TV Ratings: Colts-Broncos action leads NBC past FOX’s Sunday ‘Utopia’ premiere

Fast National ratings for Sunday, September 7, 2014.

The Sunday night premiere of Sunday Night Football led NBC to a commanding primetime win, topping CBS' strong “Big Brother” installment, which in turn beat FOX's so-so debut for “Utopia.”

“Utopia,” a heavily promoted year-round reality experiment got a solid sampling among young viewers ahead of its Tuesday premiere, but FOX will have to wait and see how much of that carries over and how much was delivered courtesy of an NFL lead-in.

While the numbers are sure to change dramatically in Final Live+Same Day ratings, “Utopia” drew over 6.15 million viewers and a 2.6 key demo rating in its first half-hour and was down to over 3.8 million viewers and a 1.6 key demo for its last half-hour. The retention could have been better, but the drop could have been worse. We'll see what Tuesday looks like.

On to the numbers…

Among adults 18-49, NBC averaged a 6.7 rating for Sunday night, tops in the key demographic. FOX was second with a 3.2 key demo rating, followed by CBS' 1.3 key demo rating. ABC trailed with a 0.8 key demo rating. 

Overall, NBC averaged an estimated 18.03 million viewers and a 10.7 rating/18 share for Sunday night, far ahead of the 4.8/8 and 7.98 million viewers for FOX. CBS was third with 6.69 million viewers and a 4.2/7, leaving ABC's 1.6/3 and 2.515 million viewers and 1.6/3 in the dust.

7 p.m. – FOX's NFL overrun and “The OT” won the 7 p.m. hour with 14.73 million viewers and a 5.6 rating among adults 18-49. NBC's “Football Night in America” averaged 9.76 million viewers and a 3.4 key demo rating in second, easily topping the 7.91 million viewers and 1.0 key demo rating for CBS' “60 Minutes.” ABC's punctuationally strange “The ABC's of Schoolhouse Rock” special averaged 2.12 million viewers and a 0.5 key demo rating.

8 p.m. – The start of NBC's football action between the Colts and Broncos averaged 21.29 million viewers and a 7.5 rating among adults 18-49. CBS' “Big Brother” averaged 7.13 million viewers and a 2.3 key demo rating, topping the 5.3 million viewers and 2.2 key demo rating for the first hour of FOX's “Utopia.” ABC's “Wipeout” finale averaged 2.34 million viewers and a 0.7 key demo rating in its first hour.

9 p.m. – Sunday Night Football rose to 22.305 million viewers and an 8.4 rating among adults 18-49 for NBC in the 9 p.m. hour. CBS' “Unforgettable” was up week-to-week with 6.99 million viewers and a 1.1 key demo rating, compared to the 3.91 million viewers and 1.7 key demo rating for FOX's “Utopia.” ABC's “Wipeout” finale averaged 2.54 million viewers and a 0.9 key demo rating. 

10 p.m. – The Indianapolis-Denver showdown averaged 18.77 million viewers and a 7.4 rating among adults 18-49 for NBC in the 10 p.m. hour. CBS' “Reckless” averaged 4.73 million viewers and a 0.7 key demo rating, down from last week. ABC's “Shark Tank” repeat averaged 3.05 million viewers and a 1.0 key demo rating.

All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change, particularly in the case of live events.