“Sunday Night Football” drew the largest audience for a prime-time program since the NFL Kickoff Game Sept. 10, helping NBC to its third consecutive weekly victory and fourth of the nine-week-old 2020-21 television season, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.
The Kansas City Chiefs’ 35-31 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders averaged 19.573 million viewers. The matchup between the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs and one the NFL’s most popular teams included four fourth-quarter lead changes with Travis Kelce catching the winning touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes with 28 seconds to play.
“Sunday Night Football” has been the most-watched prime-time program for four consecutive weeks.
NFL programming accounted for each of the five most-watched programs between Nov. 16 and Sunday, followed by the 18th season premiere of CBS’ “NCIS,” which averaged 10.394 million viewers, the most for a scripted program since its April 14 season finale.
“FBI” which followed “NCIS” drew the season’s second-largest audience for a scripted program, averaging 8.246 million viewers, 10th for the week, trailing seven NFL programs and the CBS News magazine “60 Minutes.”
The lone premiere on the four major broadcast networks, the ABC thriller “Big Sky” was second in its 10 p.m. time slot Nov. 17, 40th for the week, 27th among entertainment programs and fifth among programs beginning at 10 p.m., averaging 4.158 million viewers.
“Big Sky” retained 88.5 percent of the audience of the two-hour episode of “The Bachelorette” which preceded it and averaged 4.698 million viewers.
NBC averaged 6.32 million viewers for the week, followed by Fox which averaged 5.76 million viewers for its 17 hours, two minutes of prime-time programming. CBS was third, averaging 4.53 million and ABC fourth, averaging 4.18 million.
The weekly average for Fox was bolstered by a 49-minute runover of its afternoon NFL programming into prime time in the Eastern and Central time zones that averaged 27.18 million viewers. The runover is not considered a separate program but is included in the weekly average.
NBC, ABC and CBS all aired 22 hours of prime-time programming.
NBC’s most-watched non-football program was “Chicago Med,” 11th for the week, fourth among non-football programs and third among entertainment programs, averaging 7.877 million viewers.
Fox’s most-watched program was the Seattle Seahawks’ 28-21 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on “Thursday Night Football” second for the week, averaging 15.253 million viewers. Its most-watched non-football program was “The Masked Singer,” 17th for the week, 10th among non-football programs and ninth among entertainment programs, averaging 6.421 million viewers.
“Grey’s Anatomy” was ABC’s most-watched program, averaging 5.993 million viewers, 20th for the week, 12th among non-sports programs and 11th among entertainment programs.
The most-watched cable program was ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” with the Minnesota Vikings’ 19-13 victory over the Chicago Bears Nov. 16 averaging 11.896 million, fifth for the week.
Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable network for the 42nd time in 44 weeks, averaging 2.975 million viewers. ESPN was second, averaging 2.581 million viewers, and MSNBC was third, averaging 2.179 million.
The most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program was Univision’s coverage of the Latin Grammy Awards which averaged 2.119 million viewers to finish 64th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 51st consecutive week and 53rd time in 54 weeks, averaging 1.31 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 990,000, followed by UniMas (490,000), Estrella TV (180,000) and Azteca America (50,000).
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 51st consecutive week, the 102nd time in 103 weeks and the 154th time in 156 weeks, averaging 9.661 million viewers, followed by the “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” (8.276 million) and the “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell” (5.861 million).
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC’s “Sunday Night Football”; Fox’s “Thursday Night Football”; Fox’s eight-minute NFL postgame show; the nine-minute “Sunday Night Football” pre-kickoff show; ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”; CBS’ “NCIS” and “60 Minutes”; the 22-minute third segment of NBC’s “Football Night in America”; Fox’s 18-minute “Thursday Night Football” pre-kickoff show; and CBS’ “FBI.”
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: