Once Upon a Time gave ABC its highest demo rating for a scripted series in a couple of years, entertaining 12.79 million people while posting a 3.9 among 18-to-49-year-olds, according to Nielsen data.
That's the best rating in the industry-prized demo for the network since V, Cougar Town, FlashForward and Modern Family each hit or surpassed 4.0 in 2009.
The show, which stars Ginnifer Goodwin and Jennifer Morrison as a lost-in-time mother and daughter, pulled off the feat against NBC's ratings behemoth Sunday Night Football and Game 4 of the World Series on Fox.
The football game, in which the New Orleans Saints routed the Peyton Manning-less and winless Colts, 62-7, was the biggest blowout in the franchise's history on NBC, which found itself in the unaccustomed position of finishing third in viewers for the night — and not that far ahead of ABC in the demo, to boot. It averaged 11.24 million as fans tuned out as the game got more lopsided, but still managed a night-leading 4.6 demo rating.
The Series game, a relatively tight contest between the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers, scored 13.61 million fans and hit a 3.9 demo rating.
Besides the two games, Once Upon a Time also vied with Amazing Race, which grabbed 9.91 million viewers (2.7 demo rating)
The news wasn't all good for ABC, however. In prime time's final hour Sunday, Pan Am kept descending. It got 5.77 viewers (1.8). Let's continue to chart the downward trajectory of the previous weeks: Viewership has totaled 10.87 million, 7.75 million, 6.42 million and 5.89 million viewers. At the same time, CSI: Miami grabbed 9.80 million people and a 2.1 demo rating.