NBC Notches an Easy Ratings Win on First Sunday of Fall Season, as Football Makes It Tough on ABC’s ‘Pan Am’ Premiere

Sep 26, 2011  •  Post A Comment

With “Sunday Night Football” claiming its usual No. 1 ratings position on Sunday night, NBC took an easy win for the night, TVbytheNumbers.com reports — and football made for a tough rollout for the night’s only new show, ABC’s “Pan Am.”

Numbers are expected to be adjusted significantly, due to the nature of live sports programming, but overnight Fast Affiliate Ratings showed NBC with a 5.9 average rating for prime time in the 18-49 demo, beating Fox (4.4 average), CBS (2.5) and ABC (2.4). In total viewers, NBC led the way with 14.6 million to 10.9 million for CBS, 9.5 million for Fox and 8.7 million for ABC.

At 7 p.m. Fox’s "The OT" had a 6.15 average in the 18-49 demographic, while NBC’s pregame show "Football Night in America" had a 2.65 mean score in the same demo, tied with CBS’s "60 Minutes." ABC’s "Extreme Makeover" averaged a 1.25 in the 18-49 demo.

At 8 p.m. the NBC football game kicked off with a 6.7 average in the 18-49 demo, over Fox’s season premieres of "The Simpsons" and "The Cleveland Show" with a 3.8 and a 3.1, respectively. CBS’s "The Amazing Race" collected a 2.95 mean score in the 18-49 demo, and another "Extreme Makeover" averaged a 2.3 in the 18-49 demo.

Football continued to lead at 9 p.m. with a 7.35 average in the 18-49 demographic. Fox’s "Family Guy" and "American Dad" premieres had a 4.1 and a 3.0, respectively, in the 18-49 demographic. The season premiere of ABC’s "Desperate Housewives" had a 3.15 average in the 18-49 demographic and CBS’s season premiere of "The Good Wife" averaged a 2.25 in the same demo.

At ten, the last of the NBC game telecast averaged a 7.0 in the 18-49 demo, while the new series premiere of ABC’s "Pan Am" had a 3.1 average in the same demo. The good news for ABC: “Pan Am” beat the season premiere of CBS’s "CSI Miami," which averaged a 2.2 in the 18-49 demo.


  1. Then there’s the TIVO issue… I am a fan of The Good Wife. CBS moved the series to Sunday night… My TIVO was set to record it at 9:00PM EDT, alongside Desperate Housewives on ABC (I can record two shows at a time). All great but CBS decided to let an afternoon sports show bleed into prime time thereby delaying the start of The Good Wife until about 9:26 EDT. My TIVO didn’t know that and so at 10PM it went off to record PAM AM on ABC and Boardwalk Empire on HBO. I lost the last half of The Good Wife in the shuffle(I wonder what happened in that case that Alicia was trying?).
    I would suggest to the programmers at CBS that if they screw around with scheduled prime time start times then the roughly 40% of US homes that use DVRs are going to tune out of favorite series because on a Sunday no one can rely on an accurate program start. What’s more important to you, prime or sports?

  2. Learn how to use the internet. CBS provides the Good Wife there and you can see how the case ends. You just have to wait a few days.

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