RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Biggest Loser’ Debut Rises, NFL Dominates As Fox Wins Night


There were original shows across the board on the networks last night with football, winter returns and premieres. Trainer Jillian Michaels rejoined The Biggest Loser (2.9/7) as the weight-loss series returned to TV with its Season 14 premiere. Centering on child obesity, this season’s two-hour debut Sunday was up a solid 21% from the 2.4/6 rating of last season’s January 3, 2012 premiere. NBC began the night at 7 PM with a two-hour Sunday season debut of Dateline NBC (1.5/4); the newsmagazine was up 20% from its January 8 airing.

Fast nationals for Fox’s Sunday primetime are approximate due to live football. The NFL playoff opener between Washington and Seattle and postgame show pushed the network’s animation block back to 8:03 PM, causing the rest of the night to slide. The game (12.1/32) pulled in an audience of 33.94 million, while the overrun and postgame show (7.6/19) garnered 19.29 million viewers in the 7:30 PM slot. After that, The Simpsons (4.4/11) was back with its first new show in three weeks as was Bob’s Burgers (3.1/8). (Three weeks ago, both saw pre-emptions due to the Sandy Hook school shooting memorial service in Newtown, which led to 1.9/5 and 1.2/3 ratings, respectively.) Compared with the last uninterrupted airings December 9, last night’s The Simpsons was up 29% and Bob’s Burgers was up 48%, the latter’s highest rating since it debut two years ago. Family Guy (3.5/8) was up 40% from its last original show two weeks ago as was American Dad (2.8/7). With an average audience of 13.676 million, Fox won the night in total viewers and adults 18-49.

ABC kicked off the night with a Once Upon A Time (0.9/2) repeat before returning with the first new episode (3.1/8) in five weeks. The fairy tale drama was flat with its last original airing. Revenge (2.3/5) was also back Sunday with original airings after five weeks, with the nighttime soap drama dipping 4% from its last original five weeks ago. Happy Endings (1.0/3) fell 23% from its last original airing on December 18 to hit a series low. Don’t Trust The B—- In Apt 23 (0.9/2) was down 18% from its December 18 airing and tied for a series low.

A new 60 Minutes (1.4/4) started the night for CBS. The news magazine slid 26% from its last original airing on December 9. That was followed by a repeat of Person Of Interest (1.3/3). Then it was the return of The Good Wife (1.8/4), with legal drama flat with its last original show of its fourth season on December 2. The Mentalist (2.1/6) on the other hand was up 31% from its last original December 9 and matched the season high of its September 30 fifth-season premiere.

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