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October 10, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Hard to believe, but the nine-year-old CBS drama NCIS knocked off NBC’s Sunday Night Football as the most-watched primetime television show last week. The margin of victory was tiny, according to the Nielsen Research figures — 18.87 million to 18.31 million –but still, it is a rare program that ever topples football, even this early in the season. And this was no boring blowout game. It was won by the beleaguered New Orleans Saints with a touchdown and field goal in the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers. Nevertheless, the New England-Denver game, played Sunday afternoon, drew more than 24 million viewers to CBS during the half-hour that bled into primetime. That helped the venerable magazine 60 Minutes land in third place for the week with 15.96 million viewers. The evening news race was not as tight last week as it was the previous week. Nevertheless fewer than a half million viewers separated the top-rated NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams from ABC World News with Diane Sawyer. The NBC newscast averaged 7.74 million viewers for the week while the ABC newscast pulled in 7.30 million. The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley placed third with 5.73 million. For the week overall, CBS remained the leader among total adults with a 6.7 household rating and an 11 share. ABC placed second with a 5.2/8, edging out NBC with a 4.9/8. Fox trailed with a 3.7/6. NBC, however, was able to boast that it came away on top among viewers 18-49 with a 2.8/8, while Fox and CBS tied for second with a 2.4/7. ABC was close behind with a 2.1/6.

The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research:

1. NCIS, CBS, 11.6/18; 2. Sunday Night Football, NBC, 11.2/17; 3. 60 Minutes, CBS, 10.0/15; 4. The Big Bang Theory, CBS, 9.3/15; 5. NCIS: Los Angeles, CBS, 9.2/14; 6. Person of Interest, CBS, 9.0/14; 7. Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kickoff, NBC, 8.4/13; 8. Dancing with the Stars (Monday), ABC, 8.2/12; 9. Dancing with the Stars (Tuesday), ABC, 8.1/12; 10. Vegas, CBS, 7.7/13.