NBC on Sunday posted a 10-year high with its presentation of the 71st Golden Globe Awards, and if the half-hour ratings are anything to go by, the night’s most compelling stars were returning hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
Per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, the dynamic duo’s opening monologue was the night’s biggest draw, delivering north of 25 million viewers. The first half-hour of the broadcast also featured a Best Supporting Actress win for the unsinkable Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle) and a weird, rambling acceptance speech from Jacqueline Bisset for her work in Starz’ Dancing on the Edge.
The 8-8:30 p.m. segment also coincided with the night’s best joke, as Fey noted that the film Gravity is “the story of how George Clooney would rather float away into space and die then to spend one more minute with a woman his own age.”
On the TV front, Poehler got in a good dig at the single most disruptive player in the programming space. “Enjoy it while it lasts, Netflix,” she warned. “You’re not going to be feeling so smug in a couple of years when SnapChat is up here accepting best drama.”
Poehler also used the premium net Showtime as a launch pad for a joke that earned her a high-five from Fey. “Masters of Sex…is the degree I got from Boston College,” she cracked.
All told, NBC averaged 20.9 million viewers and a 6.5 in the adults 18-49 demo, up 6 percent and 2 percent, respectively, versus last year’s show. (The 2013 Golden Globes, Fey and Poehler’s first as co-hosts, drew 19.7 million viewers and a 6.4 rating.)
Earlier in the evening, CBS boasted the best turnout of the weekend’s four NFL Divisional Playoff matchups, as the Denver Broncos held off a late-surging Chargers team in front of a national television audience of 41.4 million fans. That marked the third-largest viewer average for a Sunday AFC Divisional Playoff game in 27 years.
The AFC West showdown averaged a 23.0 rating/39 share, up 6 percent from last year’s late Sunday broadcast.
The huge NFL overrun (the last hour of the Chargers-Broncos game averaged an 11.4 in the adults 18-49 demo) proved to be a major boon to the rest of CBS’ prime-time schedule. At 8 p.m., 60 Minutes posted its highest rating in over a year (4.0), while The Good Wife notched a season-high 1.8 in the 18-49 demo.
Elsewhere, Fox slumped in the absence of an NFL lead-in, as The Simpsons fell 52 percent to a 2.2, while Bob’s Burgers was down 31 percent (2.0) and Family Guy dipped 13 percent (2.7). American Dad slipped 8 percent to a 2.3 rating.
At 9 p.m., ABC’s Revenge fell 11 percent to a 1.6, while the penultimate episode of Betrayal was up a tenth of a ratings point with a 0.8 in the demo. Per the most recent available C3 ratings (through Dec. 15), Betrayal is the lowest-rated new series that hasn’t already been canceled.