Napoleon Dynamite
Credit: Fox

NBC’s Golden Globes presentation slipped in the ratings this year, while over on Fox the debut of new animated comedy Napoleon Dynamite picked up some heavy sampling thanks to the NFL.

The 69th annual awards event delivered 16.8 million viewers and a 5.0 rating among adults 18-49. That’s down 4 percent from last year in the key adult demographic, though off only 1 percent among total viewers. The Globes audience was mostly steady during the telecast itself (so viewers didn’t tune out after Ricky Gervais’ unexpectedly softball monologue). It’s NBC’s highest non-sports telecast in the slot since last year’s Globes.

There’s some early ratings slipperiness over on Fox: The Giants vs. Packers game pushed into prime time, boosting the network’s animated block, but also making these early numbers squishy. Still, the debut of Napoleon Dynamite (9.5 million viewers, 4.6 preliminary adults 18-49 rating) opened really strong at 8:30 p.m. thanks to the NFL’s wind at its back. Fox expects the show’s number to drop only slightly when time-zone-adjusted rating are released. A second Napoleon episode at 9:30 p.m. (7.2 million, 3.6) was still hearty. The Simpsons 8 p.m. time slot doesn’t have anywhere close to an accurate number yet since it contained overrun from the game. Family Guy (8.5 million, 4.4) also aired.

Between NBC’s Globes coverage and Fox’s football-animation combo, ABC and CBS took a hit.

ABC’s Once Upon a Time (9.8 million, 3.3) and Desperate Housewives (7.8 million, 2.7) dropped about 10 percent each. While Pan Am (3.9 million, 1.3) was low and unchanged — ABC might insist that Pan Am is not cancelled, but with these numbers it’s not going to get renewed.

On CBS, Undercover Boss (11.6 million, 3.0) was down 21 percent from last season’s fall debut and roughly matched the performance of Amazing Race in the slot. Globes probably stole a lot of viewers from The Good Wife (9.3 million, 1.9), which was down a whopping 30 percent. I don’t know what CBS is going to do with this show for next fall. It’s too acclaimed to cancel, but too modest for a CBS time slot on most nights. Friday banishment?

Updates to come…