ABC's broadcast of the Miss America pageant, which crowned its first-ever winner of Indian heritage and its second consecutive victor from New York, grew significantly in the ratings from last year, according to early numbers from Nielsen.
The Sunday night telecast, which ran from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., drew 8.43-million viewers, up 18% from last year for its fourth year of audience growth, and it garnered a rating of 1.9 among advertiser-desired 18-to-49-year-olds, representing a 19% boost. It was the show's best performance since 2004.
Miss New York Nina Davuluri was crowned the winner after performing a Bollywood fusion dance for the talent portion of the competition. She succeeds last year's Miss New York, Mallory Hagan. This year's event was also noteworthy for the attention given to Miss Kansas, most likely the first contestant to openly display tattoos.
Football won the night for NBC, with the Seattle Seahawks beating the San Francisco 49ers, 29-3. The telecast drew about 18.2-million viewers from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. and received a 7.4 rating in the key demo. That was down 19% from last week's game between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys, according to preliminary numbers, which are not adjusted for time zones and are subject to change.
NBC was the top network with an average of 15.9-million viewers.
CBS had "60 Minutes" and another episode of "Big Brother," but early numbers are likely to change because of overruns of NFL games. According to the preliminary stats, "Big Brother" fell 22% to a 18-to-49 rating of 1.8.
Except for football overruns, Fox was showing all repeats.
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