It was NBC's last week of the season with NFL football. And it was a doozy. Saturday night's playoff game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers attracted 30.8 million viewers, while its pregame show drew 29.3 million. Nevertheless, CBS scored strongly with all of the top-ten scripted shows of the week, setting a series high for The Big Bang Theory with 19.3 million viewers. Person of Interest also posted a series high, and Two and a Half Men produced its best numbers for the season and led the network to its strongest Thursday-night performance since 2009. In an abbreviated schedule because of the New Year holiday, the nightly news programs saw a dip in average viewership. NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, which aired on four nights, averaged 8.9 million viewers. ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, which aired on three nights, garnered 8.5 million, while the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, which also aired on three nights, drew 7.2 million. For the week overall, CBS led with an average 5.3 household rating and a 9 share. NBC placed second with a 5.1/8. Fox came in third with a 4.0/6, while ABC trailed with a 3.0/5.
The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research:
1. NFL Playoff Game 2, NBC, 17.3/28; 2. NFL Playoff Pre-Kickoff, NBC, 16.9/29; 3. The Big Bang Theory, CBS, 11.4/18; 4. Fox NFC Wildcard Post-game, Fox, 11.2/17; 5. Person of Interest, CBS, 9.8/15; 6. Two and a Half Men, CBS, 9.2/14; 7. Cotton Bowl, Fox, 7.2/12; 7. Elementary, CBS, 7.2/12; 9. The Mentalist, CBS, 6.8/11; 10. NCIS Special (Jan 1), CBS, 6.7/10.