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NFL Lead-In Boosts “60 Minutes”/Sean Penn Viewership; A Ratings Rundown For Last Week
This Jan. 14, 2016 image released by CBS News/60 Minutes shows Charlie Rose, left, with actor Sean Penn during an interview in Santa Monica, Calif., about Penn's meeting with Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. (CBS News/60 Minutes via AP)
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Football dominated the past week in the television ratings — and Sean Penn was among the beneficiaries.

The Nielsen company said Sunday's edition of CBS' "60 Minutes" was seen by 20.6 million viewers, its largest audience since a postelection interview with President-elect Barack Obama in 2008. The show opened with a Lesley Stahl report on Chinese corporate espionage, and featured Charlie Rose's interview with Sean Penn about his conversation with Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

The news show was handed a strong lead-in audience, with more than 30 million people watching the NFL playoff game between Pittsburgh and Denver.

Arizona's thrilling overtime victory over Green Bay on Saturday night was the week's most popular prime-time program with 33.7 million viewers, Nielsen said.

The week also featured Alabama's victory over Clemson for the college football national championship, which was seen by 25.7 million viewers.

CBS won the week in prime time, averaging 10.6 million viewers. NBC had 9.6 million, Fox had 4.2 million, ABC had 3.9 million, Univision had 2.2 million, Telemundo had 1.6 million, ION Television had 1.3 million and the CW had 1.2 million.

With the football championship, ESPN was the most popular cable network in prime time, averaging 3.99 million viewers; Fox News Channel had 1.96 million; the Disney Channel had 1.7 million; HGTV had 1.62 million; and TBS had 1.55 million.

NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.4 million. ABC's "World News Tonight" had 9.3 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 7.8 million.