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January 9, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Saturday night provided yet another reminder to television executives that if they give viewers something worthwhile to watch on that night, they’ll flock to their sets just as they do any other night of the year. NBC’s telecast of the Detroit-New Orleans NFC Wild Card Game attracted 27.9 million viewers in primetime. Yes, that was down from the 28.8 million for the year-ago coverage of the New York Jets/Indianapolis contest, but when you’re talking those kinds of numbers, a slight dip is essentially meaningless. Moreover, even ABC’s coverage of the New Hampshire Republican presidential debate on that night did reasonably well, drawing 6.3 million viewers. Football also boosted CBS’s ratings on Sunday, as the Pittsburgh/Denver playoff game ran into primetime with 24.3 million viewers in attendance. But ratings for NBC, now without Sunday Night Football, plummeted, with the two-hour premiere of its new drama The Firm attracting just 6.3 million viewers. According to Broadcasting & Cable, it marked the worst in-season drama debut in NBC’s history.