Football is king during this time of year, and while those football numbers make networks like NBC look pretty good during primetime, it also means that the schedules of other networks can be totally skewed. Since CBS often has an afternoon game, that network’s programming routinely gets bumped back due to games running over. It happened this weekend, once again; but despite this, the network’s numbers still looked decent.
NBC had one of the biggest games of the season last night, and it’s not the least bit shocking that ratings for Sunday Night Football were up 30% from last week. Last night’s game featured the Colts versus the Broncos, and it also marked the first time Peyton Manning headed back to Indianapolis to play his old team. The stakes were high, and while the game wasn’t the most exciting I’ve ever seen, people did show up in droves to see how Manning would fare in good old Indy, which wasn’t well. Last night’s game was Denver’s only loss this season, and 25.9 million viewers showed up to watch his defeat.
CBS had the second best network ratings last night, although Deadline is reporting that AMC’s The Walking Dead did an impressive 6.1 rating in the 18-49 demographic, making it the second most-watched program last night, after football. This shouldn’t be a huge shock, since the premiere of the cable drama also crushed in the ratings a week ago. While each of CBS’ programs ran a bit late and did not compete with AMC’s big drama, The Amazing Race did a healthy 9 million total viewers and The Good Wife inched up this week to just under 9 million total viewers. Only The Mentalist was down, hitting a new series low of a 1.2 rating and 7.3 million total viewers.
If you think The Mentalist is looking bad, ABC is looking worse. The network’s flagship Sunday night drama, Once Upon a Time, hit a series low 2.0 rating, and brought in just under 7 million total viewers. It’s difficult to tell if Sunday’s ratings at that network were not buoyed up by Revenge, either, as that show only pulled in a 1.5 rating in the 18-49 demo. ABC’s Betrayal only brought in 3.6 million total viewers and a dismal .9 rating, as well.
Fox didn’t have a high night either, but we can and probably should chalk that up to the network’s comedy block being in reruns. All in all, Sunday night was a pretty good night for the ratings and I’m just waiting for the day that The Walking Dead’s numbers actually hold up and beat football. It probably won't ever happen, but it would be one of the greatest ratings success stories if it did.
In the meantime, here’s a preview for next week’s Walking Dead episode.