Justin Bieber proved no match for Michael Vick, with viewership for the American Music Awards dropping to its third-lowest figure
in years while NBC scored with the most-watched November NFL prime-time game since 1996.
With Bieber winning four awards, including Artist of the Year, ABC's coverage of Sunday's three-hour ceremony from the Nokia Theatre averaged 11.72 million viewers, finishing 19th among the programs shown on the five major broadcast networks between Nov. 15 and Sunday.
Viewership was down 17.72 percent from last year's ceremony, when an average of 14.24 million viewers watched as country star Taylor Swift won five awards and Michael Jackson posthumously won four.
The two least watched American Music Awards ceremonies came in 2006, when 10.85 million viewers tuned in, and 2005, when 11.68 million viewers watched. This was the 37th AMA telecast.
Despite the overall decline in viewership, Bieber probably was the reason for a 19 percent increase among viewers ages 2-11 -- the American Music Awards' largest audience among that group since 2004 -- and 12 percent among viewers ages 12-17.
The ceremony won its time period among viewers ages 12-17 and women ages 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54.
The American Music Awards also propelled ABC to its most-watched Sunday in the nine-week old prime-time television season, according to live-plus same-day figures released today by The Nielsen Co.
NBC's ``Sunday Night Football'' game between Vick's Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants, which aired opposite the AMAs in the eastern and central time zones where most of the nation's population lives, averaged 23.2 million viewers to be the week's most-watched program.
CBS was the most-watched network for the eighth time in the season's nine weeks, averaging 11.69 million viewers, and had each of the week's eight most-watched scripted programs.
``NCIS'' was the most-watched scripted program for the eighth time in the eight weeks this season it has aired an original episode. The drama series finished third overall, averaging 19.43 million viewers.
``Two and a Half Men'' was the most-watched comedy for the eighth time in nine weeks, finishing 10th overall with an average of 14.25 million viewers.
``Mike & Molly'' was the most-watched new series for the third time this season, averaging 12.15 million viewers, finishing 14th overall.
CBS has had the most-watched scripted series, the most-watched comedy and the most-watched new series each week of the season.
ABC finished second for the eighth time in the season's nine weeks, averaging 9.31 million viewers.
ABC's ``Dancing with the Stars'' finished second for the week, averaging 20.68 million viewers, its largest audience since Sept. 27. ``Dancing with the Stars: The Results,'' finished fifth, averaging 17.43 million viewers, the most since its season-opener on Sept. 21.
NBC finished third for the seventh time in the season's nine weeks, averaging 7.63 million viewers.
Outside of its football programming NBC's most-watched program was ``Law & Order: Los Angeles,'' which finished 40th, averaging 7.84 million viewers.
Fox finished fourth for the eighth time in nine weeks, averaging 6.13 million viewers. Its most-watched program was ``Glee,'' which finished 20th, averaging 11.7 million viewers.
``Glee'' was the week's most-watched non-sports program among viewers ages 18-49, the group coveted by advertisers because they watch less television and are harder to reach, and those ages 12-17 and 18-34.
The CW was a distance fifth for the ninth consecutive week of the season, averaging 1.89 million viewers. Its most-watched program was ``Smallville,'' which averaged 2.61 million viewers to finish 86th among programs on the five major broadcast networks.
CBS was the week's most-watched network last week among viewers ages 18-49 for the seventh time in the season's nine weeks. It also led among viewers ages 25-54 and 55 and older. Fox led among viewers ages 12-17 and 18-34.
ESPN's ``Monday Night Football'' game between Philadelphia and the Washington Redskins on Nov. 15 was the week's most-watched cable program. About 15 million viewers tuned in, the fifth most for any cable program this year, topped only by four other ``Monday Night Football'' games. It would have ranked eighth among the week's programs on the five major broadcast networks.
ESPN was the week's most-watched cable network in prime time for the fourth consecutive week and ninth time in 11 weeks, averaging 3.68 million viewers.
As usual, Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network, averaging 4.01 million viewers for its prime-time programming. Telemundo was second, averaging 1.09 million, followed by TeleFutura (940,000), Estrella TV (280,000) and Azteca America (240,000).
The week's most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program was the Monday episode of a Univision telenovela. ``Soy tu Duena'' averaged 5.98 million viewers, which would have put it 56th among the programs on the five major English-language networks.
NBC finished first among the network nightly newscasts for the 62nd consecutive week and 109th time in the past 110 weeks, averaging 9.38 million viewers, followed by ABC (7.88 million) and CBS (6.13 million).
The week's 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC's ``Sunday Night Football''; ABC's ``Dancing with the Stars''; CBS' ``NCIS'' and ``60 Minutes''; ABC's ``Dancing with the Stars: The Results''; NBC's nine-minute ``Sunday Night Football'' pregame show; CBS' ``NCIS: Los Angeles''; ESPN's ``Monday Night Football''; and CBS' ``The Mentalist'' and ``Criminal Minds.''