morning talk shows. NBC’s Today averaged 6 million viewers while George Stephanopoulos debuted on Good Morning America with 4.6 million.
The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research:
1. Sunday Night Football, NBC, 10.9/18; 2. NCIS, CBS, 9.6/16; 3. 60 Minutes, CBS, 9.5/16; 4. Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kickoff, NBC, 8.4/14; 5. NCIS: Los Angeles, CBS, 7.8/13; 6. CBS Sunday Movie “Jesse Stone: Thin Ice,” CBS, 7.0/12; 7. Criminal Minds, CBS, 6.6/11; 7. CSI: NY, CBS, 6.6/12; 7. Two and a Half Men, CBS, 6.6/11; 10. The Big Bang Theory, CBS, 6.1/10.
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