A cable record 27.3 million people watched Auburn's last-second victory over Oregon in the college football national championship game on ESPN.
That's down from the 30.8 million who watched last year's game on ABC, but up compared to the 26.8 million who watched on Fox two years ago.
If the preliminary figures hold, the game would be the most-watched program in the history of cable television — breaking the record set by a Monday Night Football game between the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 5, 2009, when 21.8 million people watched.
Meantime, the broadcast networks mainly punted — with reruns.
The Bachelor did a decent job of holding onto its audience in Week 2, with some 8.4 million viewers. About 9 million people watched the ABC show's Season 15 two-hour premiere last week.
During prime time's first hour Monday, viewership was down substantially from a week ago with repeats of How I Met Your Mother (7.4 million viewers) and Rules of Engagement (6.7 million) on CBS; Chuck (3 million) on NBC; and 90210 (950,000) on the CW.
At 9, recycled episodes of Two and a Half Men and Mike & Molly managed audiences of 10.2 million viewers and 8.7 million, respectively. On the CW, Gossip Girl rerun got just 777,000, while a two-hour repeat of NBC's The Cape starting at 9 averaged about 3.6 million viewers.
Fox's double offering of two new Lie to Me episodes each nabbed 5.5 million.
Nielsen figures on Tuesday also showed that NBC Sports scored the most-watched prime-time NFL wild-card game ever on a Saturday. Some 33.4 million viewers tuned in to the game between the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts — 4 percent higher than last year's Philadelphia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys game (32.1 million). The earlier game pitting the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints against the Seattle Seahawks attracted 28.4 million — 14 percent more than last year's comparable game.