All three elements of last Wednesday’s “Chicago” crossover were among the week’s six most-watched non-NFL programs, helping NBC to its second weekly victory of the 2019-20 prime-time television season, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.
The crossover began with “Chicago Fire,” airing at 8 p.m., an hour earlier than usual, attracting its largest audience since April 3, averaging 8.237 million viewers, 13th among all prime-time broadcast and cable programs airing between Oct. 14 and Sunday, sixth among non-NFL programs and fifth among entertainment programs.
“Chicago Med” which followed, drew its largest audience since Feb. 20, averaging 8.943 million viewers, eighth for the week and second among non-NFL and entertainment programs.
“Chicago P.D.” was 10th for the week and fourth among non-NFL and entertainment programs, averaging 8.626 million viewers, its most since Feb. 20. Its viewership was up 36% from its 6.342-million average the previous week.
“Chicago P.D.” was the week’s most-watched 10 p.m. drama. Viewership for 10 p.m. dramas customarily increases significantly when delayed viewing is figured in.
NBC also had the week’s most-watched prime-time program, the Dallas Cowboys 37-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on “Sunday Night Football,” which averaged 21.451 million viewers, the second-largest audience of the television season, behind only the 24.108 million average for the New Orleans Saints’ 12-10 victory over Dallas Sept. 29.
Viewership was up 44.1% from the 14.887-million average for the previous week’s “Sunday Night Football” game, the L.A. Chargers 24-17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the least-watched “Sunday Night Football” game since October 28, 2018, when the New Orleans Saints 30-20 victory over the Minnesota Vikings opposite the fifth and final game of the World Series averaged 14.09 million viewers.
NBC averaged 6.96 million viewers for the week. Fox was second, averaging 6.1 million for its 16 hours, two minutes of prime-time programming, followed by CBS, which averaged 5.66 million, and ABC, which averaged 4.34 million.
CBS, NBC and ABC each broadcast 22 hours of prime-time programming. CBS and ABC did not have any prime-time NFL programming to bolster viewership.
Fox’s weekly average was bolstered by the 46-minute runover of its afternoon NFL coverage into prime time in the Eastern and Central time zones and averaged 20.995 million viewers. The runover is not considered a separate program, but is included in the weekly average.
Fox’s most-watched program was the Kansas City Chiefs’ 30-6 victory over the Denver Broncos on “Thursday Night Football” which averaged 14.015 million viewers, third for the week.
Viewership was the lowest of Fox’s four “Thursday Night Football” games this season and 13.8% less than the 16.263-million average for the previous week’s game, a 35-14 victory by the New England Patriots over the New York Giants.
Fox’s most-watched non-NFL program was “The Masked Singer,” 20th for the week, averaging 7.421 million viewers.
CBS had the week’s most-watched non-NFL program, “NCIS,” sixth overall averaging 10.879 million viewers, the only entertainment program to average more than 9 million viewers.
ABC’s most-watched program was Penn State’s 28-21 victory over Michigan on “Saturday Night Football” which was 24th for the week, averaging 6.658 million viewers. “Dancing with the Stars,” was its most-watched non-sports program, averaging 6.632 million viewers, 25th for the week.
ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” averaged a season-high 14 million viewers Oct. 14 for the Green Bay Packers’ 23-22 victory over the Detroit Lions, fourth for the week. “Monday Night Football” has been the most-watched cable program for each of the first six weeks of the NFL season.
CNN’s Democratic presidential debate Oct. 15 was second among cable programs and 11th overall, averaging 8.606 million viewers. The campaign’s other debates to air solely on cable averaged 8.687 million and 10.772 million July 30-31, also on CNN, opposite less original programming but also when overall television viewership is lower.
ESPN was the most-watched cable network in prime time for the third consecutive week after back-to-back second-place finishes behind Fox News Channel, averaging 2.815 million viewers.
The most-watched Spanish-language program was the seventh-season premiere of the Telemundo telenovela “El Senor de los Cielos” which averaged 2.003 million viewers, 83rd among broadcast programming. Its overall position was not available.
Telemundo was the most-watched Spanish-language network after finishing second behind Univision for eight of the previous nine weeks, averaging 1.43 million viewers. Univision was second, averaging 1.32 million, followed by UniMas, which averaged 410,000, Estrella TV, which averaged 220,000 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 47th consecutive week and 98th time in the past 99 weeks, averaging 8.227 million viewers.
The “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 7.365 million viewers. The “CBS Evening News” averaged 5.232 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” and its nine-minute kickoff show; Fox’s “Thursday Night Football”; ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”; Fox’s eight-minute Sunday NFL postgame show; CBS’ “NCIS”; the 21-minute third segment of NBC’s “Football Night in America”; NBC’s “Chicago Med”; CBS’ “FBI”; and NBC’s “Chicago PD.”
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