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Volume 24 No. 112
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Cowboys' Last-Second Win Over Giants Earns Fox Highest NFL Overnight This Season

The Cowboys' 24-21 last-second win against the Giants yesterday earned Fox a 18.9 overnight rating, the best mark for any NFL game this season. The previous best overnight was a 17.8 for the Packers-49ers season-opener. Cowboys-Giants is up 15% from a 16.5 overnight rating for the comparative 49ers-Saints game last season, when Week 12 fell on Thanksgiving weekend. Yesterday's game also is the best metered-market overnight rating for Fox since a Week 6 Cowboys-Patriots game in '11 drew a 19.1. Meanwhile, Fox' regional coverage earned a 9.8 overnight, up 12.6% from an 8.7 for Week 12 of last season. All three networks broadcasting NFL action yesterday saw double-digit jumps from '12. NBC's "SNF" Broncos-Patriots game, which saw the Pats come back from a 24-0 halftime deficit and win late in OT, earned a 17.0. That marks the best overnight rating for a November primetime game in 17 years. The game is up 26% from a 13.5 for Packers-Giants in Week 12 of last season. Combined with last week's 16.6 overnight rating for Broncos-Chiefs, NBC posted the first consecutive non-kickoff primetime games with at least a 16.6 overnight. Meanwhile, CBS' single-game coverage earned an 11.5 overnight rating, up 9.5% from a 10.5 last year (Joe Perez, Assistant Editor).

% +/-
CBS (single)
Fox (regional)
Fox Giants-Cowboys (96%)
49ers-Saints (93%)
NBC Broncos-Patriots

EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY: In Baltimore, David Zurawik wrote it is "hard to be too critical of any NFL telecast that delivers the kind of images" CBS did during Jets-Ravens yesterday, including following Ravens WR Jacoby Jones’ touchdown catch that put the team up 19-3 over the Jets. The "money shot with five seconds left in the third quarter was a close-up on the face" of Jets S Ed Reed, "who was beaten on the play." Reed was "sitting on the bench looking toward the field with a pained expression on his face," and then "hung his head in embarrassment." Director Suzanne Smith "wisely ... brought her cameras back to Reed no less than three times coming in and out of commercials as replays of Jones’ great catch replayed." CBS also included "images of a joyous Joe Flacco coming off the field after that pass showing as much excitement as you’re ever going to see from the Ravens' stone-faced quarterback" (, 11/24).

INSIDE INFORMATION:'s Richard Deitsch interviewed "The NFL Today" producer Drew Kaliski "about potential conflicts that could arise" from Dan Marino's position as an analyst on the CBS pregame show and his role as part of an "internal group chosen by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross to assess the Miami organization in the wake of the Jonathan Martin issue." Kaliski said, "I have had a lot of conversations with Dan and I need him to be honest with our viewers and honest with me, and to let us know what is happening as best as he can with the situation and also what he is finding out on this committee. He's one of my analysts and he has to be able to give us his opinion and takes on the situation. I would hope that it (the Dolphins situation) will be better now that he is on the committee and he can spread the word about harassment in the locker room, the workplace and bullying. This is a country and worldwide issue, and that hopefully being on this committee, he can learn some stuff and get that out on 'The NFL Today' to inform viewers" (, 11/24).

: In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes "embarrassing" and "humiliating" were the emotions NFL execs "must have felt ... while watching pregame shows (at least some of them) offer emotional retrospectives on the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, then a few minutes later debating the latest controversy over a player dropping the N-word." Memories of the controversy surrounding then-NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle’s decision "to play the Sunday after JFK was gunned down in Dallas gave way to the ramifications of the league suspending umpire Roy Ellison one game without pay for cursing out" Redskins OT Trent Williams after Williams "allegedly called the official the N-word." Both men "are African-American." Raissman: "This is your NFL" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/25).

ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE: In Baltimore, Mike Preston wrote he does not consider former players turned analysts like NFL Network's Michael Irvin and Warren Sapp or ESPN's Ray Lewis "as credible media representatives." Preston: "I think they are former players turned actors and they give us theater every week during the football season. Unfortunately, most of the time it isn't even good acting" (Baltimore SUN, 11/22). Meanwhile, the N.Y. DAILY NEWS' Raissman writes the "best thing we can say about Ray Lewis is: After 12 weeks at ESPN, he’s unpredictable." One show he is "waving Ravens pom-poms," and "on another, he’s offering to pay a player’s fine." Yesterday, he "opened a window into what he really thought while watching" Flacco. Lewis said of Flacco on ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown," "Our defense always bailed him out. ... They (Ravens brass) want to make Joe Flacco -- they gave him $100 million -- a Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. He’s not that type of guy" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/25).

DUBIOUS BENEFIT: ADWEEK's Anthony Crupi wrote Fox is moving its new series, "Rake," from the "plum post-NFC Championship Game spot" on Jan. 19 in favor of the season debut of "The Following." That show was last season’s highest-rated new drama series and "will reap the benefit of what will almost certainly be a massive NFL audience." While the post-playoff spot has "changed hands, Fox’s Super Bowl programming strategy remains unaltered." "New Girl" will air "immediately after" the Feb. 2 Super Bowl broadcast, with "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" to follow. Crupi noted the "practice of using the Super Bowl as a launching pad for a new series has fallen out of favor, largely because it’s not particularly effective" (, 11/22).

SOUTHERN SHOWDOWN: The NFL yesterday announced that the Panthers-Saints game on Dec. 8 will be flexed to NBC's "SNF" at 8:30pm ET, and the Falcons-Packers game will be played on Fox at 1:00pm ET (NFL).'s John Breech wrote, "If you feel like the Saints are in primetime every week, you're not that far off." The Dec. 8 game "will mark the Saints fourth nationally televised game in five weeks" (, 11/24).