January 23, 2012 9:20am PT by Rebecca Ford
TV Ratings: Giants and 49ers Dominate Sunday
The New England Patriots and New York Giants were the big winners in football last night, winning the AFC and NFC Championships and clearing their path to Super Bowl XLVI. The Sunday night game pitting the Giants against the San Francisco 49ers also gave Fox the winning slot for the night with more than 3.5 hours of the game taking place in primetime when the game stretched into overtime.
Fast affiliate returns, which for live sports are approximate and subject to adjustments for live sports, put Fox's win of the night at 18.7 in the key demo of adults 18-49, with 50.1 million viewers over the course of the broadcast. The Giants-49ers game was the highest-rated NFC Championship in 17 years an a household ratings basis in the local metered markets, grabbing a 33.4/48 rating share, and peaking during the overtime with a 39.3/55.
The special telecast of American Idol did not begin until nearly 11 p.m. ET due to the overrun of the NFC Championship game. The singing reality competition still scored a 7.9 in the key demo and 19.8 million viewers in time zone adjusted numbers from Fox.
ABC's Once Upon a Time held up well, down a tenth compared to last week, scoring a 3.2 among the key demo. Desperate Housewives was also down a tenth, to a 2.6 in the key demo. NBC's Prime Suspect suffered against the game,with a 0.8 and 0.7 in the key demo for the final two episodes, and CBS's Undercover Boss dropped to a 2.2 adults 18-49 rating.
Sunday, Jan. 22, Preliminary Overnight Ratings:
Fox: NFC Championships - Giants vs 49ers (55.9 million viewers, 20.5 rating among adults 18-49)
CBS: 60 Minutes (7.9 million viewers, 1.5)
ABC: America's Funniest Home Videos (5.2 million, 1.2)
NBC: Dateline NBC (R) (4.4 million, 0.9)
Fox: NFC Championships - Giants vs 49ers (48.9 million, 18.0)
ABC: Once Upon a Time (9.3 million, 3.2)
CBS: Undercover Boss (9.2 million, 2.2)
NBC: Dateline NBC (R) (5.98 million, 1.3)
Fox: NFC Championships - Giants vs 49ers (51.1 million, 19.3)
ABC: Desperate Housewives (7.5 million, 2.6)
CBS: The Good Wife (R) (5.6 million, 1.1)
NBC: Prime Suspect (4.3 million, 0.8)
Fox: NFC Championships - Giants vs 49ers (55.06 million, 21.0)
CBS: CSI: Miami (R) (6.23 million, 1.4)
ABC: Pan Am (3.9 million, 1.3)
NBC: Prime Suspect (3.6 million, 0.7)