A non-prime-time matchup between two of the NFL’s most popular teams and the absence of 10 p.m. dramas enabled Fox to edge NBC for a rare weekly ratings victory, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.
With the 56-minute runover of its Sunday afternoon NFL coverage, mainly of the Green Bay Packers 34-24 victory over the Dallas Cowboys, into prime time in the Eastern and Central time zones averaging 25.829 million viewers, Fox averaged 6.69 million viewers for its 17 hours, five minutes of prime-time programming between Sept. 30 and Sunday
The runover is not considered a separate program, but is included in the weekly average. Fox’s eight-minute NFL postgame show Sunday was considered a separate program and was second for the week, averaging 17.485 million viewers.
The Indianapolis Colts 19-13 victory over the previously undefeated Kansas City Chiefs on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the week’s most-watched program, averaging 18.129 million viewers.
Except for the occasional sporting event, Fox does not broadcast programming in the 10-11 p.m. time slot. Live-plus-same-day viewership for 10 p.m. dramas is customarily low, then grows substantially when delayed viewing is figured in.
NBC was second for the week, averaging 6.52 million viewers, followed by CBS, which averaged 6.16 million viewers, and ABC, which averaged 4.65 million viewers. Both CBS and ABC did not have any prime-time NFL programming to boost their viewership. NBC, CBS and ABC each broadcast 22 hours of prime-time programming.
The Seattle Seahawks 30-29 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Fox’s “Thursday Night Football” was third for the week, averaging 14.407 million viewers. Fox’s most-watched non-sports program was the procedural drama “9-1-1,” 14th for the week and ninth among non-NFL programs, averaging 7.478 million viewers.
Fox also received a boost from its first broadcast of the long-running professional wrestling series “Friday Night Smackdown” which was second in its 8-10 p.m. time slot behind the CBS duo of “Hawaii Five-0” and “Magnum P.I.” and 59th for the week, averaging 3.888 million viewers.
For the second time in the two-week-old 2019-20 prime-time television season, NBC’s most-watched programs outside its NFL coverage were its two editions of “The Voice.” The hourlong Tuesday edition was eighth for the week, third among non-NFL programs, averaging 9.037 million viewers, one spot ahead of the two-hour Monday edition which averaged 8.751 million viewers.
CBS had both of the two most-watched non-NFL programs, “NCIS,” fifth overall averaging 12.523 million viewers, and “FBI,” which followed “NCIS” and was seventh overall, averaging 9.468 million viewers.
ABC’s most-watched program was Ohio State’s 34-10 victory over Michigan State on “Saturday Night Football,” which was 22nd for the week, averaging 6.677 million viewers. ABC’s most-watched non-sports program was “Dancing with the Stars,” 23rd for the week, averaging 6.588 million viewers.
ABC’s reboot of “Kids Say the Darndest Things” was the most-watched of the week’s two premieres on the four major broadcast networks, finishing third in its Sunday 8-9 p.m. time slot and 40th for the week, averaging 5.446 million viewers. Its viewership was 31% higher than the 4.158 million average for “America’s Funniest Home Videos” which preceded it.
The premiere of Fox’s family drama “Almost Family” was sixth in the 9-10 p.m. Wednesday time slot, including trailing three cable programs, and 103rd for the week, averaging 2.731 million viewers. It retained 39% of the audience of “The Masked Singer” that preceded it. “The Masked Singer” averaged 6.985 million viewers, 19th for the week.
For the second consecutive week, the CBS comedy “The Unicorn” was the most-watched new series, averaging 5.99 million viewers, 31st for the week, retaining 99% of the audience of the premiere, which averaged 6.048 million viewers.
The second episode of “The Unicorn” retained 71.7% of the audience of “Young Sheldon” that preceded it. The first retained 73.3%. “Young Sheldon” was the most-watched comedy for the second consecutive week, averaging 8.352 million viewers, 11th overall and sixth among non-NFL programs.
The week’s most-watched cable program was the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-3 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” Sept. 30, which averaged 10.812 million viewers, sixth for the week.
ESPN was the most-watched cable network in prime time after two consecutive second-place finishes behind Fox News Channel averaging 2.862 million viewers.
ESPN’s coverage of the American League wild card game between the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays was fourth among cable programs, averaging 4.04 million viewers, and the Georgia-Tennessee college football game sixth, averaging 3.901 million viewers.
Fox News Channel was second, averaging 2.649 million viewers. TBS was third, thanks to coverage of National League postseason baseball, averaging 2.551 million.
The most-watched Spanish-language program was the Thursday episode of the Univision drama “La Usurpadora,” which averaged 1.753 million viewers, 86th among broadcast programming. Its overall position was not available.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the seventh time in eight weeks, averaging 1.31 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 1.06 million, followed by UniMas, which averaged 350,000, Estrella TV, which averaged 230,000 viewers, and Azteca America, which averaged 80,000.
Viewership figures for the network nightly newscasts were not available.
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC’s “Sunday Night Football”; Fox’s eight-minute NFL postgame show and “Thursday Night Football”; NBC’s nine-minute “Sunday Night Football” pregame show; CBS’ “NCIS”; ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”; CBS’ “FBI”; the Tuesday and Monday episodes of NBC’s “The Voice”; and CBS’ “60 Minutes.”
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