It may have paled in comparison with the 57.6 million viewers who tuned in to last year's NFC Championship game, which aired in primetime during the comparable weekend, but Sunday night's audience of 47.71 million for the AFC Championship was nevertheless the biggest audience for any television program since last year's Super Bowl. Coming in second for the week was the postgame show with 25.95 million viewers. Nevertheless, also making a strong showing was CBS's long-running NCIS, which counted 22.68 million viewers (it exceeded 25 million viewers for the first time this week), followed by its companion NCIS Los Angeles with 17.64 million viewers. For the first time since its early days Fox's American Idol's two episodes dropped to fifth and sixth place. The three network nightly newscasts scored solid ratings, led by NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams with 9.17 million viewers, followed by ABC World News with Diane Sawyer with 8.54 million viewers and The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley trailing with 7.21 million viewers. For the week, CBS remained even further ahead of its rivals than usual despite airing a slew of reruns. The network averaged a whopping 9.4 average rating and a 15 share. Fox was a distant second with a 4.4/7. ABC followed with a 3.8/6, while NBC trailed with a 2.4/4.
The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research:
1. AFC Championship, CBS, 25.5/39; 2. AFC Championship Postgame, CBS, 14.5/22; 3. NCIS, CBS, 14.2/21; 4. NCIS: Los Angeles, CBS, 11.1/17; 5. American Idol (Wednesday), Fox, 10.3/16; 6. American Idol (Thursday), Fox, 9.3/14; 7. Criminal Minds, CBS, 8.1/12; 8. Hawaii Five (Postgame), CBS, 7.8/13; 9. 2 Broke Girls, CBS, 7.6/11; 10. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS, 7.4/12.