9:08am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'The Following' Hits Highs After Huge NFC Championship Game
The NFC Championship game between Seattle and San Francisco drove a dominant Fox lineup on Sunday night. Ahead of time zone adjustments that should see the broadcast's numbers lifted, the network is averaging a 15.4 rating among adults 18-49 and 33.7 million viewers for the night. (Actual numbers for the game will be available later on Monday.)
PHOTOS: Hollywood's NFL Connections
After the Seahawks' earned their ticket to the Super Bowl, also airing on Fox this year, the network used the predicable surge to give an early debut to the second season of The Following. With time zone adjustments, the Kevin Bacon starrer nabbed a 4.4 rating among adults 18-49. Compared to last year's series launch (3.2 adults), which had no notable intro, the show was up 38 percent.
The Following returns to its regular night, without any football advantage, on Monday, Jan. 27.
There was little in the way of competition on the rest of the Big Four -- though CBS did have a new 60 Minutes (1.3 adult), down significantly from last week's NFL-boosted outing. CBS averaged a 0.9 rating with adults 18-49 and 5.7 million viewers.
Aside from an America's Funniest Home Videos repeat, ABC faced the tough football competition with all originals. Another Bachelor special (0.9 adults) was off just a tenth of a point from last week, while Revenge (1.3 adults) fell three-tenths of a point and Betrayal (0.7 adults) dropped a tenth. ABC averaged a 0.9 rating with adults 18-49 and 4.2 million viewers.
NBC aired the movie Bridesmaids after a new episode of Dateline (0.8 adults). The network also averaged a 0.9 rating with adults 18-49, pulling 3.5 million viewers.