Monday Night Football returned to ABC, but audiences were apparently not ready for cheering. The contest between the Washington Redskins and Green Bay Packers averaged a 12.6 rating and an 18 share. That was well off the 16.1/26 rating scored by Monday Night Football on the comparable night a year ago -- when it faced competition from the Olympics.
Still, it was enough to help ABC win the night with an average 11.5/16. NBC was in second place with solid ratings for Dateline NBC, which focused on the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks (10.3/15), and the new drama Crossing Jordan (12.5/19). The return of Everybody Loves Raymond on CBS was the highest-rated program of the night, earning a 14.1/20, but a preview of the new Ellen DeGeneres comedy, The Ellen Show, which followed, was unable to hold on to those viewers, earning a 9.7/14.
"The premiere ... looked far from promising," commented New York Times TV writer Jim Rutenberg.