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Ratings: AMAs draw biggest audience since 2002

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Early estimates from Nielsen have last night’s American Music Awards on ABC drawing 14.2 million viewers over three hours, an increase of 2.0 million viewers over last year and the award show’s highest viewership since 2002. But even with those kind of numbers (and controversial performances from the likes of American Idol alum Adam Lambert), the AMAs did not prevail with an overall win for the evening: The champ, in terms of ratings at least, was CBS’ stalwart newsmagazine 60 Minutes, which attracted 18.4 million viewers in the 7 p.m hour. And, in fact, the AMAs didn’t even come in second—no, usual Sunday-night ratings champion Sunday Night Football, which saw the Philadelphia Eages beat the Chicago Bears, nabbed a just-above-the-AMAs 14.6 million viewers to take second place.

As for the overall battle between the networks, NBC was tops there, drawing an average of 12.9 million viewers, while CBS was next with 12.7 million, followed by ABC with 12.1 million.

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

Football Night in America (NBC)

America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC)

Brothers (Fox)

18.4

7.9

6.1 (repeat)

2.6

7:30 p.m. The Simpsons (Fox) 4.0 (repeat)
8 p.m. Sunday Night Football (NBC)

2009 American Music Awards (ABC)

The Amazing Race XV (CBS)

The Simpsons (Fox)

14.6

14.2

13.5

7.0

8:30 p.m. The Cleveland Show (Fox) 6.5
9 p.m. Three Rivers (CBS)

Family Guy (Fox)

10.3

7.4

9:30 p.m. American Dad (Fox) 5.5
10 p.m. Cold Case (CBS) 8.5

Source: Nielsen

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