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NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” coverage came out on top last night as broadcast viewership began to stir from its annual turkey-induced stupor. In the early numbers, at least 16.7 million viewers watched the Pittsburgh at Baltimore game, which drew a 6.6 preliminary rating among adults 18-49.
The NFL also helped Fox’s animation lineup climb 18% this week. The shows received a much stronger-than-usual lead-in due to some football overrun and posted gains: “Simpsons” (9.0 million, 4.2), “Cleveland” (7.2 million, 3.5), “Family Guy” (8.5 million, 4.4) and “American Dad” (6.4 million, 3.3).
ABC placed third with “Extreme Makeover” (10.3 million, 3.0) and “Desperate Housewives” (12.6 million, 4.3), both matching their season lows. “Brothers & Sisters” (8.8 million, 3.0) fell 6%.
CBS had strong episode of “Amazing Race” (11.7 million, 3.4) that nonetheless was down 8% from its previous airing. “Race” was followed by a Hallmark movie that was titled, I s**t you not, “A Dog Named Christmas” (12.2 million, 2.1).
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