TV Ratings: Sunday Night Football Climbs, Barbara Walters Returns to ABC

Cowboys Eagles Dez Bryant - H 2014
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Cowboys Eagles Dez Bryant - H 2014

With the calendar year quickly approaching its end, TV competition is starting to thin out — and Sunday brought one of the most decisive ratings wins for NBC's Sunday Night Football in weeks. Fast National returns, which don't yet account for time zone adjustments, have the Cowboys-Eagles matchup pacing 26 percent ahead of last week with a tentative 7.7 rating among adults 18-49.

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Football overage was also a boon to Fox, though the network only aired staggered originals in between repeats of The Simpsons and Family Guy. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (1.5 adults) fell six-tenths of a point without the original lead-in, while Bob's Burgers (1.2 adults) dropped two-tenths.

CBS' own football overrun was much more modest but still could make for changes once final returns are in. After a steady 60 Minutes (1.7 adults), Undercover Boss (1.7 adults) aired a special episode. The Mentalist (1.3 adults) improved two-tenths of a point before an even CSI (1.2 adults).

After the special Backstage With Disney on Broadway (0.5 adults), Once Upon a Time (1.7 adults) posted a live-plus-same day low in its three-tenths of a point from from last week. At 9 p.m., Barbara Walters staged a return to the network after bowing out of her full-time gig in May with her View exit. Her 10 Most Fascinating People of 2014 (1.4 adults) was off eight-tenths of a point from last year's outing.