Sunday night football and the climax of "America's Got Talent" led NBC to victory in the week before the fall television season's official start.
The most-watched prime-time shows on two broadcast networks last week were football games: the Sunday night NFL matchup between Philadelphia and Atlanta on NBC, and Saturday's college game pitting Florida State and Oklahoma on ABC, the Nielsen Co. said Tuesday. The NFL game was the week's most popular program by far.
There were a couple of attempts to get a jump on the new fall season. NBC showed its new sitcom "Up All Night" after the season finale of "America's Got Talent" and was rewarded with a heavy sampling of nearly 11 million viewers. The comedy "Free Agents" was less successful 30 minutes later with 6.1 million viewers, Nielsen said.
Beauty pageants no longer have much interest among audiences. The 5.3 million who saw the Miss Universe contest on NBC ranked below a rerun of "America's Funniest Home Videos" on ABC.
For the week, NBC averaged 8.2 million viewers (5.2 rating, 9 share), CBS had 7.1 million (4.6, 8), ABC had 5.9 million (3.8, 6), Fox had 4.8 million (3.1, 5), the CW had 1.9 million (1.3, 2) and ION Television had 1.2 million (0.8, 1).
Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with a 3.7 million average (2.0 rating, 3 share), Telemundo had 1.1 million (0.6, 1), TeleFutura had 410,000 (0.2, 0), Azteca had 200,000 and Estrella 170,000 (both 0.1, 0).
NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.2 million viewers (5.5, 11). ABC's "World News" was second with 7.2 million (4.9, 10) and the "CBS Evening News" had 5.7 million viewers (3.9, 8).
A ratings point represents 1,147,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 114.7 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.
For the week of Sept. 12-18, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: 1. NFL Football: Philadelphia at Atlanta, NBC, 23.42 million; "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 18.3 million; "America's Got Talent" (Wednesday), NBC, 14.37 million; "America's Got Talent" (Tuesday), NBC, 13.67 million. "Football Night in America, Part Three," NBC, 13.39 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 12.48 million; "Emmy Awards," Fox, 12.44 million; "Up All Night," NBC, 10.95 million; "Survivor: South Pacific," CBS, 10.74 million; "NCIS," CBS, 10.26 million.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox and My Network TV are units of News Corp. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks. TeleFutura is a division of Univision. Azteca America is a wholly owned subsidiary of TV Azteca S.A. de C.V.