Adam Lambert Adam Lambert

ABC's broadcast of the American Music Awards could not outperform NBC's football coverage, even though the annual awards show pulled its largest audience in seven years.

Check out photos of the stars at the American Music Awards

The AMAs averaged 14.2 million viewers over the three-hour broadcast, an improvement of 2 million viewers from a year ago and the best numbers the show has averaged since 2002.  However, NBC's coverage of the Chicago Bears-Philadelphia Eagles gridiron contest averaged 14.6 million viewers to give NBC the win in total viewers and the 18-to-49 demographic.

Taylor Swift, Michael Jackson dominate the AMAs

CBS got off to a great start with

60 Minutes attracting 18.4 million viewers. The Amazing Race (13.5 million viewers) hung onto a chunk of the lead-in, but the numbers continued to fall with Three Rivers (10.3 million viewers) and Cold Case (8.5 million viewers).Fox's animated lineup had an average night: The Simpsons pulled in 7 million viewers, while The Cleveland Show dipped to 6.5 million viewers. Family Guy (7.5 million viewers) was Fox's most-watched show of the night, and American Dad drew 5.5 million viewers.