9:14am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Sunday Night Football' Drops in Blowout, Fox Block Pops
NBC naturally topped Sunday's broadcast ratings race, but its spotlight game was a low draw for the season.
Among Nielsen's metered markets, the blowout between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Pittsburgh Steelers was down to a 11.0 overnight households rating. That's off more than 10 percent from the game the prior week, thanks in some part to the lopsided 43-14 victory for the Steelers.
Sunday Night Football faces an even bigger ratings challenge next Sunday. The game will have to contend with wall-to-wall coverage of the second presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. (Their first matchup set an all-time record with north of 80 million viewers.)
Fox enjoyed a healthy lift thanks to some NFL overrun. The Simpsons reaped the greatest rewards, nearly doubling last week's showing with a 2.6 rating among adults 18-49 at 8 p.m. That made it the night's strongest non-sports program, leading into similarly lifted episodes of Son of Zorn and Family Guy. Both comedies pulled a 1.6 rating in the key demo. The Last Man on Earth was the only show to see no significant live-plus-same day impact from the night's lead-in. It held steady with a 1.0 rating in the key demo.
With a handful of markets experiencing football overrun, CBS' Fast Affiliate scores are subject to more adjustment than usual. That said, NCIS: Los Angeles settled into its new time slot with an even 1.5 rating among adults 18-40. Premieres for Madam Secretary (1.1 adults) and Elementary (0.8 adults) were off from last year's openers, but Madam Secretary matched what The Good Wife brought to that time slot last year.
ABC's block was also largely steady, though Once Upon a Time did slip two-tenths of a point to a series low 1.1 rating among adults 18-49. Secrets and Lies was mostly unmoved with a 0.9 rating in the key demo, while Quantico (which is still posting atypically significant time-shifting lifts in its second season) was dead even with a 1.0 rating among adults 18-49.