7:27am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Sunday Night Football' Scores Again With Dallas Cowboys
It turns out the real cure for this season's NFL ratings dips was the Cowboys. Dallas made its second showing in as many weeks on Sunday Night Football, and ratings were again sky-high.
NBC coverage of the Cowboys' 26-20 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sustained 93 percent of the previous week's season high when Dallas lost to the New York Giants. Nielsen has the game averaging a 15.3 overnight rating among metered market households. That stands, behind last week, as the best Sunday Night Football showing since last season.
Whereas the first half of the season was plagued with year-over-year dips, this is the second week in a row that ratings skyrocketed over those of 2015. The Dec. 18 showdown was up 31 percent from the comparable 2015 game, making it the highest-rated Week 15 Sunday Night Football since 2008.
With the exception of last week's stinker Thursday Night Football matchup, primetime games for the NFL season have certainly perked up since the election.
Elsewhere on the Sunday landscape, CBS' 60 Minutes debuted its sit-down between Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama. With a football lead-in, the series surged to a 2.8 rating among adults 18-49 and nearly 15 million viewers. New episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles (1.4 adults) and Madam Secretary (1.1 adults) followed. And, as Fox aired comedy repeats, ABC offered up its annual telecast of The Sound of Music. It averaged a 1.1 demo rating and 5.3 million viewers this year.