Viewership for Sunday’s Los Angeles Rams-Chicago Bears game on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was 8.7 percent higher than the Chargers-Pittsburgh Steelers game a week earlier, despite 42 fewer points on the scoreboard, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.
The Rams 15-6 loss averaged 19.388 million viewers to be the most-watched prime-time television program between Dec. 3 and Sunday. The Chargers 33-30 victory Dec. 2 where they overcame a 16-point halftime deficit averaged 17.83 million viewers.
“The Big Bang Theory” was the most-watched entertainment program for ninth time in the nine weeks original episodes have aired this season, averaging 12.529 million viewers, fourth overall.
CBS also had each of the next five most-watched scripted programs — “NCIS,” fifth overall, averaging 12.046 million viewers; “Young Sheldon,” seventh overall, averaging 10.914 million viewers; “FBI,” ninth overall, averaging 9.721 million viewers, its largest audience since its premiere; “Blue Bloods,” 12th overall, averaging 8.895 million viewers; and “NCIS: New Orleans,” 15th for the week, averaging 8.329 million viewers, the most since its season premiere.
CBS returned to the top of the network race after a four-week absence, averaging 6.92 million viewers for its fourth victory in the 11-week-old 2018-19 prime-time television season. NBC was second for the second consecutive week, averaging 6.78 million viewers.
Fox was third, averaging 5.89 million viewers for its 16 hours, 21 minutes of prime-time programming, a week after finishing first. ABC was fourth for the sixth time in seven weeks, averaging 3.56 million viewers. Its most-watched program was “The Conners,” 25th for the week averaging 6.635 million viewers.
Outside of its NFL coverage, NBC’s most-watched programs were the Monday and Tuesday episodes of “The Voice,” which finished 10th and 11th, averaging 8.997 million and 8.918 million.
Fox was bolstered by the 54-minute runover of its Sunday afternoon NFL coverage into prime time in the Eastern and Central time zones which averaged 27.945 million viewers. The runover is not considered a separate program, but is included in the weekly average.
Fox’s most-watched program was the Tennessee Titans 30-9 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on “Thursday Night Football” which averaged 10.791 million viewers, eighth for the week.
Viewership was down 54.6 percent from the previous week’s “Thursday Night Football” game, the Dallas Cowboys 13-10 upset of the New Orleans Saints, which averaged 21.394 million viewers.
Fox’s most-watched non-football program was “The Simpsons,” 20th for the week, averaging 7.527 million viewers.
CBS and ABC both broadcast 22 hours of programming for ratings purposes, NBC 21 1/2.
The week’s most-watched cable program was ESPN’s Dec. 3 “Monday Night Football” game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington which averaged 11.384 million viewers, sixth for the week.
A “Monday Night Football” game has been the most-watched cable program each week of the NFL season.
ESPN was the most-watched cable network, averaging 2.487 million viewers. Fox News Channel was second, averaging 2.112 million viewers, followed by Hallmark Channel which averaged 2.002 million.
The most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program was the Wednesday episode of the Univision drama anthology “La Rosa de Guadalupe” which averaged 1.792 million viewers to finish 89th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the sixth consecutive week, averaging 1.41 million viewers. Telemundo finished second, averaging 1.09 million viewers, followed by UniMas, which averaged 400,000, Estrella TV, which averaged 310,000, and Azteca America, which averaged 100,000.
ABC’s “World News Tuesday evening with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the second consecutive week and 53rd time in the past 54 weeks, averaging 8.866 million viewers.
The “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 8.571 million.
The “CBS Evening News” averaged 6.348 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”; Fox’s six-minute Sunday NFL postgame show; NBC’s nine-minute “Sunday Night Football” pregame show; CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” and “NCIS”; ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”; CBS’ “Young Sheldon”; Fox’s “Thursday Night Football”; CBS’ “FBI” and the Monday episode of NBC’s “The Voice.”
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