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NFL, NCAA football fuel Fox TV’s win of the prime-time week

Fueled by both college and pro football, Fox won a rare title as champ of the broadcast week among networks.

Fox’s Thursday night NFL airing of the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears was the week’s top show of any kind with 18.23 million viewers, and its broadcast of the Big 10 title game between Ohio State and Wisconsin on Saturday finished fourth for the week with 13.55 million viewers, the Nielsen company said Tuesday.

They were joined by the network’s drama “911” in 15th and its surreal singing competition “The Masked Singer” in 17th to help give Fox a prime-time average of 7.85 million viewers compared 6.59 million for second-place CBS, the dominant network that has been knocked from its top spot recently because of NBC and Fox’s nighttime football offerings.

Seven of the week’s top 10 shows were either football games or their pregame shows.

CBS’s perennial ratings generator “60 Minutes” was the week’s top non-football show, in fifth place with more than 13 million viewers, and the network’s “Young Sheldon” was the top scripted show in ninth with 8.39 million.

After Fox’s 7.85 million average viewers and CBS’s 6.59, NBC averaged 5.82 million viewers in prime time and ABC had 4.4. Univision was next up among broadcast networks with 1.26 million viewers, followed by ION television with 1.2 million, Next comes Telemundo had 1.14 million and the CW with 840,000.

Fox News Channel was the week’s most popular cable network, averaging 2.86 million viewers in prime time. ESPN was second with 2.71 million. Hallmark had 1.83 million, MSNBC had 1.81 million and A&E had 1 million.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” was second with 8.24 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.85 million viewers.

For the week of Dec. 2-8, the top 20 shows, their networks and viewerships:

1. NFL Football: Dallas at Chicago, Fox, 18.23 million.

2. NFL Football: Seattle at L.A. Rams, NBC, 17.88 million.

3. NFL Football: Minnesota at Seattle: ESPN, 14.56 million.

4. Big 10 Football Championship Game, Ohio State at Wisconsin, Fox, 13.55 million.

5. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 13.03 million.

6. NFL Pregame Show, NBC: 12.87 million.

7. NFL Pregame Show, Fox: 10.83 million.

8. “Football Night in America, Pt. 3,” NBC, 9.83 million.

9. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 8.39 million.

10. “The Voice,” NBC, 8.03 million.

11. Big 10 Football Championship Pregame, Fox, 13.55 million.

12. “Blue Bloods” CBS, 7.33 million.

13. “NCIS,” CBS, 7.18 million.

14. “Christmas at Rockefeller Center,” NBC, 6.88 million.

15. “Survivor,” CBS, 6.87 million.

16. “911,” Fox, 6.82 million.

17. “God Friended Me” CBS, 6.8 million.

18. “The Masked Singer,” Fox, .6.6 million

19. “Hawaii Five-0,” CBS, 6.55 million.

20. “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 6.44 million.

The top sports stories and insights from the global staff of The Associated Press wire service, breaking news since 1846.

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