TV Ratings: Football buoys NBC and CBS on Sunday night

Senior Television Writer

Fast National ratings for Sunday, November 18, 2012.

Football ruled in the ratings on Sunday night, with the Steelers-Ravens game leading NBC to a win in both total viewers and young adults, while an overrun of CBS’ late afternoon game gave the Eye network a boost in primetime. (Game coverage ran until 7:52 Eastern, which means most of the CBS numbers are guesses at best right now.) And the American Music Awards helped ABC do better than its regularly-scheduled Sunday lineup.

For the night, NBC averaged a 4.9 rating among adults 18-49, and 13.26 million viewers overall. CBS was second (3.0, 12.59 million), followed by ABC (2.9, 8.97 million) and FOX (2.0, 4.18 million).

7 p.m. — Football (plus a few minutes of “60 Minutes”) led CBS to an easy win for the hour, with a 5.5 demo rating and 18.42 million viewers. NBC was second with “Football Night in America” (2.3, 7.17 million), followed by ABC’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.7, 7.47 million), and FOX’s combo of a “Bob’s Burgers” repeat and “The Cleveland Show” (1.5, 3.35 million).

8 p.m. — Now NBC was the network with a football game, easily winning the hour with a 5.3 demo rating and 14.63 million viewers. ABC was second in the demo with the AMAs (3.2, 9.63 million), while CBS was second in viewers with a combo of “60 Minutes” and “The Amazing Race” (2.8, 12.8 million). FOX finished fourth (2.2, 4.58 million) with “The Simpsons” and “Bob’s Burgers.”

9 p.m. — More football, more winning for NBC (6.0, 16.27 million). ABC pulled into second by both measures for the hour (3.5, 9.77 million) with more of the AMAs. In the demo, FOX’s “Family Guy”/”American Dad” combo (2.3, 4.61 million) narrowly edged CBS’ higher-viewed with “The Amazing Race” and part of “The Good Wife” (2.2, 9.64 million).

10 p.m. — See above, re: NBC and football (5.9, 14.98 million). The AMAs were again second for ABC (3.4, 9.02 million), followed by CBS’ combo of “The Good Wife” plus “The Mentalist” (1.6, 9.51 million).

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.

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