Despite record-low viewership, Fox’s coverage of the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards was last week’s fourth most-watched entertainment program and 10th overall, including trailing five football broadcasts, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.
Sunday’s ceremony from the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles Sept. 17 averaged 6.978 million viewers, 31.7% less than the previous low of 10.224 million viewers last year when it was carried by NBC and aired on a Monday night.
The most-watched entertainment program between Sept. 16 and Sunday was last Wednesday’s season finale of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” which was fourth overall behind three NFL programs, averaging 10.221 million viewers.
Viewership was 20.7% less than the 12.884 million average for last year’s finale and 34.7% lower than the 15.653 million average for the 2017 finale.
Despite the drop from 2018, the audience for the “America’s Got Talent” finale was the largest for a prime-time entertainment program since ABC’s “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s `All in the Family’ and `The Jeffersons,”’ averaged 10.374 million viewers.
Viewership for most forms of programming is down compared to the past primarily due to higher viewership of streaming programming, including the same programs shown on traditional television.
NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the most-watched prime-time program for the second consecutive week, with the Los Angeles Rams 20-13 victory over the Cleveland Browns averaging 18.593 million viewers, 4.4% less than the 19.457-million average for last season’s Week 3 “Sunday Night Football” game, the Detroit Lions 26-10 victory over the New England Patriots.
“Sunday Night Football” is averaging 19.478 million viewers through three games, 6.2% less than last season’s three-game average of 20.744 million.
A combined nearly eight hours of NFL programming and “America’s Got Talent” helped NBC be the most-watched network for the third consecutive week and 12th time in 13 weeks, averaging 6.18 million viewers.
CBS was second, averaging 5.62 million, its most-watched week since May 13-19 when it aired the finale of “The Big Bang Theory.” CBS received boosts from its first NFL runover of the 2019 season, an original segment on “60 Minutes” and the season’s most-watched college football game.
The 47-minute runover of its afternoon NFL coverage into prime time in the Eastern and Central time zones averaged 24.27 million viewers. The runover is not considered a separate program, but is included in the weekly average.
“60 Minutes” which followed, was sixth for the week behind four elements of NFL programming, averaging 9.933 million viewers. Georgia’s 23-17 victory over Notre Dame Saturday averaged 9.287 million viewers, eighth for the week.
ABC was third, averaging 3.83 million viewers. Its most-watched program was the season premiere of “Dancing with the Stars,” ninth for the week, averaging 8.077 million viewers, 5.2% more than the 7.68 million average for the 2018 season premiere which ran opposite more original first-run programming.
Fox finished fourth among the broadcast networks for the 34th time in 36 weeks, averaging 2.96 million viewers for its 16 hours, 55 minutes of programming. Outside of the Emmys, its most-watched program was 9 p.m. Wednesday edition of “MasterChef,” which tied for 39th overall, averaging 3.292 million viewers.
NBC aired 21 1/2 hours of programming for ratings purposes, ABC and CBS 22 hours each.
The week’s most-watched cable program was the Cleveland Browns 23-3 victory over the New York Jets on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” on Sept. 16, which averaged 12.216 million viewers, second for the week. Viewership was up 2.7% from the 11.889-million average for the third “Monday Night Football” game of 2018, the Chicago Bears 24-17 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
“Monday Night Football” is averaging 12.232 million viewers through three games, 14.1% more than the 10.722 million average through three games in 2018.
The week’s other prime-time NFL game, the Jacksonville Jaguars 20-7 victory over the Tennessee Titans on “Thursday Night Football” on NFL Network averaged 6.339 million viewers, third among cable programs and 12th overall.
Viewership was down 27% from the 8.668-million average for the Week 3 “Thursday Night Football” game on NFL Network in 2018, Cleveland’s 21-17 victory over the New York Jets.
Through two games, “Thursday Night Football” on NFL Network is averaging 6.502 million viewers, 17.4% less than the 7.874 million average through two games in 2018.
Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable network in prime time following two consecutive second-place finishes behind ESPN, averaging 2.385 million viewers. Fox News Channel averaged more viewers than the combined viewership of its two cable news rivals, MSNBC, third for the week averaging 1.509 million, and CNN, 11th for the week averaging 759,000 viewers.
ESPN was second, averaging 2.309 million viewers.
The most-watched Spanish-language program was the Sept. 17 episode of the Univision telenovela, “La Usurpadora,” which averaged 1.908 million viewers, 59th among broadcast programming. Its overall position was not available.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the fifth time in six weeks, averaging 1.26 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 1.09 million, followed by UniMas, which averaged 270,000, Estrella TV, which averaged 230,000 viewers, and Azteca America, which averaged 60,000.
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 43rd consecutive week and 94th time in the past 95 weeks, averaging 8.136 million viewers.
The “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 7.337 million viewers. The “CBS Evening News” averaged 5.04 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”; ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”; NBC’s nine-minute “Sunday Night Football” pregame show; the Wednesday episode of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”; the 21-minute third segment of NBC’s “Football Night in America”; CBS’ “60 Minutes”; the Tuesday “America’s Got Talent” episode; CBS’ coverage of the Georgia-Notre Dame college football game; ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”; and Fox’s coverage of the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: