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Ratings: Football rules, 'Three Rivers' disappoints

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NBC dominated Sunday night’s ratings race thanks to its Pittsburgh-San Diego football matchup, according to early Nielsen estimates. Fox’s new fall addition The Cleveland Show dropped a standard 700,000 viewers since its strong premiere last week, while The Simpsons actually ticked up 1.1 million viewers since the previous airing. This week’s debut of organ-donor drama Three Rivers, on the other hand, came up dry with a mere 9.2 million viewers, in a rare loss of a time period for CBS (and a dive from previous occupant Cold Case the same week last year, which garnered 11.1 million viewers).

As for the rest of the weekend, football emerged victorious on Saturday as well, winning the night for ABC with 6.5 million viewers. And CBS did score on Friday with its reliable mystery dramas: Ghost Whisperer with 7.6 million viewers, relocated-from-NBC Medium with 7.7 million, and Numb3rs with 7.7 million. Fox’s weak link ‘Til Death lived up to its name by coming in dead last at 8:30 p.m. with 2.3 million, while The Jay Leno Show posted a typical (and losing) 5.5 million viewers.

Here, a look at Sunday’s lineup:

Time Show Viewers (in millions)
7 p.m. 60 Minutes (CBS)

America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC)

Football Night in America (NBC)

12.9

8.0

7.4

8 p.m. NBC Sunday Night Football (NBC)

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC)

The Amazing Race XV (CBS)

The Simpsons (Fox)

15.2

11.7

9.9

9.3

8:30 p.m. The Cleveland Show (Fox) 8.7
9 p.m. Desperate Housewives (ABC)

Family Guy (Fox)

Three Rivers (CBS)

14.2

9.7

9.2

9:30 p.m. American Dad (Fox) 7.1
10 p.m. Cold Case (CBS)

Brothers & Sisters (ABC)

9.7

9.6

Source: Nielsen