ABC’ successor to “Roseanne,” `The Conners” drew the largest audience for a series premiere in the four-week-old prime-time television season and was the week’s fourth most-watched entertainment program.
“The Conners” averaged 10.567 million viewers, second in its Tuesday 8-8:30 p.m. time slot and eighth among all prime-time broadcast and cable programs airing between Oct. 15 and Sunday, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.
The season’s previous premiere high was the NBC mystery “Manifest,” which averaged 10.411 million Sept. 24.
However, viewership was 42.7 percent lower than the 18.453 million average for the first original episode of “Roseanne” since 1997 which aired on March 27 and was the largest audience for a comedy audience for a comedy since the 2014 post-Super Bowl episode of Fox’s “New Girl.”
The premiere of “The Kids Are Alright,” which followed “The Conners” averaged 6.524 million viewers, retaining 61.7 percent of the audience of “The Conners.” “The Kids Are Alright” was third in its Tuesday 8:30-9 p.m. time slot and 30th for the week.
ABC’s other premiere, the police drama, “The Rookie,” was third in its Tuesday 10-11 p.m. time slot and 47th for the week, averaging 5.427 million viewers.
For the seventh time in the seven-week-old NFL season, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the week’s most-watched program, despite drawing its smallest audience of the season.
The Kansas City Chiefs 45-10 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals averaged 16.015 million viewers. The previous low this season was 17.918 million viewers for the Baltimore Ravens’ 26-14 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 30.
Viewership was down 16.8 percent from last season’s Week 7 “Sunday Night Football” game, the New England Patriots’ 23-7 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in a rematch of Super Bowl LI which averaged 19.24 million viewers.
A one-sided game also resulted in the least-watched of Fox’s four “Thursday Night Football” games as the Denver Broncos 45-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in a matchup teams with losing records averaged 9.125 million viewers, 11th for the week.
The previous low was 13.273 million for the Oct. 4 game, a 38-24 victory for he New England Patriots over the Indianapolis Colts.
CBS finished first in the network race after placing second behind NBC the previous two weeks, averaging 7.56 million viewers. NBC was second, averaging 7.16 million.
ABC was third after finishing fourth the previous two weeks, averaging 4.71 million viewers. Fox was fourth, averaging 4.31 million viewers for its 16 hours, 54 minutes of programming.
CBS and ABC both aired 22 hours programming for ratings purposes, NBC 21 1/2.
CBS had three of the week’s five most-watched programs, “60 Minutes,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “NCIS.” It was also bolstered by the 37-minute runover of its afternoon NFL coverage into prime time in the Eastern and Central time zones which averaged 24.7 million viewers.
The runover is not considered a separate program, but is included in the weekly average.
The week’s most-watched cable program was ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” game, with the Green Bay Packers 33-30 victory over the San Francisco 49ers averaging 12.171 million viewers, fourth for the week.
A “Monday Night Football” game has been the most-watched cable program each week of the NFL season.
Coverage of the American League Championship Series made TBS the most-watched cable network for the second consecutive week, averaging 2.686 million viewers. ESPN edged Fox News Channel for second, 2.57 million-2.54 million.
The most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program was the Sunday episode of the Univision investigative reporting series “Cronicas,” which averaged 1.506 million viewers to finish 99th among broadcast programs. Its overall place was not available.
Telemundo ended Univision’s seven-week streak as the most-watched Spanish-language network, averaging 1.29 million viewers. Univision finished second, averaging 1.21 million, followed by UniMas, which finished averaged 450,000 viewers, Estrella TV, which averaged 320,000, and Azteca America, which averaged 80,000.
ABC’s “World News Wednesday evening with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 47th consecutive week and 58th of the past 59, averaging 8.002 million viewers.
The “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 7.83 million viewers.
The “CBS Evening News” averaged 5.75 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 NBC’s “Sunday Night Football”; CBS’ “60 Minutes” and “The Big Bang Theory”; ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”; CBS’ “NCIS”; NBC’s nine-minute “Sunday Night Football” pre-kickoff show; CBS’ “Young Sheldon”; ABC’s “The Conners”; the Monday edition of the NBC singing contest “The Voice”; and CBS’ “FBI.”
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