HBO’s “Game of Thrones” drew its largest audience while CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” was officially last week’s most-watched prime-time program, according to figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.
The HBO fantasy drama’s next-to-last episode averaged 12.479 million viewers, according to live-plus-same-day figures. Its previous high was 12.072 million for the seventh-season finale on Aug. 27, 2017.
The total viewership — which consists of linear and the HBO Go and HBO Now streaming services — was 18.4 million, also a series record, according to HBO. The previous record was 17.8 million for “The Long Night” episode which aired on April 28.
“The Big Bang Theory,” which also aired its next-to-last episode, drew its largest audience since March 7, averaging 12.594 million viewers to officially be the most-watched prime-time program between May 6 and Sunday.
CBS had six of the week’s seven most-watched programs, including the other two to average more than 9 million viewers, “NCIS,” which averaged 11.667 million, and “Young Sheldon,” which averaged 10.487 million.
CBS was the most-watched network for the 11th consecutive week, 16th time in 17 weeks and 22nd in the 33-week-old 2018-19 prime-time television season, averaging 5.96 million viewers.
NBC returned to second after a one-week absence, averaging 4.07 million viewers. Its most-watched program was “Chicago Med,” 10th for the week, averaging 7.803 million viewers.
ABC was third, averaging 3.63 million viewers. Its most-watched program was “American Idol,” eighth for the week, averaging 7.869 million viewers.
Fox was fourth for the 17th consecutive week, averaging 2.45 million viewers for its 16 hours of programming. Its most-watched show was “9-1-1,” 25th for the week, averaging 5.819 million viewers.
The premiere of Fox’s rebooted alternative series “Paradise Hotel” averaged 1.407 million viewers, 101st among the week’s broadcast programs, including trailing reruns of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Chicago PD” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” on Ion Television.
“Paradise Hotel’s” overall rank was not available.
“Paradise Hotel” originally aired on Fox in 2003. A second season aired on MyNetwork TV and the Fox Reality Channel in 2008.
CBS and ABC both broadcast 22 hours of prime-time programming for ratings purposes and NBC 21 hours, 51 minutes.
TNT was the most-watched cable network in prime time after three consecutive second-place finishes, averaging 3.365 million viewers.
NBA playoff games on TNT accounted for seven of the week’s 14 most-watched prime-time cable programs, topped by Game 4 of the Golden State Warriors-Houston Rockets Western Conference semifinal series May 6 which averaged 6.971 million viewers, third among cable programs and 14th overall.
Fox News Channel averaged 2.286 million viewers to finish second after five consecutive first-place finishes and 15 in the previous 16 weeks.
ESPN was third, averaging 1.788 million viewers.
ESPN’s NBA playoff coverage accounted for three of the top nine cable programs of the week, topped by the Warriors series-clinching 118-113 victory Friday which averaged 7.328 million viewers, second among the week’s cable programs and 12th overall.
The most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program was the Monday episode of the Telemundo telenovela “La Reina del Sur,” which averaged 1.958 million viewers, 71st among the week’s broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.
Telemundo averaged 1.33 million viewers to be the most-watched Spanish-language network for the fourth consecutive week after 24 consecutive second-place finishes behind Univision.
Univision finished second, averaging 1.22 million viewers, followed by UniMas, which averaged 320,000, Estrella TV, which averaged 220,000, and Azteca America, which averaged 50,000.
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 24th consecutive week and 75th time in the past 76 weeks, averaging 8.188 million viewers.
The “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 7.492 million viewers.
The “CBS Evening News” averaged 5.635 million viewers in Jeff Glor’s final week as anchor. 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”; HBO’s “Game of Thrones”; CBS’ “NCIS,” “Young Sheldon,” “FBI,” “Blue Bloods” and “Mom”; ABC’s “American Idol”; CBS’ “60 Minutes”; and NBC’s “Chicago Med” and “Chicago Fire.”
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