NBC victorious with 'SNF' drawing 18.3 mil

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NEW YORK -- The New England Patriots' narrow victory over the Philadelphia Eagles to remain undefeated carried NBC to victory in Sunday night's primetime.

At least 18.3 million viewers tuned in to watch the Patriots-Eagles "Sunday Night Football" matchup, according to preliminary estimates released Monday by Nielsen Media Research. The game peaked at 10 p.m. ET at 19.9 million viewers, but NBC said its 15.6 metered-market household rating/24 share was the best "Sunday Night Football" rating in two years and the best primetime broadcast since Nov. 28, 2005.

Final data will be released Tuesday.

CBS also got a big boost from football, averaging 21.6 million viewers between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. But CBS' "60 Minutes" (15.5 million, 3.9/9) was beaten at 8 p.m. by NBC and ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (14.9 million, 5.0/11).

ABC improved at 9 p.m. with "Desperate Housewives" (18.5 million, 6.9/15), which came in ahead of CBS' "Amazing Race" (12.2 million, 3.5/8) as well as Fox's "Family Guy" ( 9.6 million, 4.7/10).

Beyond football at 10 p.m., ABC averaged 12.5 million viewers and a 4.8/11 for "Brothers & Sisters," while CBS averaged 12.3 million viewers and a 3.1/7 for "Cold Case."

According to preliminary estimates, NBC (15.6 million, 6.0/14) won in viewership and adults 18-49 over ABC (14.1 million, 5.0/12); CBS (15.4 million, 4.3/10); Fox (7.7 million, 3.6/8); and the CW (1.1 million, 0.4 /1).
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