Those hapless, hilarious but brilliant Cal Tech nerds of TV’s monster comedy ‘Big Bang Theory’ didn’t quite make it to the top in the ratings race, as the complex cops of ‘NCIS’ managed to draw more than a million more viewers than ‘Big Bang’ last week.
CBS returned to the top of the weekly prime-time television ratings last week after a two-week absence with 10 of the 12 most- watched scripted series, according to the latest live-plus-same day figures released by Nielsen.
CBS averaged 7.29 million viewers for its prime-time programming between March 6 and Sunday for its 12th victory in the 25-week-old season.
NBC averaged 5.94 million viewers to finish second, a week after its first weekly victory without an NFL telecast since the week of March 7-13, 2016.
ABC was third, averaging 4.38 million, followed by Fox, which averaged 2.59 million.
CBS finished second each of the previous two weeks. It did not air original episodes of its five most-watched scripted series for the season the week of Feb. 27-March 5. ABC won the week of Feb. 20-26 thanks to its Oscars coverage.
The week’s most-watched program was “NCIS,” which averaged 14.176 million viewers. It was one of eight programs, including three on CBS, to average more than 10 million viewers.
“The Big Bang Theory” was second, averaging 13.075 million.
NBC had each of the next three most-watched programs, the March 6 and March 7 episodes of “The Voice,” which averaged 12.004 million and 11.618 million, and the season’s next-to-the-last episode of the critically acclaimed first-year drama, “This Is Us,” which averaged a season-high 11.154 million viewers.
The viewership for “This Is Us” was the largest for an NBC scripted program in the Tuesday 9-10 p.m. time slot during the official television season since the Jan. 9, 2007, episode of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” averaged 11.798 million viewers.
“Grey’s Anatomy” was ABC’s most-watched program, 19th for the week, averaging 7.314 million viewers. Fox’s most-watched program was its first-year crime drama “Lethal Weapon,” 31st for the week, averaging 5.925 million viewers.
CBS, NBC and ABC each broadcast 22 hours of prime-time programming for ratings purposes and Fox 15 hours.
Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable network for the eighth consecutive week, averaging 2.43 million viewers. ESPN was second for the second consecutive week, averaging 1.745 million.
HGTV averaged 1.647 million million viewers to finish third for the second consecutive week after finishing second three times in the previous four weeks.
The AMC horror series “The Walking Dead” was the most-watched cable program for the fourth time in five weeks, averaging 10.676 million viewers, sixth overall.
The only program to interrupt “The Walking Dead’s” streak was Fox News Channel’s coverage of President Donald Trump’s first speech to a joint session of Congress Feb. 28.
“The Walking Dead” was the week’s most-watched program among viewers ages 18-49, averaging 6.265 million viewers among the group targeted by ABC, Fox, NBC and many cable networks and coveted by advertisers. “This Is Us” was second, averaging 3.802 million viewers.
The week’s most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program was the Monday episode of the Univision telenovela “El Color De Las Pasion,” which averaged 2.86 million viewers, 86th overall.
Longtime leader Univision averaged 1.71 million viewers to be the most- watched Spanish-language network for the 18th consecutive week and 20th time in 21 weeks.
Telemundo was second, averaging 1.33 million viewers, followed by UniMas, which averaged 760,000 viewers, Estrella TV, which averaged 240,000, and Azteca America, which averaged 100,000.
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched nightly newscast for the second consecutive week, averaging 8.42 million viewers. “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 8.345 million.
The “CBS Evening News” was third, as it has been throughout Scott Pelley’s more than five years as anchor, averaging 6.702 million viewers.
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were CBS’ “NCIS” and “The Big Bang Theory”; the Monday and Tuesday episodes of “The Voice” and “This Is Us,” all on NBC; AMC’s “The Walking Dead”; CBS’ “Bull”; NBC’s “Little Big Shots”; CBS’ “60 Minutes” and “Blue Bloods.”
—City News Service
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