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Primetime Ratings: Football Gives NBC Sunday Night Win

NBC was the top-rated network Sunday night in the 18-49 demo thanks to its coverage of NFL rivals Dallas and Washington battling it out in the Nation's Capital, while another Washington pair helped boost CBS' numbers.

The night saw the unusual confluence of three different networks posting above a 6 rating for an hour of primetime--CBS, ABC and NBC--and someone topping a 6 rating in each half-hour of prime, according to overnight Nielsen numbers.

NBC averaged a 5.3/13 on the night, thanks to football. NBC says the Skins/Dallas game was Sunday Night Football’s best number behind the Sept. 21 game, which also featured Dallas, that time against Green Bay.

CBS was second with a 4.4/11, thanks to its post-election, sit-down with Barack and Michelle Obama on 60 Minutes, plus some football help of its own.

The Obama interview at 7:30-8:30 p.m. averaged a 6.4/16, which combined with the 7.7/21 for a half-hour overrun of NFL football at 7-7:30 pm. were CBS' top shows of the night. CBS says it was the best performance from 60 minutes in the 56 metered markets in almost a decade 

ABC was third, topped by Despereate Housewives at 9-10 p.m. with a 6.1/13. Fox was fourth with a 3.1/7. Its best performer was Family Guy with a 4.2/9 at 9-9:30 p.m.

With so many big numbers on the other networks, there wasn't much left of the ratings pie for netlet CW. But programmers there knew what they were up against and programmed the night with repeats, averaging only a .2 rating and hashmarks in the share department (a "0," or not enough to move the dial).