TV Ratings: March Madness Goes High, 'American Crime' Goes Low

CBS scores an easy Sunday victory, as beleaguered dramas drag ABC to No. 4.
Nicole Wilder/ABC

Sunday broadcast lineup brought some very high highs (CBS' March Madness coverage) and some alarmingly low lows (ABC's American Crime).

Starting with the good news: North Carolina's buzzer win over Kentucky propelled CBS to a stellar victory, despite only a half-hour's worth of NCAA tournament game play leaking into primetime. Prior to any time zone adjustments, Fast National ratings have the end of the game averaging a 5.3 rating among adults 18-49 and nearly 21 million viewers.

That number will change, as will those for the subsequent telecasts, but it won't take any wins away from the network. CBS dominated with 60 Minutes (2.7 adults), NCIS: Los Angeles (1.6 adults), Madam Secretary (1.1 adults) and Elementary (0.8 adults)

NBC ranked No. 2 for the night with its originals — Little Big Shots (1.7 adults), Chicago Justice (1.0 adults), Shades of Blue (0.8 adults) all steady with their most recent episodes. Fox also saw little movement, with back-to-back Bob's Burgers (0.8 and 0.9 ratings among adults 18-49), Making History (0.7 adults), Family Guy (1.1 adults) and The Last Man on Earth (0.9 adults).

The biggest move of the night may have been one in less desirable direction. American Crime lost over 30 percent of its most recent same day score to hit just a 0.3 rating among adults 18-49 and only 1.6 million viewers — ranking as the least-watched and lowest-rated Big Four offering in recent memory. Equally troubling for the John Ridley anthology is that it's DVR lifts this season have been more modest as well, averaging just a 0.8 rating in the key demo in live-plus-three day returns thus far.

An America's Funniest Home Videos rerun was ABC's top performer, followed by Once Upon a Time (0.9 adults) and Time After Time (0.4 adults).