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January 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Allowing families all over the country to rehearse for February 5th’s Super Bowl parties, Sunday night’s telecast of the NFC championship game on Fox between the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers attracted 57.6 million viewers — the most to watch any program on television since, well, last year’s Super Bowl. Some 31 million viewers stuck around to watch the post-game show at 10:40 p.m. (on the East Coast), making it the second-most-watched show of the year. And although they were off significantly from a year earlier, the two American Idol telecasts on Wednesday and Thursday ranked third and fourth among total viewers, as they drew 21.9 million viewers and 18 million respectively. Yet despite the fact that it had three shows dominating the ratings on three different nights of the week, Fox wound up well behind CBS in both total adults and adults 18-49 for the week, while NBC and ABC virtually tied for third place. Among total adults, CBS posted an 8.3 rating and a 13 share. Fox was second with a 5.0/8, followed by ABC with a 4.4/7 and NBC with a 4.2/7. Among the evening newscasts, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams posted the strongest ratings of the season, drawing 10.2 million viewers. ABC World News with Diane Sawyer drew 8.4 million, while the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley continued to improve with 7.4 million viewers.

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

1. NFC Championship: NY Giants at San Francisco 49ers, Fox, 30.6/44; 2. NFC Championship Post-Game, Fox, 17.1/27; 3. American Idol (Wednesday), Fox, 12.3/19; 4. American Idol (Thursday), Fox, 10.3/16; 5. The Big Bang Theory, CBS, 9.3/15; 6. The Mentalist, CBS, 8.8/14; 7. Person of Interest, CBS, 8.7/13; 8. Betty White 90th Birthday, NBC, 8.5/12; 9. NCIS, CBS, 8.2/13; 10. Criminal Minds, CBS, 8.1/12.