Football rules! College’s biggest game of the year — the BCS Championship Game, where the Florida Gators took down the Oklahoma Sooners, 24-14, for the national title — easily cleaned up on Thursday night, according to fast overnight ratings. For the three hours it aired in prime time, the showdown drew an average of 24.1 million viewers and easily won ever hour.
The rest of the evening, which was fairly evenly split between repeats and fresh episodes, was rather lackluster. At 8 p.m., a repeat of CBS’s CSI: NY was the top show besides football and topped new episodes of ABC’s Ugly Betty and NBC’s My Name is Earl. During the 9 p.m. hour, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy — which drew 13.7 million viewers — easily beat repeats of CBS’s CSI, NBC’s The Office, and The CW’s Supernatural. But Grey’s take was down 1.6 million from the last new episode, which aired in early December. You can bet that some of that decline was due to the dominating BCS football game on Fox. Meanwhile, at 10 p.m., ABC’s Private Practice did not wow now in its new day and time slot, as it drew just 9 million and managed to retain only 66 percent of Grey’s Anatomy’s audience, despite being a spin-off of the show.