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Giants-Cowboys Game Tops Nielsen Ratings

George Doyle/Stockbyte(WASHINGTON) -- The highest-rated TV program of 2012 thus far was the final game of the NFL's regular season.

NBC's broadcast of the primetime New Year's Day matchup between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys drew 27.6 million viewers. With the NFC East division title and a playoff spot on the line, the Giants defeated the Cowboys 31-14.

The ABC special Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest averaged 12.9 million viewers on Saturday night. However, the broadcast reached an average of 22.6 million around midnight, when it aired the ball drop in New York City's Times Square.

CBS won the network ratings race for last week, followed by NBC, ABC, Univision, Fox, Telemundo, ION Television and the CW.

Here are the top 10 primetime programs for the week of December 26-January 1, according to the Nielsen Company:

1. NFL Football: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants, NBC, 27.62 million.
2. Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick, NBC, 21.23 million.
3. 60 Minutes, CBS, 14.45 million.
4. Football Night in America, NBC, 14.44 million.
5. Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest, ABC, 12.92 million.
6. NCIS, CBS, 12.58 million.
7. Criminal Minds, CBS, 10.60 million.
8. The Big Bang Theory, CBS, 10.16 million.
9. CSI, CBS, 9.74 million.
10. NCIS: Los Angeles (Wednesday), CBS, 9.17 million.
 
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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