It was the first week of the new season, and there, all to itself at No. 1, was NBC, the network that finished at the bottom of the heap last season. It was rescued by professional football, the sport it had abandoned in 1998 and remained aloof from until the 2006 season. Last week, two games produced record primetime ratings for the network. Thursday's season opener between Minnesota and New Orleans drew 27.5 million viewers and was the top-rated show of the week. Sunday's contest between Dallas and Washington drew 25.3 million viewers and was No. 2 on the list. NBC also got a strong assist from America's Got Talent, whose performance show on Tuesday drew 12.3 million viewers and whose results show on Wednesday drew 12.1 million. Among the nightly newscasts, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams remained in the lead with 7.8 million viewers. ABC World News with Diane Sawyer followed with 7.1 million, while The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric faded to 4.5 million. For the week overall, NBC led with an average 7.0 rating and a 12 share. CBS was a distant second with a 3.9/7. Fox came in third with a 3.5/6, wile ABC trailed with a 3.0/5.
The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research 1. NFL Season Opener Minnesota at New Orleans, NBC, 16.5/28; 2. Sunday Night Football Dallas at Washington, NBC, 15.0/25; 3. NBC NFL Thursday Pre-kick, NBC, 12.0/21; 4. Sunday Night Football Pre-Kick-off, NBC, 11.1/19; 5. Football Night In America, NBC, 8.5/15; 6. The OT , Fox, 8.0/14; 7. NFL Opening Kick-Off Show (Thursday), NBC, 7.4/14; 8. America's Got Talent (Wednesday), NBC, 7.3/12; 8. America's Got Talent (Tuesday), NBC, 7.3/12; 10. NCIS , CBS, 6.5/11.