TV ratings: ‘Sunday Night Football’ scores; ‘Madam Secretary’ shines

LeGarrette Blount, Thomas DeCoud
The Pittsburgh Steelers’ LeGarrette Blount rolls into the end zone for a touchdown as the Carolina Panthers’ Thomas DeCoud defends during their game in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 21.
(Bob Leverone / Associated Press)

NBC tackled the key 18-to-49-year-old demographic with “Sunday Night Football” but CBS won the night overall with two season premieres and the debut of its new show “Madam Secretary.”

However, due to the nature of live sports, ratings for CBS, NBC and Fox (from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) are approximate. 

The NBC broadcast of the Pittsburgh Steelers- Carolina Panthers game earned a rating of 7.2 in the key demo and averaged about 18 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen ratings.

In metered markets, which reflect time-zone adjustments, the telecast averaged a 12.3 rating in the key demo. It was most popular in Pittsburgh (with a rating of 38.9) and Charlotte (with a rating of 31.1).


The network was No. 1 in the key demo with rating of 5.6 and second overall, with about 14.3 million viewers.

CBS topped the night with 17.4 million viewers and a rating of 3.8 in the key demo. Its NFL over-run, which lasted until about 8:04 p.m. EDT, helped draw in strong numbers for the season premiere of “60 Minutes” and the debut of “Madam Secretary.”

With about 18 million viewers, “60 Minutes” was the second-most-watched program of the night. It earned a rating of 3.6 in the key demo, a huge jump from last year’s premiere, which earned a rating of 1.4 but didn’t have a NFL lead-in.

Meanwhile, with a rating of 1.9 in the key demo, the premiere of “Madam Secretary, " a political drama, saw a decent debut.


About 14.2 million people tuned in to the show, which follows a female secretary of State, Elizabeth McCord (played by Tea Leoni).

The season premiere of “The Good Wife” at 10 p.m. didn’t benefit as much from the NFL lead-in. Down 13% from last year’s premiere, the show averaged a rating of 1.3 in the key demo and about 9.9 million viewers. 

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