The first “American Idol” episode in nearly two years trounced an interview of O.J. Simpson which aired opposite of it on “Idol’s” former network, Fox.
“American Idol” averaged 10.483 million viewers, ABC’s largest viewership for series programming in the Sunday 8-10 p.m. time slot since March 9, 2014, and fifth among the broadcast and cable programs airing between March 5 and Sunday, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.
“O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession?” where Simpson gave a hypothetical account of the events that occurred on the night his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, were slain that Fox originally planned to air in 2006, averaged 4.496 million viewers, 43rd for the week and fourth in the time slot.
“American Idol” was the week’s fourth most-watched prime-time program among viewers ages 18-49, averaging 2.967 million viewers in the group targeted by ABC, Fox and NBC and coveted by advertisers.
Viewership for the two-hour Monday “American Idol” dropped 19.8 percent from the Sunday episode, averaging 8.41 million viewers, opposite “The Voice” on NBC, which averaged 11.872 million viewers.
“Idol’s” viewership among viewers ages 18-49 Monday dropped 19.7 percent from Sunday to 2.383 million. “The Voice” averaged 3.06 million viewers among the group.
The premiere of the crime drama “Deception,” which followed the Sunday “American Idol” episode was second in its time slot and 31st for the week, averaging 5.925 million viewers. “Deception” won the time slot and was 20th for the week among viewers ages 18-49, averaging 1.547 million viewers.
The week’s other premiere on the four major broadcast networks, the NBC comedy “Champions” was fifth in its Thursday 9:30-10 p.m. time slot and 79th for the week, averaging 2.702 million viewers.
CBS had each of the week’s three most-watched programs — “The Big Bang Theory,” “NCIS” and “Young Sheldon” — to finish first for the first time since the week of Jan. 22-28 when it aired the Grammys and eighth time in the 24-week-old television season.
ABC was second, averaging 5.34 million, followed by NBC, which averaged 5.13 million. ABC, CBS and NBC all aired 22 hours of prime-time programming.
Fox finished fourth among the major broadcast networks for the seventh consecutive week, averaging 3.09 million viewers for its 15 hours of prime- time programming. Its most-watched program was the first-season procedural drama “9-1-1” which averaged 6.053 million viewers, 29th overall.
ABC was first for the week among viewers ages 18-49, averaging 1.71 million viewers. It had three of the week’s seven most-watched programs among the group, “American Idol,” “The Bachelor,” sixth among the group averaging 2.895 million viewers, and “The Bachelor: After The Final Rose,” seventh, averaging 2.869 million.
NBC was second, averaging 1.44 million, followed by CBS, which averaged 1.22 million, and Fox, which averaged 1.05 million viewers.
Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable network for the third consecutive week and seventh time in the last eight, averaging 2.232 million viewers. MSNBC was second for the third consecutive week and eighth time in the nine eight, averaging 1.805 million.
ESPN, boosted by its coverage of college basketball conference tournaments, was third, averaging 1.676 million. ESPN’s viewership was up 21 percent from a week earlier when it averaged 1.385 million viewers, fourth for the week.
The AMC horror series “The Walking Dead” was the most-watched cable program for the third consecutive week, averaging 6.604 million viewers, 24th overall. “The Walking Dead” was the week’s most-watched program among viewers ages 18-49, averaging 3.614 million viewers. “The Big Bang Theory” was second, averaging 3.383 million.
The most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program was the Univision talent show “Pequenos Gigantes USA,” 71st among the week’s broadcast programs, averaging 2.197 million viewers. Its overall position was not available.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 18th consecutive week, averaging 1.63 million viewers. Telemundo averaged 1.1 million viewers to finish second for the 18th consecutive week after four consecutive first-place finishes.
UniMas was third, averaging 750,000 viewers, followed by Estrella TV, which averaged 250,000 and Azteca America, which averaged 80,000.
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 15th consecutive week and 26th of past 27, averaging 9.215 million viewers.
The “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 8.329 million viewers.
The “CBS Evening News” averaged 6.502 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 CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory”; “NCIS” and “Young Sheldon”; the Monday episode of NBC’s “The Voice”; ABC’s “American Idol”; CBS’ “Bull”; the Tuesday episode of NBC’s “The Voice”; CBS’ 7 p.m. edition of “60 Minutes,” “Mom” and “Blue Bloods.”
—City News Service
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