New York — Mulder and Scully received a big assist from the NFL in attracting more than 16 million television viewers to the premiere of their return in Fox's The X-Files.
Fox's iconic series starring David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson is back for a limited run, and Fox schedulers smiled on them by booking the show directly after the NFC championship game between Arizona and Carolina. That game was seen by 45.7 million people on Sunday, the Nielsen company said.
While more people watched NCIS last week, The X-Files had more than twice as many viewers as any other scripted series among viewers aged 18-to-49, Nielsen said. That's the audience Fox cares the most about.
CBS' coverage of the AFC championship between New England and Denver wasn't in prime time, but it was seen by an average of 53.3 million viewers on Sunday on CBS. That made it the top-rated AFC championship game in 30 years, Nielsen said.
As the game was reaching its conclusion, CBS' telecast hit a peak of 63 million viewers between 18:00 and 18:30 EST.
The NFC championship helped Fox to an easy ratings win, with the network averaging 13.2 million viewers in prime time.
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