At 9 p.m. ET on Sunday (Feb. 5), the vast, vast majority of America’s TV sets were tuned to Super Bowl XLVI. The ones that weren’t were, according to Nielsen, most likely watching “Downton Abbey.”
PBS has released ratings figures showing that its Emmy-winning “Masterpiece” series beat the other broadcast networks’ Super Bowl cannon fodder head-to-head on Sunday night.
A new episode “Downton” brought in 4 million viewers in the hour. That beat out the averages for repeats of “CSI: Miami” (3.1 million) on CBS, “Family Guy” and “American Dad” (2.35 million) on FOX and “The Middle” (1.8 million) on ABC.
The Super Bowl, meanwhile, was drawing in the neighborhood of 116 million viewers in the hour.
It also appears there’s not a huge crossover between the “Downton Abbey” audience and those who watched the Super Bowl. The New York Times notes that “Downton’s” ratingswere only about 10 percent below average.