TV Ratings: Football and Fanfare Drive NBC's Thanksgiving

The network scores in primetime with the NFL and in the morning with Macy's annual parade
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Most of Thanksgiving's marquee TV events were in line with last year's in the Thursday ratings race, and NBC reaped some of the biggest benefits.

After a morning that saw a particularly strong Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade — down just a shade from 2013's records, it averaged a 6.2 rating with adults 18-49 and 22.6 million viewers — NBC led primetime with the NFL. The last of three Thursday games, the Seahawks-49ers match-up averaged a preliminary 5.8 rating in the key demo. That's steady with the comparable numbers from last year's Thanksgiving game.

Counterprogamming seems to have fared best on Fox, where Cause for Paws: An All-Star Dog Spectacular averaged a 1.6 rating with adults 18-49. That number could go down when football adjustments are taken into account.

CBS aired many of its Thursday originals, nearly all to atypically modest returns. Mom (1.6 adults), Two and a Half Men (1.5 adults), The McCarthys (1.1 adults) and Elementary (1.1 adults) each ran without The Big Bang Theory opening the night.

ABC aired Thank You America With Robin Roberts, which netted a 0.6 rating in the key demo.