Football goes the distance for CBS, NBC


NEW YORK -- A huge number for the late-afternoon NFL matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots -- which drew 32.7 million viewers to CBS in its last half-hour -- was a big part of a busy sports Sunday.

For the night, CBS won overwhelmingly in viewership while "Sunday Night Football"-fueled NBC took the night in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary estimates released by Nielsen Media Research. Final data comes out Tuesday but it appeared to show NBC winning the night thanks to football.

Beyond the football overrun, CBS was buoyed by the season premiere of "Amazing Race" (13.8 million, 4.2/9) that could be the best viewership of any "Race" season premiere and the best demo ratings since September 2005. An hour earlier, "60 Minutes" (18.8 million, 5.0/12) did wonders with its football lead-in. "Cold Case" (13.4 million, 3.3/8) was up 10% compared to a week ago and "Shark" (10.6 million, 2.3/8) was flat from last week.

ABC also had a sports overrun thanks to NASCAR, although with much of American sports fans tuning into the Patriots-Colts game only 8.9 million viewers showed up. It failed to boost "America's Funniest Home Videos" (8 million, 2.6/7), although it was still ahead of NBC's "Football Night in America" (7 million, 2.7/7) in viewership.

"Desperate Housewives" (18.5 million, 6.9/16) won at 9 p.m., while "Brothers & Sisters" (12.2 million, 4.6/13) came in second place to the NFL.

Fox celebrated the 100th episode of "Family Guy" (10.5 million, 5.4/12) at 9 p.m., although an original "Simpsons" (11.7 million, 5.7/13) did slightly better at 8 p.m.

NBC (12.4 million, 5.0/12) led the networks in adults 18-49 ahead ABC (13.1 million, 4.1/12); CBS (16.9 million, 4.8/12); Fox (7.2 million, 3.3/8); and The CW (1.3 million, 0.5/1).