Fox should be cheering after the tight San Francisco vs. Green Bay NFL game ran into prime time to propel the network to an easy victory Sunday night, according to early numbers from Nielsen.
The down-to-the-wire wild-card match-up, in which the San Francisco 49ers beat the Green Bay Packers 23-20, drew massive viewership and helped lift the network's animated comedy lineup. "The Simpsons" registered 12 million viewers and a rating of 5.2 among advertiser-desired 18-to-49-year-olds (some of football's numbers bled into "The Simpsons"), while "Bob's Burgers" drew 6.4 million overall and a 3.2 in the demographic. "Family Guy" and "American Dad" were up from their last original episodes.
Going against the NFL overrun, ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos" rose 14% to a 1.6 in 18-49 and attracted 6.8 million viewers overall. Leading up to Monday night's season premiere, "The Bachelor: Countdown to Juan Pablo" was watched by 6.3 million people.
ABC saw a boost with the return of "Revenge," which jumped 20% in the demographic from its last original episode to a 1.8. "Betrayal" earned a 0.8, flat with its last episode before the midseason break.
NBC aired a special full of highlights from "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" before the comic takes over hosting duties on "The Tonight Show" next month. The two-hour "Best of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Primetime Special" drew an average of 5.7 million viewers and a rating of 2.0 in the key demographic, nabbing NBC's best performance in the time period in a year, not counting sports or the Golden Globes. The network's "Dateline NBC" two-hour season premiere drew 5.9 million viewers and a rating of 1.3.
Coming after "60 Minutes" and an "Elementary" rerun, CBS' "The Good Wife" returned after the midseason break with Sunday night's episode hooking 9.2 million people and garnering a 1.4 among young adults. That represents a 13% dip in the demographic. "The Mentalist" also came back, down 17% from its last original episode.
Results from the "Downton Abbey" season premiere will not be in until later Monday.
Follow on Twitter: @rfaughnder
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times