UCLA’s 93-90 loss to Gonzaga in an NCAA men’s basketball national semifinal drew the second-largest audience for a prime-time program since Super Bowl Sunday, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.
CBS’ telecast Saturday averaged 14.942 million viewers, trailing only “Oprah With Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special,” which averaged 17.813 million viewers March 7.
UCLA also accounted for the week’s most-watched cable program, as TBS’ coverage of the Bruins’ 51-49 victory over Michigan in the East Regional final March 30 averaged 6.886 million viewers, eighth among prime-time broadcast and cable programs airing between March 29 and Sunday.
The week’s most-watched entertainment program was NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” which served as a both crossover and lead-in to the premiere of “Law & Order: Organized Crime.”
“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” averaged 8.033 million viewers, second for the week, while “Law & Order: Organized Crime,” averaged 7.858 million, third for the week.
The week’s other scripted premiere, “United States of Al,” averaged 5.309 million viewers, putting it 20th for the week, 13th among entertainment programs, second among comedies and first in its 8:30-9 p.m. Thursday time slot. It retained 79.9% of the audience of “Young Sheldon,” which was the week’s most-watched comedy, averaging 6.644 million viewers, ninth for the week and sixth among entertainment programs.
The premiere of the ABC dog-grooming competition series “Pooch Perfect” was 33rd for the week, 25th among entertainment programs and third in it 8-9 p.m. March 30 time slot, averaging 4.174 million viewers.
CBS finished first in the network race for the 11th consecutive week and 13th time in the 28-week-old 2020-21 prime-time television season, averaging 6.09 million viewers, despite not airing original episodes of its second and third most-watched entertainment series of the season, “NCIS” and “FBI.”
The order of finish behind CBS was the same as the previous week. ABC was second, averaging 3.76 million viewers, and NBC third, averaging 3.7 million. Fox was fourth for the 10th consecutive week, averaging 1.8 million viewers for its 15 hours of programming.
The CW again was fifth among the five major English-language broadcast networks, averaging 550,000 viewers for its 12 hours.
CBS, NBC and ABC each aired 22 hours of prime-time programming for the week.
The Sunday edition of “American Idol” was ABC’s most-watched program for the second consecutive week, averaging 5.607 million viewers, 16th for the week and 10th among entertainment programs.
Fox’s most-watched program for the third consecutive week was “The Masked Singer,” 22nd for the week and 14th among entertainment programs, averaging 5.049 million viewers.
The superhero drama “The Flash” was The CW’s most-watched program, averaging 909,000 viewers, 135th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.
After a one-week absence, Fox News Channel returned to the top among cable networks, averaging 2.128 million viewers. TBS was second, averaging 1.608 million, one week after finishing first, and MSNBC was third for the third for the third consecutive week after seven consecutive second-place finishes, averaging 1.585 million viewers.
For the sixth consecutive week and 12th time in 16 weeks, an episode of the Univision telenovela “Vencer el desamor” was the most-watched Spanish-language program, with the Tuesday episode averaging 2.064 million viewers, 83rd overall.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 70th consecutive week and 72nd time in 73 weeks, averaging 1.29 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 940,000 viewers followed by UniMas (560,000), Estrella TV (140,000) and Azteca America (40,000).
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 70th consecutive week, the 121st time in 122 weeks and the 173rd time in 175 weeks, averaging 7.936 million viewers.
“NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 6.82 million viewers, followed by the “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell,” which averaged 4.675 million viewers.
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were CBS’ coverage of the UCLA-Gonzaga NCAA men’s basketball tournament national semifinal; NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Law & Order: Organized Crime”; CBS’ “60 Minutes”; NBC’s “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago Med”; CBS’ “The Equalizer”; TBS’ coverage of the UCLA-Michigan East Region final NCAA men’s basketball tournament game; CBS’ “Young Sheldon” and its coverage of the Arkansas-Baylor South Region final NCAA men’s basketball tournament game.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: