“NCIS” was the most-watched non-NFL program in the first week of the 2021-22 prime-time television season and “NCIS: Hawaii” the most-watched premiere, according to Nielson figures released Tuesday.
“NCIS” averaged 8.451 million viewers for its first original episode in its new 9 p.m. Monday time slot, sixth among the broadcast and network prime-time programs airing between Sept. 20 and Sunday, behind two NFL games, two NFL pregame shows and one postgame show, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen.
“NCIS” was the lone non-NFL program to average more than 8 million viewers and among seven to top 7 million.
“NCIS: Hawaii” averaged 6.582 million viewers following “NCIS,” most among the week’s seven premieres, ninth among non-NFL programs, first among programs beginning at 10 p.m. and 15th overall.
“NCIS: Hawaii” retained 77.9% of the “NCIS”’ audience.
CBS also had the second most-watched premiere, “FBI: International,” which averaged 6.427 million viewers, 11th among non-NFL programs, third among programs beginning at 10 p.m. and 17th overall.
“FBI: International” retained 90.3% of the audience of “FBI: Most Wanted” which preceded it. “FBI: Most Wanted” averaged 7.119 million viewers, seventh among non-NFL programs, third among programs beginning at 10 p.m. and 13th overall.
NBC’s lone premiere, “Ordinary Joe,” averaged 3.852 million viewers, 23rd among non-NFL programs, fifth among programs beginning at 10 p.m. and 30th overall. The heartfelt, life-affirming drama retained 53.3% of the audience of the two-hour season premiere of “The Voice” that preceded it.
“The Voice” averaged 7.221 million viewers, fourth among non-NFL programs and 10th overall.
The premiere of ABC’s rebooted version of “The Wonder Years” averaged 3.23 million viewers, 35th among non-NFL programs, sixth among comedies and 43rd overall. It retained 89.1% of the audience of “The Goldbergs” that preceded it.
“The Goldbergs” averaged 3.624 million viewers, 27th among non-NFL programs, third among comedies and 35th overall.
Fox had each of the three least-watched premieres.
“Alter Ego” averaged 2.933 million viewers, 46th among non-NFL programs and 55th overall. The avatar singing competition retained 61.9% of the audience of “The Masked Singer” that preceded it.
“The Masked Singer” averaged 4.739 million viewers, 18th among non-NFL programs and 25th overall.
“Our Kind of People” averaged 1.646 million viewers, 74th among broadcast programs, and “The Big Leap” 1.474 million viewers, 87th overall.
The overall positions were not available for “Our Kind of People,” a drama about the Martha’s Vineyard community that has long attracted the Black elite, and “The Big Leap,” a scripted drama about a group of diverse, down-on-their-luck people attempt to change their lives by participating in a potentially life-ruining reality dance show.
NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the week’s most-watched prime-time program, averaging 19.693 million viewers for the Green Bay Packers’ 30-28 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Mason Crosby’s 51-yard field goal as time expired.
NBC averaged 6.57 million viewers to be the most-watched network on Premiere Week for the third consecutive year, thanks to “Sunday Night Football” and having the second through fourth most-watched non-NFL programs, the Tuesday episode of “The Voice,” “Chicago Fire” and the Monday episode of “The Voice.”
CBS was second, averaging 4.4 million viewers. Fox was third, averaging 3.44 million viewers for its 16 hours of programming, including one hour of NFL programming. ABC was fourth, averaging 3.03 million viewers.
NBC, CBS and ABC each broadcast 22 hours of prime-time programming. NBC broadcast four hours of NFL programming in prime time. CBS and ABC did not have any prime-time NFL programming.
The most-watched cable program was ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” game Sept. 20, third overall, averaging 11.902 million viewers for the Green Bay Packers’ 35-17 victory over the Detroit Lions.
The NFL coverage enabled ESPN to end Fox News Channel’s 11-week streak as the most-watched cable network. ESPN averaged 2.664 million viewers for its prime-time programming. Fox News Channel was second, averaging 2.356 million and MSNBC was third, averaging 1.302 million.
CNN was eighth after three consecutive seventh-place finishes, averaging 757,000 viewers. HGTV was fourth, averaging 958,000, TLC fifth, averaging 837,000, Hallmark Channel sixth, averaging 784,000 and Discovery seventh, averaging 776,000.
The Monday episode of the Univision telenovela “Si nos dejan” was the most-watched prime-time Spanish-language program, averaging 1.88 million viewers, 59th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 95th consecutive week and 97th time in 98 weeks, averaging 1.49 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 1.13 million viewers, followed by UniMas (430,000), Estrella TV (120,000) and Azteca America (40,000).
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 95th consecutive week, the 146th time in 147 weeks and the 198th time in 200 weeks, averaging 7.997 million viewers.
“NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 6.719 million viewers, followed by the “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell,” which averaged 4.777 million viewers.
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” and its 10-minute pre-kickoff show; ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”; Fox’s 23-minute NFL postgame show, “The OT”; the 21-minute third segment of NBC’s “Football Night in America”; CBS’ “NCIS”; the NFL Network’s “Thursday Night Football”; and NBC’s Tuesday episode of “The Voice”; “Chicago Fire”; and the Monday episode of “The Voice.”
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