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Ratings Chart Attack! is the TV industry’s destination for a daily dose of prime-time ratings. Delivering the daily scoop on which shows are scoring. TVWeek’s Sergio Ibarra calls the winners and losers, and what it means to broadcast network programmers. From day-in, day-out ratings to long-view trends and noteworthy performances, Ratings Chart Attack! delivers.

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NBC’s Football Coverage Kicks ‘Survivor’ Finale Into 2nd Place

December 15, 2008 12:31 PM

NFL reigned supreme Sunday night, with NBC’s telecast of the New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys game leading the network to a ratings win.

NFL

“NBC Sunday Night Football” posted a preliminary 7.5 rating/17 share among adults 18-49, up 50% from the final ratings for last week’s game, according to Nielsen Media Research numbers. The game put the network in the top spot for the night, with an average 6.2/15 (16.7 million viewers).

Ratings for NBC’s “Football Night in America” increased throughout the night leading up to the start of “SNF.” The pre-game coverage posted a 2.2/6 at 7 p.m., a 3.9/11 at 7:30 p.m. and a 5.6/14 at 8 p.m. Numbers for live programming, however, are approximate and may change once final numbers are released Tuesday.

CBS’ season finale of “Survivor: Gabon” posted a 4.5/10, marking the franchise’s second-lowest-rated season finale. Although NFL overrun (8.1/23) helped “60 Minutes” (4.6/12) post an 84% increase over last week’s telecast, “Survivor” was down 13% from last year’s “China” finale but up 2% from the “Micronesia” finale earlier this year.

The “Survivor: Reunion” special did a 4.1/10, helping CBS wrap up the night in second place with a 4.9/12 (16.4 million viewers).

Holiday film “The Santa Clause 2” led ABC for the night, giving the network a third-place finish with a 2.3/6 (7.8 million viewers). “Santa” averaged a 2.7/7 from 8-10 p.m.

ABC opened the night with a new episode of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” posting a 2.0/6. A “Desperate Housewives” repeat did a 1.8/4.

Animation repeats on Fox gave the network fourth place for the night with an average 2.1/5 (4.9 million viewers). Two episodes of “King of the Hill” in the 7 p.m. hour did a 1.7/6 and 1.6/4, followed by “The Simpsons” with a 2.5/6 and another “King” with a 2.0/5. “Family Guy” (2.6/6) and “American Dad” (2.2/5) aired in the 9 p.m. hour.

The CW finished in fifth (0.4/1, 1 million viewers), airing an episode of “Jericho” (0.3/1) and the Mel Brooks film “Spaceballs” (0.5/1).

Friday night: Holiday specials helped CBS win the night (2.2/7), led by airings of “Frosty the Snowman” (2.4/8), “Frosty Returns” (2.4/8) and “The Flight Before Christmas” (2.2/7). NBC finished second (1.4/4), ABC and Fox tied for third (1.3/4) and The CW came in fifth (0.5/2).

Saturday night: Fox’s crime-themed reality fare, “Cops” and “America’s Most Wanted,” helped the network take the top spot with a 1.7/6 for the night. ABC, sans NCAA football, and NBC tied for second (1.3/4) and CBS placed third (1.0/3).

—Sergio Ibarra

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