NBC’s Sunday Night Football season kicked off on Thursday with 20.8 million total viewers and a 7.2 demo rating, obviously dominating the night while down 11 and 15 percent from the fast nationals for last year’s Carolina/Denver Super Bowl rematch. (That SNF opener went on to record 25.2 million viewers and a 9.4 demo rating.)
Over on ABC, Battle of the Network Stars opened the night with 3 million total viewers (its third-largest audience) and a 0.6 rating, ticking up on both counts from its last fresh episode; the highly competitive season finale then did 2.4 mil/0.6. The Gong Show ended its run with season lows of 2.1 mil/0.5.
CBS | Big Brother (6.1 mil/1.8) and the increasingly unfollowable Zoo (2.8 mil/0.5) surged week-to-week, with the latter posting its biggest audience since July 20.
FOX | Beat Shazam (2.5 mil/0.8) ticked up, while Love Connection (2 mil/0.6) was flat.
THE CW | Penn & Teller (1.4 mil/0.4) and Whose Line (1.2 mil/0.3) were flat.