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December 19, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Ratings for NBC’s Sunday Night Football were back to where they were a year ago — and then some — as 23.2 million viewers tuned in to Sunday’s game between the San Francisco 49ers and the New England Patriots. Two weeks ago the media agency Carat observed that SNF had seen a 2 percent drop in the ratings for the season and was averaging 19.8 million viewers a week. But ratings for the last two Sundays have offset that decline. Perhaps most impressive was the second-place finish of CBS’s venerable newsmagazine 60 Minutes, which examined the Newtown, CT shooting (and acknowledged that some of the network’s own initial reporting about it was inaccurate). The telecast, shortened to 39 minutes instead of 60 because of an NFL overrun, averaged 19.6 million viewers. The evening newscasts also saw their numbers rise for the week, no doubt boosted by Friday’s coverage of the shootings. NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams averaged 9.4 million viewers for the week, while ABC World News with Diane Sawyer placed second with 8.3 million. The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley saw its numbers rise to 7.2 million. CBS retained its crown as the most-watched network with a 7.3 average household rating and a 12 share. NBC was a distance second with a 4.5/7. ABC came in third with a 3.3/5, while Fox finished with a 2.7/4.

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

1. Sunday Night Football, NBC, 13.9/22; 2. 60 Minutes, CBS, 12.1/18; 3. NCIS, CBS, 11.1/17; 4. The Big Bang Theory, CBS, 10.1/17; 5. NCIS: Los Angeles, CBS, 9.7/15; 6. Person of Interest, CBS, 8.7/13; 7. Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kickoff, NBC, 8.6/13; 8. Two and a Half Men, CBS, 8.2/13; 9. Criminal Minds, CBS, 7.5/12; 10. The Voice, NBC, 7.4/11.