“NCIS” became the first recorded program to be a week’s most-watched program during the 2019-20 prime-time television season, and the week’s only program to average more than 9 million viewers, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Wednesday by Nielsen.
NFL games were the most-watched programs 16 of the first 20 weeks of the season. Game 7 of the World Series, a Fox NFL postgame show, the Grammys and Oscars were the highest-rated programs the other weeks.
“NCIS” averaged 11.761 million viewers. “FBI,” which followed “NCIS,” was second among broadcast and cable programs airing between Feb. 10 and Sunday, averaging 8.935 million viewers.
Both of the premieres on the four major broadcast networks drew lackluster responses from viewers.
ABC’s prison-courtroom drama “For Life” was fourth in its 10-11 p.m. time slot Feb. 11 and 66th for the week, averaging 3.151 million viewers.
The Fox animated comedy “Duncanville” was 102nd among broadcast programs, averaging 1.518 million viewers. Its overall rank was not available.
CBS was the highest-rated network for the sixth time this season, averaging 6.02 million viewers. It had five of the week’s eight highest-rated programs, including “Young Sheldon,” the highest-rated comedy, averaging 8.901 million viewers to finish third overall.
ABC was second, averaging 4.13 million viewers, followed by NBC, which averaged 3.95 million viewers, Fox News Channel, which averaged 3.146 million viewers, and Fox, which averaged 2.73 million viewers for its 16 hours of programming, its second consecutive fourth-place finish among the broadcast networks following Super Bowl LIV.
CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox News Channel each aired 22 hours of prime-time programming.
The season premiere of “American Idol” was ABC’s most-watched program, finishing eighth averaging 8.073 million viewers, 6.7% less than last year’s season premiere, which averaged 8.653 million viewers.
Viewership for most forms of programming has decreased in recent years, in part because of competition from streaming programs, including streams of the same programs shown on traditional television.
Two elements of the “Chicago” franchise were NBC’s most-watched programs. “Chicago Fire” was fourth for the week, averaging 8.289 million viewers. “Chicago Med,” which preceded “Chicago Fire,” was fifth for the week, 8.178 million viewers.
“The Masked Singer” was Fox’s most-watched program, 13th for the week, averaging 6.644 million viewers.
The TNT telecast of the NBA All-Star Game was the highest-rated cable program, averaging 6.062 million viewers. The total viewership, including the simulcast on TBS, averaged 7.3 million viewers, 8 percent more than last year.
The game included tributes to the late Lakers star Kobe Bryant and format changes, including having the game end when the leading team reached the final target score, the leading team’s total cumulative score through three quarters plus 24, the number Bryant wore during the final 10 seasons of his NBA career.
The fourth quarter aired without commercial interruptions.
Fox News Channel was the highest-rated cable network for the fourth consecutive week, averaging 3.146 million viewers. It had each of the week’s 11 highest-rated cable programs behind TNT’s coverage of the NBA All-Star Game and NBA All-Star Saturday Night.
TNT was second for the week, averaging 2.366 million viewers, and MSNBC third, averaging 1.635 million.
The most-watched Spanish-language program was the Tuesday episode of the Univision telenovela “Amor eterno” which averaged 1.898 million viewers, 74th among broadcast programming. Its overall position was not available.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 11th consecutive week and 13th time in 14 weeks, averaging 1.49 million viewers.
Telemundo averaged 1.03 million viewers to finish second, followed by UniMas, which averaged 600,000, Estrella TV, which averaged 130,000 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 11th consecutive week, 62nd time in 63 weeks and 114th time in 116 weeks, averaging 9.019 million viewers.
“NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 7.87 million viewers. The “CBS Evening News” averaged 5.883 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 CBS’ “NCIS,” “FBI” and “Young Sheldon”; NBC’s “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago Med”; ABC’s “American Idol”; CBS’ “60 Minutes” and “Blue Bloods”; and NBC’s “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” and “Chicago PD.”
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: