A big surprise this season for ABC continues to be the performance of its new fantasy-drama "Once Upon A Time" -- even as it goes up against late season NFL games.
Next to NBC's "Sunday Night Football," the ABC 8 p.m. show still put up a Nielsen preliminary 3.4 rating/8, down 11% from its most recent original episodes. But "Once Upon a Times" remained the best scripted show of the last Sunday in November.
On the downside, ABC ran its initial Hallmark Hall of Fame movie "Have a Little Faith" from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., earning a weak 1.1 rating/2 among 18-49 viewers. All that meant a 1.8/4 average for ABC on Sunday night -- only good for fourth place.
NBC scored a good -- but not great -- rated "Sunday Night Football, around a preliminary 6.8 Nielsen rating among 18-49 viewers. NBC led the night among 18-49 viewers with an overall 5.4 rating/13 share. CBS was second at 3.6/8 and Fox third at 2.4/6, followed by ABC at 1.8/4, Univision with 0.8/2, and Telemundo at 0.4/1.
Other notables: CBS got a big lift for "60 Minutes" from late afternoon NFL coverage -- up 24% to a 3.6/8. After that, "Amazing Race" came in 14%, down to a 2.4/5.
Fox's big shows were stable for the most part week-to-week -- after an initial late-afternoon NFL programming rise: "The Cleveland Show" was down 6% to a 1.9/5; "The Simpsons" were off 4% to a 2.6/6; "Allen Gregory" lost more ground, over 20% to a 1.5/3; and "Family Guy" gave up 13% to a 2.8/6, while "American Dad" was down 8% to a 2.2/5.
Some cable shows were a factor for the night: AMC's "The Walking Dead" took in a 6.6 million viewers and a 3.5 adults 18-49 rating for a mid-season finale -- a bit lower than last season's finale. E! season premiere of "Kourtney & Kim Take New York" pulled in a cable-hefty 3.2 million total viewers, up 6% from the last season premiere; and 2.3 million 18-49 viewers, up 6%.
By way of comparison, NBC had around 17 million total viewers on the night; CBS, around 13.5 million; ABC had 7.8 million; and Fox 5.3 million.