Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

The conclusion of baseball’s World Series returned the network ratings race last week to the pattern it held throughout the first five weeks of the prime-time television series, with CBS first, NBC second, ABC third and Fox a distant fourth.

CBS had four of the six most-watched prime-time programs between Nov. 2 and Sunday, topped by “NCIS,” which was second overall with 10.34 million viewers, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.

CBS’ average was bolstered by the 36-minute runover of its Sunday afternoon NFL coverage that went into prime time in the Eastern and Central time zones and averaged 28.49 million viewers. The runover is not considered a separate program, but is included in the weekly average.

Second-place finisher NBC averaged 8.27 million viewers, with “Sunday Night Football” its most-watched program for the seventh time in the seven- week old prime-time television season.

The Philadelphia Eagles’ 33-27 victory over the Dallas Cowboys averaged 23.05 million viewers, the most for a Week 9 NFL prime-time game since a November 1999 “Monday Night Football” game on ABC between Dallas and the Minnesota Vikings that averaged 23.1 million viewers.

ABC was third, averaging 7.02 million viewers. Its most-watched program was the 49th annual CMA Awards, seventh for the week and first among programs airing on Wednesday. Around 13.62 million viewers tuned in for the country music awards ceremony.

Fox, the most-watched network one week earlier when the bulk of its programming consisted of five World Series games, was fourth, averaging 3.46 million viewers.

Fox’s most-watched programs were “Empire,” 13th for the week with 11.68 million viewers, and “Bones,” 48th for the week with 5.34 million.

NBC returned to the top among viewers ages 18-49, a week after finishing second behind Fox. NBC had finished first for each of the first five weeks among the harder-to-reach group that ABC also targets and advertisers covet.

“Sunday Night Football” was the most-watched program among the group, averaging 10.63 million viewers. AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” was second (7.84 million), followed by NBC’s 11-minute “Sunday Night Football” kickoff show (7.6 million), the 22-minute third segment of NBC’s “Football Night in America” (5.96 million) and “Empire” (5.88 million).

“The Walking Dead” was the week’s most-watched cable program, averaging 12.44 million viewers, ninth among all prime-time cable and broadcast programs.

ESPN was the most-watched cable network for the second consecutive week, averaging 2.97 million viewers. Fox News Channel was second, averaging 1.77 million viewers.

The week’s most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program was the Univision singing competition “La Banda,” which averaged 2.97 million viewers, 93rd among all prime-time broadcast and cable programs.

As usual, Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network, averaging 2.18 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 1.53 million, followed by UniMas (630,000), Estrella TV (270,000), MundoMax (160,000) and Azteca America (100,000).

The “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 20th consecutive week, averaging 9.02 million viewers. ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was second, averaging 8.79 million viewers, followed by the “CBS Evening News” anchored by Scott Pelley (7.57 million).

The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC’s “Sunday Night Football”; CBS’ “NCIS”; NBC’s 11-minute “Sunday Night Football” kickoff show; CBS’ “60 Minutes,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “NCIS: New Orleans”; ABC’s 49th annual CMA Awards; the 22-minute third segment of NBC’s “Football Night in America”; AMC’s “The Walking Dead”; and ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”

—Staff and wire reports

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