TV Ratings: At 2-Month High, Thursday NFL Still Down from 2016

The Cowboys' easy win makes for a big drop from the record-breaking Dallas game one year ago.
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

More good news/bad news for Thursday Night Football. The most recent game, a Dallas-Washington matchup, was the highest-rated TNF game in nearly two months. Unfortunately, it was also down nearly 25 percent from the comparable Cowboys game a year ago — one that set audience records.

The game averaged a 10.7 overnight rating among metered market households, for coverage on both NBC and the NFL Network. Both of NBC's previous two Thursday Night Football outings, excluding the Thanksgiving game, averaged a 9.4 rating in early Nielsen numbers. But with the Cowboys winning by 24 points, the game was not much of a draw for anyone but die-hards — one reason it dropped dramatically from the Dallas-Minnesota game from one year ago.

That game, which ultimately averaged 21.8 million viewers, was something of a franchise outlier that season, with a record audience and near-record overnights — so it's unlikely anyone at NBC or the NFL is complaining about numbers for last night. NBC is on track to easily win the night in the key demo, nearly doubling its closest competition.

CBS ranked No. 2, thanks to both The Bing Bang Theory and Young Sheldon. While each of the series — averaging a respective 2.4 and 2.1 rating among adults 18-49 — were down from their previous episodes, they were still easily the night's top entertainment telecasts. Mom (1.4 adults), Life in Pieces (1.1 adults) and SWAT (1.0 adults) followed.

Skipping Shonda Rhimes' block for holiday specials, ABC rolled out A Charlie Brown Christmas to the tune of a 1.6 rating among adults 18-49. Neighboring Disney's Magical Holiday Celebration took a 1.2 rating.

Fox saw no movement for either Gotham (0.8 adults) or The Orville (0.9 adults). And, on the CW, Supernatural (0.5 adults) was partnered with a new Penn & Teller: Fool Us (0.3 adults).