Singing competitions accounted for last week’s three most-watched programs behind the leader, the CBS action drama “NCIS,” according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.
Fox’s “The Masked Singer” concluded its nine-week run by averaging a series-high 11.479 million viewers, finishing second among prime-time broadcast and cable programs airing between Feb. 25 and Sunday. The previous high was 9.368 million for its premiere Jan. 2.
“The Masked Singer” was Fox’s most-watched program for each of the past seven weeks, a streak that began following the conclusion of the network’s prime-time NFL coverage.
The season premiere of NBC’s “The Voice” was third for the week, averaging 10.783 million viewers, its most-watched telecast since March 20, 2018.
Viewership was down 12.45 percent from the 2018 spring premiere that averaged 12.316 million viewers. Viewership for most forms of programming is down from last year because of increased viewership of streaming programming, including programming airing simultaneously on broadcast television.
The second episode of “The Voice” was fourth for the week, averaging 10.607 million viewers opposite “NCIS,” 2.1 percent less than the 10.84 million average for last spring’s second episode.
“NCIS” was first for the week, averaging 11.781 million viewers, 5.4 percent less than the 12.458 million average for the corresponding episode in 2018.
The CBS news magazine “60 Minutes” was the week’s only other program averaging more than 10 million viewers, averaging 10.24 million viewers, fifth for the week.
A comparable figure for 2018 is not available because the corresponding episode consisted of updated stories previously broadcast because of ABC’s Oscars coverage airing against it.
The opening episode of the second season of “American Idol” on ABC was seventh for the week, averaging 8.653 million viewers, 17.46 percent less than the 10.483 million average for last season’s premiere, ABC’s largest viewership for series programming in the Sunday 8-10 p.m. time slot since March 9, 2014.
The premiere of the NBC psychological thriller “The Enemy Within” was third in its 10-11 p.m. time slot Feb. 25 and 28th for the week, averaging 5.761 million viewers, retaining 53.61 percent of the audience of “The Voice” that preceded it.
Viewership for “The Enemy Within” was 3.68 percent less than the 5.981 million average for the premiere of the comedy-infused drama “Good Girls” which followed last spring’s premiere of “The Voice.”
Figures provided by Nielsen for traditional viewership are only one measure of a program’s popularity because of increased viewing of programming on a streaming or delayed basis.
CBS returned to the top of the network race after a one-week absence, averaging 5.92 million viewers for its sixth victory in seven weeks and 11th in the 23-week-old season. NBC was second, averaging 5.36 million. ABC averaged 4.83 million to finish third, a week after its Oscar coverage gave it its first victory of the season.
Fox averaged 3.44 million viewers for its 15 hours of programming to finish fourth for the seventh consecutive week.
ABC, CBS and NBC each broadcast 22 hours of prime-time programming for ratings purposes.
The week’s most-watched cable program was the AMC horror series “The Walking Dead,” which averaged 4.708 million viewers, 34th overall.
Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable network for the seventh consecutive week, averaging 2.389 million viewers.
MSNBC was second, averaging 2.034 million and USA Network third, averaging 1.266 million.
The most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program was the Monday episode of the Univision drama anthology “La Rosa de Guadalupe” which averaged 1.755 million viewers to finish 84th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 18th consecutive week, averaging 1.32 million viewers. Telemundo finished second, averaging 1.11 million viewers, followed by UniMas, which averaged 400,000, Estrella TV, which averaged 300,000, and Azteca America, which averaged 80,000.
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 14th consecutive week and 65th time in the past 66 weeks, averaging 9.536 million viewers.
The “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 8.51 million viewers.
The “CBS Evening News” averaged 6.340 million. 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”; Fox’s “The Masked Singer”; NBC’s Monday and Tuesday episodes of “The Voice”; CBS’ “60 Minutes”; ABC’s “American Idol”; the 8-9 p.m. segment of “The Masked Singer”; NBC’s “Chicago Med”; and a rerun of CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory.”
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