AFC, NFC Championship Games Set Records Sunday; 'Hawaii Five-0' Sets Series High
UPDATED: The AFC Championship game between the Steelers and the Jets on CBS helped "Hawaii Five-0" draw a series-high 19.2 million viewers for its special episode.
The Pittsburgh Steelers-New York Jets game Sunday was the most-watched AFC Championship game ever.
The matchup, in which the Steelers beat the Jets, was seen by an average of 54.9 million viewers on CBS, becoming the most-watched AFC championship game. The previous high was 1982's San Diego Chargers-Cincinnati Bengals game, which drew 51.6 million.
The Steelers-Jets game was also the highest-rated championship in 14 years, with a 28.3 rating. 1997's Jacksonville Jaguars-New England Patriots matchup is higher with a 28.5.
Earlier in the day, the NFC Championship between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears on Fox drew 51.9 million viewers, making it the most-watched game in the afternoon (3 p.m. ET) on any network, according to Nielsen. The Packers were victorious, on their way to the team's first Super Bowl in 13 years.
The NFC game saw its largest audience in the 5:30-6 p.m. ET window with 59.5 million viewers tuning in.
CBS' telecast of the AFC championship game helped out Hawaii Five-0, which aired immediately following the Steelers' win.
The tsunami-themed episode drew a series high 19.23 million and a 5.6 rating in the key 18-49 demo. Compared with The Mentalist, which aired following the AFC Championship in 2009, Hawaii Five-0 -- which began at 10:13 p.m. ET -- was up 22% (5.6 vs. 4.6) in the demo and added nearly 3 million more viewers (19.23 million vs. 16.32 million).
Fox aired originals in its animation domination block, placing second on the night behind CBS. Beginning at 7:30 p.m., American Dad (4.8 million, 2.2) was up 29% in the demo, The Simpsons (6.5 million, 3.1) stable, Bob's Burgers (4.8 million, 2.2) down 12%, and The Cleveland Show (5.2 million, 2.4) down 11% without a new Family Guy lead-in.
Elsewhere, NBC aired Dateline (4.6 million, 0.6) and a Sex and the City movie. ABC aired a new America's Funniest Home Videos (6.4 million, 1.4) and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (7 million, 1.9).
Lindsay Powers in New York contributed to this report.