The finale of ABC’s “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” was last-week’s highest-rated non-sports prime-time program while the premiere of Fox’s “9-1-1: Lone Star” and CBS’ “NCIS” were the week’s other entertainment programs to average more than 9 million viewers, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Wednesday.
Ken Jennings’ third victory in four matches averaged 13.552 million viewers, sixth among the prime-time broadcast and cable programs airing between Jan. 13 and Sunday.
Viewership was lower than each of the first three matches, but still more than any entertainment program during the 17-week-old 2019-20 television season with the exception of NBC’s Golden Globes telecast and the first three “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” matches.
The final match also averaged more viewers than any of the first five games of Fox’s coverage of baseball’s World Series.
“9-1-1: Lone Star” was second among non-sports programs and fifth overall, averaging 11.405 million, the most for a series premiere this season, surpassing the previous high of 7.196 million viewers for “FBI: Most Wanted” on CBS Jan. 7.
“9-1-1: Lone Star” followed Fox’s coverage of the NFC championship game, which averaged 42.792 million viewers, the most for a prime-time program this season.
Viewership for the San Francisco 49ers 37-20 victory over the Green Bay Packers was down 20.6% from last year’s prime-time conference championship game, the New England Patriots 37-31 overtime victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship game on CBS which averaged 53.918 million viewers.
Official viewership for most programming is lower than the past because of increased viewership of streaming programming, including streams of the same programs shown on traditional television.
Viewership for the NFC championship game was depressed by San Francisco taking a 27-0 halftime lead.
The Democratic presidential debate on CNN Jan. 14 averaged 7.404 million viewers, 14th for the week and ninth among non-football programs.
Viewership was up 18.3% from the most recent debate Dec. 19, which averaged a combined audience of 6.173 million viewers on CNN and the Public Broadcasting Service, the least of the 2020 campaign’s nine debate telecasts.
The NFC championship game gave Fox its fifth weekly ratings victory of the season, averaging 9.91 million viewers for its 16 hours, 41 minutes of prime-time programming.
CBS was second, averaging 4.94 million, followed by ESPN, which averaged 4.278 million, NBC, which averaged 4.21 million, and ABC, which averaged 3.75 million.
CBS, ESPN, NBC and ABC each broadcast 22 hours of prime-time programming for the week.
Fox’s weekly average benefits by only broadcasting two nights a week in the 10-11 p.m. time slot, which the other broadcast networks generally use for hourlong dramas and news magazines, which lower their weekly averages.
Playback of programming recorded earlier in the evening peaks from 10-11 p.m. also depressing the viewership for programming airing in that time slot.
Fox’s highest-rated program outside of its Sunday programming was the comedy “Last Man Standing” which averaged 4.795 million viewers, 30th for the week, 24th among non-sports programs.
The week’s most-watched cable program was ESPN’s coverage of the LSU’s 42-25 victory over Clemson in the College Football Playoff national championship which averaged 25.583 million viewers, third overall.
Viewership was 3.5 percent higher than Clemson’s 44-16 victory over Alabama in the 2019 championship which averaged 24.708 million viewers.
The highest-rated Spanish-language program was the Monday episode of the Univision drama anthology “La Rosa de Guadalupe” which averaged 1.876 million viewers, 74th among broadcast programming. Its overall position was not available.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the eighth consecutive week and ninth time in 10 weeks, averaging 1.61 million viewers. Telemundo averaged 890,000 viewers to finish second, followed by UniMas, which averaged 560,000, Estrella TV, which averaged 200,000 viewers, and Azteca America, which averaged 70,000.
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the seventh consecutive week, 58th time in 59 weeks and 110th time in 112 weeks, averaging 9.277 million viewers.
“NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 8.084 million viewers. The “CBS Evening News” averaged 5.882 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 Fox’s coverage of Sunday’s NFC championship game and initial postgame show; ESPN’s coverage of the College Football Playoff national championship; the second NFC championship game postgame show; ESPN’s 21-minute College Football Playoff national championship pregame show; the fourth match of ABC’s “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time”; Fox’s “9-1-1: Lone Star”; and CBS’ “NCIS”, “Young Sheldon” and “FBI.”
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