Sunday night's thrilling football game between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys dominated the television ratings.
The Nielsen Co. said Tuesday that NBC's weekly showcast game was seen by 24.5 million people. That was well above the most popular non-football program of the week, CBS' "Two and a Half Men," which had 15.2 million viewers.
It was behind only the early season contest between the Cowboys and the New York Jets for the most popular Sunday night game of the year. NBC says it ranks No. 6 of all the Sunday night games it has telecast for six seasons.
With the exception of the game and two NBC pregame shows, 18 of the 19 most-watched programs were on CBS, led by the comedy "Two and a Half Men." The only non-CBS show to crack that formidable wall was ABC's "Modern Family."
With 7.6 million viewers, ABC's telecast of a Republican presidential debate on Saturday night was the most popular such debate of the season so far.
After "Modern Family," the most-watched prime-time show on ABC last week was the Charlie Brown Christmas special.
CBS averaged 10.5 million viewers for the week in prime time (6.5 rating, 10 share). NBC had 7.3 million (4.5, 7), ABC had 6.2 million (3.9, 6), Fox had 6 million (3.6, 6), the CW had 1.3 million (0.9, 1) and ION Television had 1.2 million (0.8, 1).
Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with a 3.4 million average in prime time (1.7 rating, 3 share). Telemundo had 1.5 million (0.8, 1), TeleFutura had 650,000 (0.3, 1), Estrella had 300,000 and Azteca 200,000 (both 0.1, 0).
NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.2 million viewers (6.1, 11). ABC's "World News" was second with 7.9 million (5.3, 10), and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.7 million viewers (4.5, 8).
A ratings point represents 1,147,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 114.7 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.
For the week of Dec. 5-11, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Football: N.Y. Giants vs. Dallas, NBC, 24.52 million; "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 17.61 million; "Two and a Half Men," CBS, 15.18 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 14.74 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 14.02 million; "Football Night in America," NBC, 13.26 million; "The Mentalist," CBS, 13.04 million; "2 Broke Girls," CBS, 12.75 million; "NCIS," CBS, 12.73 million; "Person of Interest," CBS, 12.661 million.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox and My Network TV are units of News Corp. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks. TeleFutura is a division of Univision. Azteca America is a wholly owned subsidiary of TV Azteca S.A. de C.V.