TV ratings: AMAs rise for ABC; NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football’ scores

Miley Cyrus performs at the American Music Awards.
(John Shearer / Invision / Associated Press)

Sunday night’s buzzy American Music Awards on ABC posted a big gain over last year’s all-time low, for its best ratings performance in four years.

According to preliminary numbers from Nielsen, the awards telecast drew 12.9 million viewers and scored a rating of 4.5 in the key 18-49 age demographic, which is up 32% compared with last year. Helped by appearances from Miley Cyrus and One Direction, the show posted its best numbers since 2009.

ABC also aired “America’s Funniest Home Videos” -- up 7% from last week to a season high of 1.5. The network finished in second place in the ratings, tied with Fox at a 3.7 for the night.


NBC won again with “Sunday Night Football,” a big match-up between Tom Brady’s New England Patriots and Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos. The game that ended in a 34-31 overtime victory for New England drew nearly 24 million viewers in prime time and garnered an 8.8 in the 18-49 demo, according to the early numbers, which are not adjusted for time zones and therefore not very reliable.

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In time-zone-adjusted metered market results, the game drew a household rating of 17, up 26% compared with last week’s game for the best results for a prime-time November NFL game in 17 years.

Fox’s NFL programming helped boost “The Simpsons” by 61% from last week, to a 2.9 rating and average viewership of 6.6 million, followed by “Bob’s Burgers,” which increased 27% from its last original episode two weeks ago to a 1.9. “Family Guy” was flat with last week, while “American Dad” rose 13%.

CBS’ “The Mentalist” boasted its biggest audience since January, bringing in 10.6 million viewers, and its second-best rating of the season among young adults. The episode drew a 1.5 in the key demo, up slightly from last week.

The rest of CBS’ lineup, including “60 Minutes,” “The Amazing Race” and “The Good Wife,” fell week-to-week, with “Amazing Race” dropping 25% to a 1.5 for its lowest-ever rating.


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