Sunday’s prime-time ratings weren’t much to shout about on the broadcast networks, based on Nielsen overnights for the key 18-49 demo. TVbytheNumbers.com reports that the best anyone was able to average for the four hours was a 1.2 rating, with both Fox and CBS hitting that mark.
CBS had a mostly repeat lineup, but got a little help from a fresh installment of “Big Brother” — which received plenty of publicity leading up to Sunday over racism and homophobia among the houseguests. The episode brought the issues out of the shadows of the online live feeds and onto the broadcast airwaves — including naming names, as reported separately. The strategy appeared to pay off with a bump in the ratings: The show ticked up 11% from last week to a 2.1 average in 18-49, the best rating for any show on broadcast that night.
Fox’s “winning strategy” was perhaps even more of a surprise, as the network matched CBS’s number with an all-repeat animation lineup. Highlights included a 1.7 in the 18-49 demo for “Family Guy,” a 1.5 for “American Dad” and a 1.4 for “The Simpsons.”
NBC filled its air with mostly repeat programming, with its only original, “Crossing Lines,” settling for a meager 0.6 in viewers 18-49 at 10 p.m.
ABC, which tied NBC for last place overall in prime time, also mixed repeats and originals, with a fresh “Celebrity Wife Swap” earning a 0.9 average in 18-49 while “Whodunnit?” improved only slightly on that number, reaching a 1.0.
The numbers for prime time overall show Fox and CBS at the head of the pack in the 18-49 demo with 1.2 averages, followed by Univision (1.1 average), then NBC and ABC tied at 0.9. CBS won total viewers with 5.4 million, followed by NBC (3.7 million), ABC (3.3 million), Fox (2.7 million) and Univision (2.4 million).