Yes, The Walking Dead was back on cable but it was an even split on the Big 4 between sports and non-sports last night – and, like the Dallas Cowboys and the Red Sox, sports won. In terms on NBC’s Sunday Night Football (7.3/18), it wasn’t quite the rout of last week’s 49ers 34-3 win over the Texans, but Dallas beat the Washington Redskins a pretty convincing 31-16 Sunday thanks to Dwayne Harris and a very solid defense. Easily the No 1. show on Sunday, the game was up 28% in fast nationals over last week. The SF/Houston game rose to 7.0/19 in finals last week. Between 8:30 PM and 11 PM, last night’s game was watched by 19.65 million viewers. Last night’s Cowboys/Redskins game got a 13.5/22 in metered markets. That’s up 7% from Week 6 last year and up 21% over the comparable week in 2011. Up against Boston vs. the Detroit Tigers on Fox, last night’s Sunday Night Football was also the best MM result for a primetime NFL game against a MLB Championship game since October 13, 1997. Not unexpectedly, Dallas was the top local market for the NFL match-up on Sunday. With a 35.5/52, DC was No. 2 with a 34.1/52 with Richmond (32.7/45, Norfolk (25.4/35) and San Antonio (25.1/39) filling out the top 5. Fast affiliate ratings are not time zone adjusted, so expect Sunday’s sports numbers to change later in the day. With a 6.0/16 rating and 16.032 million watching, NBC topped the night with Fox coming in the No. 2 spot with a 3.6/9 rating and 11.36 million viewers.
That Fox result is because while football did well, baseball had a strong night too. On Fox, the Red Sox’s surprise 6-5 win over the Tigers last night has now tied the ALCS at one game each. In fast nationals, Fox’s MLB Baseball (2.4/6) easily knocked it out of the park over Game 2 of last year’s October 15th NLCS, which got a 1.3/3 in fast nationals and went up to 1.6/4 in final numbers for its 8:04 PM to 11:13 PM slot. Though nothing’s time zone adjusted until the final numbers later in the day, the 8 PM to 11 PM portion of last night’s game was up 85% from the same time slot of last year’s NLCS Game 2. In metered markets, last night’s game was up a homerun 37% over the same game of last year’s NLCS. Sunday’s game was also the best Game 2 that Fox has had of a LCS since 2010 when the Giants vs. the Phillies drew a 6.5/10.
Up against that competition, CBS and ABC’s offerings were destined to hit some lows last night, which they did. CBS’ sports-free Sunday primetime kicked off with 60 Minutes (1.5/5), which was down 61% from last week. That was followed by The Amazing Race (1.8/5), which was down 25% from its October 6 show to a series low as was The Good Wife (1.2/3), down 25%, and The Mentalist (1.3/3), down 13%.
America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.1/3) returned for its 24th season on ABC on Sunday. Not unexpectedly considering the competition, the original found footage show hit its lowest premiere ever, down 27% from last year’s October 7 1.5/4 debut. Once Upon A Time (2.3/6) had its lowest fall episode and was down 12% from last week. Same for Revenge (1.7/4), which was down 11%. In its third week the struggling Betrayal (0.9/2) fell 18% from its October 6 show.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.