The network's success with its live remake of "The Sound of Music" starring Carrie Underwood, which drew more than 18 million viewers last week, stunned even the most optimistic network executives. The showing already has them talking publicly about remaking more musicals in the future.
The telecast led NBC to a strong week in the Nielsen company's weekly ratings race, but the Von Trapp family had some help. Two episodes of "The Voice" landed in Nielsen's top 10 last week, and the annual show surrounding the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting was the week's most popular holiday-oriented show.
Then there's the football: NBC's Sunday night game between Carolina and New Orleans, with more than 19 million viewers, was the most-watched program all week.
"The Blacklist" was second only to CBS' "NCIS" as the week's most-watched drama and won that distinction among the youthful viewers that NBC courts.
NBC averaged 10.6 million viewers in prime time for its triumphant week. CBS had 7.9 million, Fox had 7.2 million, ABC had 5.9 million, Univision had 2.8 million, the CW had 1.8 million; ION Television had 1.4 million and Telemundo had 1.3 million.
ESPN was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 3.3 million viewers in prime time. The Disney Channel had 2.4 million, the Family Channel had 2.3 million, USA had 2.2 million and History had 1.9 million.
NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.6 million viewers. ABC's "World News" was second with 8 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 7.5 million viewers.
For the week of Dec. 2-8, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Football: Carolina at New Orleans, NBC, 19.07 million; "Sound of Music Live!" NBC, 18.62 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 15.63 million; NFL Football: New Orleans at Seattle, ESPN, 15.5 million; "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 15.22 million; "The OT," Fox, 14.61 million; NCAA Football: Ohio St. vs. Michigan St., Fox, 13.9 million; "NCIS," CBS, 12.59 million; "The Voice" (Tuesday), NBC, 12.14 million; "The Voice" (Monday), NBC, 12.03 million.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.