CBS Studios
Photo by John Schreiber.

CBS had its most-watched week in nearly a year, thanks to its coverage of the AFC divisional playoff game between the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans and having nine of the 10 most-watched non-sports programs, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen.

CBS averaged 10.74 million viewers for its prime-time programming between Jan. 8 and Sunday, its highest weekly average since the week of Jan. 16- 22, 2017 when it aired the AFC championship game.

The victory was CBS’ sixth of the 16-week-old television season and first since the week of Dec. 11-17. It finished first among broadcast networks for the week of Dec. 25-31, but was second overall behind ESPN.

The week’s most-watched prime-time program was the College Football Playoff national championship on ESPN, with an average of 27.696 million viewers tuned to Alabama’s 26-23 overtime victory over Georgia.

Viewership was up 13.4 percent from the 24.421-million viewer average for Clemson’s 35-31 victory over Alabama in the 2017 national championship, which also aired on ESPN.

New England’s 35-14 victory over Tennessee on CBS was second for the week, averaging 26.69 million viewers, down 10.5 percent from the 29.816- million average for CBS’ Saturday prime-time divisional playoff game in 2017, a 34-16 victory by the Patriots over the Houston Texans.

Fox was second for the week, averaging 6.65 million viewers for its 15 hours, 30 minutes of prime-time programming, its most-watched week since its final week of World Series coverage, Oct. 30-Nov. 5.

Fox was boosted by the 81-minute runover of its coverage of Sunday’s NFC divisional playoff game between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints into prime time. The viewership for the entire runover was not available. The first hour averaged 40.316 million viewers. The runover is not considered a separate program, but is included in the weekly average.

NBC was third, averaging 4.6 million, followed by ESPN, which averaged 4.515 million, and ABC, which averaged 4.34 million.

CBS, NBC, ESPN and ABC each broadcast 22 hours of prime-time programming for ratings purposes.

CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” was the week’s most-watched non-sports program, finishing fourth overall behind two football games and a football postgame show, averaging 15.931 million viewers, its third-largest audience of the season.

CBS had five non-sports programs average more than 10 million viewers. No other network had a non-sports program average more than 10 million viewers.

Fox’s most-watched program was its nine-minute playoff postgame show Sunday which averaged 23.444 million viewers, third for the week. Fox’s most- watched non-sports program was “The Simpsons,” which averaged 8.042 million viewers following the playoff postgame show, 17th for the week.

The drama “This Is Us,” was NBC’s most-watched program, 10th for the week, averaging 9.654 million viewers.

ABC’s most-watched program was the first-season medical drama “The Good Doctor,” 15th for the week averaging 8.3 million viewers opposite the College Football Playoff national championship in most of the nation.

The most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program was the Tuesday episode of Univision biblical miniseries “Rey David,” which averaged 2.268 million viewers, 81st among broadcast programs. Its overall ranking was not available.

Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 10th consecutive week, averaging 1.53 million viewers. Telemundo averaged 1.13 million viewers to finish second for the 10th consecutive week after four consecutive first-place finishes.

UniMas was third, averaging 780,000 viewers, followed by Estrella TV, which averaged 260,000 and Azteca America, which averaged 80,000.

ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched nightly network newscast, averaging 9.921 million viewers.

The “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 9.681 million viewers.

The “CBS Evening News” averaged 7.322 million viewers. It has finished third each week since the week of Sept. 25-29, 2006.

The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were ESPN’s coverage of the College Football Playoff national championship; CBS’ coverage of Saturday’s New England-Tennessee AFC divisional playoff game; Fox’s nine-minute NFC divisional playoff postgame show; CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory”; ESPN’s College Football Playoff national championship pregame show; CBS’ “NCIS,” “Young Sheldon,” “Bull” and “Blue Bloods”; and NBC’s “This Is Us.”

—City News Service

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