TV Ratings: Steady ACM Awards Give CBS a Sunday Win, Lows Plague Big Four

'Little Big Shots' and 'Match Game' don't fare too well on a night that also brought the season finale of AMC's 'Walking Dead.'
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Sunday's Academy of Country Music Awards were full of timely-ish jokes — the night's climactic award momentarily went to La La Land — but even a heavy coating of cheese couldn't keep the country kudos from emerging victorious.

CBS topped the night with an average 10.9 million viewers and a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49. Compared to last year's show, that's down by a pretty negligible amount. It makes for yet another 2017 awards show, excluding the fatigued Oscars, to score either stability or growth from the 2016 cycle. Further fueling CBS' victory was 60 Minutes. The dependable news zine earned 9.3 million viewers and a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49.

The network is looking pretty good for Monday night, too. In the wake of continued year-to-year lifts for the NCAA basketball tournament, including a strong showing for Saturday's Final Four, March Madness concludes during CBS' Monday primetime with Gonzaga and North Carolina vying for 2017 bragging rights.

Big Four outings brought more than a few dips on Sunday. No way of telling where those eyeballs went, but it's safe to assume quite a few were on AMC's finale of The Walking Dead — and, to a much lesser extent, the conclusion of buzzy HBO event series Big Little Lies.

Of course, NBC was able to swing No. 2 status for the night with a new Little Big Shots, significantly humbled with a 1.2 rating in the key demo. That's an all-time low for the young variety show, which recently made a strong return in its second season. Chicago Justice dropped yet again to a 0.9 rating among adults 18-49. It currently marks the first series in Dick Wolf's Windy City franchise to stumble out of the gate. Low Sunday outings have recouping a decent percentage of their audience with live-plus-three day lifts, though the latest only had it climb to a 1.5 rating. But it should also be noted that few other Sunday drams are doing any better. At 10 p.m., Shades of Blue was down to a 0.7 rating.

Fox comedies were down, starting with Bob's Burgers (0.7 adults), The Simpsons (0.9 adults) and Making History (0.6 adults). The Last Man on Earth, with a 0.8 rating among adults 18-49, was essentially steady.

Sunday continues to be a problem for ABC. The typically dependable Match Game moved into the vacancy left by cancelled Time After Time and only managed to pull a 0.6 rating in the key demo and a paltry 2.5 million viewers. It is apparently going to take a lot to revitalize that time slot with Once Upon a Time still pulling relatively weak numbers, this week a 0.8 rating, as a lead-in.

Fortunately, American Crime ticked up after last week's series low. It earned a 0.4 rating among adults 18-49.

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