A night of live sports and commercial-free programming tied to the anniversary of 9/11 made for an odd night of TV Sunday, with NBC coming out on top thanks to its National Football League coverage.
NBC averaged a 10.8 rating/17 share for the night, finishing well ahead of ABC, 7.1/11. FOX was right behind in third with a 7.0/11, and CBS took fourth with a 6.3/10. The WB trailed at 1.1/2. The numbers for NBC, FOX and CBS all include some live sports and are therefore subject to change. Further, CBS and ABC aired some of their prime-time schedule without ads, and those time periods will be excluded from final nationals.
In the adults 18-49 demographic, NBC's 6.6 rating led the way. FOX finished second with a 5.1, followed by ABC, 3.5, and CBS, 2.9. The WB fell below the 1.0 mark.
Late-ending NFL games, 11.6/21, and the post-game show "The OT," 7.5/13, put FOX on top at 7 p.m. The final moments of the U.S. Open tennis tournament and "60 Minutes" averaged 5.7/10 for CBS. The premiere of NBC's "Football Night in America" scored a 5.2/9. An "America's Funniest Home Videos" repeat was fourth for ABC. The WB went with "Just Legal."
NBC moved into the lead at 8 p.m. with the debut of "Sunday Night Football," which combined with the final segment of the pregame show for a 12.0/19. ABC's movie "The Path to 9/11" earned a 7.6/12 for the hour to take second. CBS got a 6.2/10 from "60 Minutes" and the documentary "9/11." FOX aired the season premieres of "The Simpsons," 6.9/11, and "American Dad," 5.3/8. "Charmed" brought up the rear for The WB.
The NFL game between the Indianapolis Colts and New York Giants improved to 13.2/20 at 9 p.m. ABC's movie stayed in second with an 8.2/12, while "9/11" improved to 7.6/11 on CBS. FOX stayed in fourth with "Family Guy," 5.9/9, and "The War at Home," 4.6/7. The WB closed its night with a second "Charmed."
At 10 p.m., "Sunday Night Football" delivered a 12.9/21 for NBC. "The Path to 9/11" drew a 7.9/13 for ABC, while the end of "9/11" and "Cold Case" averaged 5.6/9 for CBS.
On Saturday, ABC dominated the night with its college football coverage. The Ohio State-Texas matchup averaged a 7.6 rating/14 share in primetime. NBC and FOX tied for second at 3.9/7 (with FOX grabbing a few more total viewers), and CBS trailed with a 2.6/5.