Fox Tops Sunday as ’24’ Returns to Big Audience

Fox led the troops on this highly competitive final Sunday of the November 2008 sweeps, with a first-place finish in both total viewers and adults 18-49. CBS was second in total viewers, while ABC and NBC tied for No. 2 among adults 18-49. Last, of course, was almost invisible the CW, which will replace the Media Rights Capital combination of In Harm’s Way, Valentine and Easy Money with a repeat of Jericho and a Sunday Night Movie on Dec. 6.  Keep in mind that the movie will likely be all repeat titles as well.

A half-hour football over-run on Fox opened the evening with a hefty (and dominant) 17.86 million viewers and a 6.5 rating/18 share among adults 18-49 at 7 p.m. That led into post-game The OT (Viewers: #2, 12.81 million; A18-49: #1, 4.9/13 at 7:30 p.m.), followed by two-hour prequel 24: Redemption at a healthy 12.04 million viewers and a 4.0/ 9 among adults 18-49 from 8-10 p.m. 

Compared to the year-ago combination of two episodes each (original and repeat) of The Simpsons (Viewers: avg. 8.79 million; A18-49: avg. 4.0/10 on Nov. 25, 2007) and Family Guy (Viewers: avg. 8.98 million; A18-49: 4.4/10), that was an increase of an average 3.16 million viewers (with an almost duplicate performance among adults 18-49).  Here is the half-hour breakdown:

24: Redemption (Fox)

8:00 p.m. – Viewers: 12.60 million (#1), A18-49: 4.3/10 (#2)

8:30 p.m. – Viewers: 12.13 million (#2), A18-49: 4.0/ 9 (#3)

9:00 p.m. – Viewers: 11.66 million (#4), A18-49: 3.8/ 9 (#3)

9:30 p.m. – Viewers: 11.77 million (#4), A18-49: 3.9/ 9 (#3)

Considering the severity of the competition, this is positive news for Fox. As always, ratings on the year-ago evening are based on the final nationals.

NBC was on the map care of Sunday Night Football. But opposite heavier than usual competition the Indianapolis vs. San Diego match-up was below-average at an approximate 12.29 million viewers and a 4.7/11 among adults 18-49 for the prime-time portion from 8:30-11 p.m. Earlier in the evening on NBC was pre-game Football Night in America at 6.71 million viewers (#3) and a 2.4/ 6 among adults 18-49 (#3) in the 7 p.m. hour, and 11.51 million viewers (#3) and a 4.2/12 among adults 18-49 (#3) from 8-8:30 p.m. Don’t forget that results for any live event are always estimated.

CBS’ rejuvenated 60 Minutes kicked-off the night with 14.53 million viewers (#2) and a second-place 2.8/ 8 among adults 18-49 from 7-8 p.m. After we are all long gone, 60 Minutes will still be ticking away! Next on the Eye net was the soon-to-conclude 13th edition of The Amazing Race at 10.13 million viewers (#4) and a 2.7/ 6 among adults 18-49 (#4) from 8-9 p.m. (time flies!), followed by Cold Case (Viewers: #3, 12.07 million; A18-49: #4, 2.7/ 6) and compatible The Unit (Viewers: #3, 9.99 million; A18-49: #3, 2.5/ 6). Had The Unit been airing on NBC, this would have been considered a hit show.

ABC was above average without its regularly scheduled Sunday line-up of America’s Funniest Home Videos, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters. In their place was The 36th Annual American Music Awards at an impressive 12.20 million viewers and a 5.1/12 among adults 18-49 from 8-11 p.m.  Compared to it’s year-ago telecast (Viewers: 11.81 million; A18-49: 4.8/12 on Nov. 18, 2007), that was an increase of 390,000 viewers and six percent in the demo. Here is the half-hour breakdown:

American Music Awards

 8:00 p.m. – Viewers: 11.88 million (#2), A18-49: 4.7/11 (#1)

 8:30 p.m. – Viewers: 12.87 million (#1), A18-49: 5.2/12 (#1)