Credit: David Giesbrecht/FOX

A brutal but exhilarating NFC Championship that ended with a crazy diatribe by Seahawks corner Richard Sherman did a serious solid for the return of The Following.

The Kevin Bacon drama that aired from 10:18-11:18 p.m. averaged a 4.4 rating among adults 18-49 — a 38 percent increase from last year’s premiere (2.2/8 on Jan. 21), according to Nielsen. The drama was also up 63% versus the season one finale on April 29 (2.7/7).

That, and the game, and Sherman, gave Fox its highest-rated night in the demo in two years. (Football finals will come later). Here is Sherman’s big moment, in case you didn’t see what ended up exploding on social media:


Anyhoo, let’s get onto the rest of the nights: CBS played it safe by airing repeats, while NBC went with a Dateline (a mere .8/2) and the movie “Bridesmaids” (only a .9/2 for Melissa McCarthy!). ABC went with originals and suffered: The Bachelor: Love Stories earned a .9/2,

  • Revenge grabbed a 1.3/3, down 19% from last week, and the series finale of

Betrayal earned a .7/2, down 13% from last week.