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TV Bulletin Board (Feb. 5)

Peyton Manning and the Dungys celebrate their Super Bowl triumph over the Bears; Mandy Patinkin of Criminal Minds ruminates.

The official national stats are in on Super bowl XVI, which ranks as the second most-watched ever with an average of 93.15 million viewers. That's just a hair behind Super Bowl XXX between the victorious Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers. That Jan. 28, 1996 game drew 94.08 million viewers.

Super Bowl XLI's 42.6 Nielsen rating ranks just 21st on the all-time list. Still on top is Super Bowl XVI (Jan. 24, 1982), which had a 49.1 rating for the San Francisco 49ers win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Rating points now are worth far more homes and viewers, though. And ad rates have ballooned from $324,300 for a 30-second spot back then to the $2.6 million price tag for Sunday's game.

CBS' followup act, a special telecast of Criminal Minds, lured 26.2 million viewers, finishing far behind last year's haul of 38.1 million viewers for ABC's post-Super Bowl episode of Grey's Anatomy. The record-holder is still Super Bowl XXX's followup Friends special, which had 52.9 million viewers.

Craig Ferguson mopped up with a post-local newscast edition of Late Late Show, which kept 5.2 million viewers either up or dozing while the TV set remained on. It was the show's largest crowd ever, no matter whom the host, says CBS.