The third season finale of Fox’s “The Masked Singer” was the most-watched prime-time program in a week that combined the final three days of the official prime-time television season and the first four of the summer season.
The singing competition, in which singer-songwriter and television personality Kandi Burruss was revealed to be the winner, averaged 9.005 million viewers, the most since its post-Super Bowl episode, which averaged 23.731 million viewers, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Wednesday by Nielsen.
Viewership for the finale was 7.6% more than the 8.371-million average for the second season finale on Dec. 18, 2019, but 21.6% less than the 11.479-million average for the first-season finale on Feb. 27, 2019.
“The Masked Singer” was the only prime-time program to average more 8 million viewers between May 18 and Sunday.
The season’s final two episodes of the NBC singing competition “The Voice” were the only other programs to average more than 7 million viewers. The two-hour episode May 18 averaged 7.635 million viewers, its most since the April 20 episode, which averaged 9.181 million viewers.
The finale May 19, which also ran for two hours, averaged 7.545 million viewers, 1.5% more than the record-low 7.43-million average for the 2019 spring season finale.
Official viewership for most forms of programming is down compared to the past primarily due to increased viewership of streaming programming, including the same programs shown on traditional television.
The premiere of the competition series “Ultimate Tag,” which followed “The Masked Singer,” was 18th for the week, second in its Wednesday 9-10 p.m. time slot and second among the week’s Fox programming, averaging 4.351 million viewers.
The week’s other premiere, the Fox dating series “Labor of Love,” averaged 891,000 viewers to finish 129th among broadcast programs, including trailing seven episodes of the 1960-68 CBS comedy “The Andy Griffith Show” on MeTV. Its overall ranking was not available.
CBS averaged 4.11 million viewers to be the most-watched network for the 15th consecutive week and the 20th time in the 34-week-old 2019-20 prime-time television season.
CBS had each of 16 most-watched scripted series programs, topped by a rerun of “NCIS,” fourth for the week, averaging 6.741 million viewers.
NBC was second, averaging 3.58 million viewers. Fox ended its 15-week streak of fourth-place finishes among the broadcast networks by averaging 2.88 million viewers for its 16 hours of programming to finish third.
ABC averaged 2.85 million viewers to finish fourth. Its most-watched program was “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” fifth for the week averaging 5.967 million viewers.
CBS, NBC and ABC each aired 22 hours of prime-time programming.
Fox News Channel was first among cable networks for the 18th consecutive week, averaging 2.998 million viewers. It had each of the seven most-watched prime-time cable programs, topped by the May 19 edition of the political talk show “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” which averaged 4.309 million viewers, tying for 20th overall.
MSNBC was second among cable networks for the 11th time in 14 weeks, averaging 1.795 million viewers. CNN averaged 1.354 million viewers to finish third for the sixth time in seven weeks following its second-place finish the week of March 30-April 5.
An episode of the Univision telenovela “Amor eterno” was the most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program for the eighth consecutive week, with the May 19 episode averaging 2.132 million viewers, 50th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 25th consecutive week and 27th time in 28 weeks, averaging 1.52 million viewers.
Telemundo was second, averaging 810,000 viewers, followed by UniMas (440,000), Estrella TV (170,000) and Azteca America (50,000).
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 25th consecutive week, the 76th time in 77 weeks and the 128th time in 130 weeks, averaging 9.646 million viewers.
“NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 8.541 million viewers, followed by the “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell” which averaged 5.853 million viewers for its Monday and Wednesday through Friday newscasts.
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were Fox’s “The Masked Singer”; the Monday and Tuesday episodes of NBC’s “The Voice”; a rerun of CBS’ “NCIS”; ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”; reruns of CBS’ “FBI” and “Young Sheldon” and a first-run episode of CBS’ “Man With a Plan”; an encore recap telecast of “The Voice” and an second “NCIS” rerun.
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