CBS won six of seven nights last week, including all three when it aired NCAA men’s basketball tournament games, to be the most- watched network for the second consecutive week and ninth time in the 25-week- old television season.
The week’s most-watched NCAA tournament game was Gonzaga’s 90-84 victory over Ohio State Saturday on CBS which averaged 6.851 million viewers, the most for any program on the night and 17th for the week, according to live- plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.
The most-watched game on cable was Kansas State’s 50-43 victory over UMBC Sunday on truTV, which averaged 4.597 million viewers, second among cable programs and 36th overall.
CBS averaged 6.97 million viewers for its prime-time programming between March 12 and Sunday. NBC was second, averaging 5.6 million, followed by ABC, which averaged 4.7 million.
ABC, CBS and NBC all aired 22 hours of prime-time programming.
Fox finished fourth among the major broadcast networks for the eighth consecutive week, averaging 2.64 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 6.551 million viewers, 19th overall.
CBS had the week’s most-watched program, “NCIS,” which averaged 13.265 million viewers, and two of the other five to average more than 10 million, “Bull,” fifth for the week, averaging 10.639 million viewers, and “60 Minutes,” sixth for the week, averaging 10.078 million, its largest audience since Dec. 17.
“60 Minutes” received a boost because it followed a 32-minute runover of CBS’ afternoon NCAA tournament coverage that ran into prime time in the Eastern and Central time zones and a five-minute postgame show. The audience for the runover is not available, but the first 30 minutes averaged 11.569 million viewers. The postgame show averaged 8.658 million viewers.
NBC had the other three programs to average more than 10 million viewers. The two-hour March 12 edition of “The Voice” was second for the week, averaging 11.876 million viewers, its second-largest audience over the past year, trailing only last month’s season premiere, despite airing against “American Idol” on ABC, which averaged 8.414 million, 10th for the week.
March 12 was the lone night of the week won by NBC.
The hourlong March 13 edition of “The Voice,” was third for the week, averaging 11.176 million. The season finale of “This Is Us” that followed, averaged 10.94 million viewers, fourth for the week.
CBS also had the most-watched of the week’s four premieres, the crime drama “Instinct,” which averaged 9.049 million viewers to win its 8-9 p.m. Sunday time slot and finish ninth for the week. “Instinct” retained 89.8 percent of the audience of “60 Minutes” that preceded it.
The premiere of NBC’s high school musical drama “Rise,” averaged 5.503 million viewers, second in its 10-11 p.m. March 13 time slot and 29th for the week. “Rise” retained 50.3 percent of the audience of “This Is Us” that preceded it.
The premiere of the ABC legal drama “For The People” that ran opposite “Rise,” averaged 3.221 million, third in the time slot and 69th for the week. “For The People’s” audience was 12.7 percent larger than the 2.856 million average for the episode of “black-ish” that preceded it.
The premiere of the NBC game show “Genius Junior” averaged 5.029 million viewers, fourth in the 9-10 p.m. Sunday time slot and 31st for the week. “Genius Junior” retained 66.7 percent of the 7.542-million audience for “Little Big Shots” that preceded it.
Fox News Channel fended off the basketball competition to be the most- watched cable network for the fourth consecutive week and eighth time in the last nine, averaging 2.314 million viewers. MSNBC was second for the fourth consecutive week and ninth time in the last 10, averaging 1.977 million.
NCAA tournament coverage lifted TBS into third, averaging 1.784 million, 56.4 percent more than its 1.141 million average a week earlier.
The AMC horror series “The Walking Dead” was the most-watched cable program for the fourth consecutive week, averaging 6.663 million viewers, 18th overall.
The most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program for the second consecutive week was the Univision talent show “Pequenos Gigantes USA,” 81st among the week’s broadcast programs, averaging 2.071 million viewers. Its overall position was not available.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 19th consecutive week, averaging 1.56 million viewers. Telemundo averaged 1.06 million viewers to finish second for the 19th consecutive week after four consecutive first-place finishes. UniMas was third, averaging 710,000 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 16th consecutive week and 27th of past 28, averaging 8.813 million viewers.
The “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 7.857 million viewers.
The “CBS Evening News” averaged 6.084 million viewers for its Monday through Thursday newscasts. 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’ “NCIS”; the Monday and Tuesday episodes of NBC’s “The Voice” and “This Is Us”; CBS’ “Bull” and “60 Minutes”; ABC’s “The Good Doctor”; CBS’ “NCIS: New Orleans” and “Instinct”; and the Monday edition of ABC’s “American Idol.”
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