Five Los Angeles Dodgers telecasts made TBS the most-watched cable network in prime time last week while CBS topped the broadcast networks for the first time in the four-week-old 2021-22 television season, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.
TBS averaged 3.103 million viewers for its prime-time programming between Oct. 11 and Sunday. ESPN was second among cable networks after three consecutive first-place finishes, averaging 2.499 million viewers. Fox News Channel averaged 2.264 million viewers to finish was third after three consecutive second-place finishes.
The final three telecasts of the National League Division Series between the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants and the first two games of the National League Championship Series between the Dodgers and Atlanta Braves were all among the week’s top 20 prime-time cable programs, topped by the Dodgers’ 2-1 victory in Game 5 of the NLDS Thursday which averaged 6.5 million viewers, second among cable programs and 14th overall.
“Monday Night Football” most-watched cable program for the fifth time in five 2021 regular-season broadcasts, with the Baltimore Ravens’ 31-25 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on ESPN Oct. 11 averaging 11.335 million viewers, fourth overall.
CNN averaged 647,000 viewers to finish ninth, one place lower than the previous week when it averaged 682,000 viewers. MSNBC finished fourth, averaging 1.168 million viewers, followed by HGTV (924,000), TLC (788,000), Hallmark Channel (717,000), and Food Network (650,000).
In addition to the three NLDS games, two NLCS games and “Monday Night Football,” the top 20 cable programs also consisted of the 13-minute “Monday Night Football” pregame show; the Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Philadelphia Eagles “Thursday Night Football” game on NFL Network; Game 4 of the American League Division Series between the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays on Fox Sports 1; the Alabama-Mississippi State college football game on ESPN; eight Fox News Channel political talk show — five broadcasts of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” three of “Hannity” and last Tuesday’s edition of “The Ingraham Angle” — and the Wednesday broadcast of the MSNBC news and opinion program “The Rachel Maddow Show.”
NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the most-watched program for the fourth time in the television season and fifth in the six-week-old NFL season, averaging 16.278 million viewers for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 23-20 overtime victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
Following second-place finishes behind NBC in each of the first three weeks of the season, CBS was first, averaging 6.15 million viewers. NBC was second, averaging 5.57 million. Fox was third for the second consecutive week and third time in the season, averaging 4.9 million viewers for its 18 hours of prime-time programming.
ABC was fourth for the second consecutive week and third time in the season, averaging 3.46 million viewers. The CW averaged 450,000 viewers for its 14 hours of prime-time programming.
CBS, NBC and ABC each aired 22 hours of prime-time programming.
CBS benefited from a 56-minute runover of its afternoon NFL coverage, mainly the Dallas Cowboys’ 35-29 overtime victory over the New England Patriots in a matchup of two of the league’s most popular teams, which averaged 28.43 million viewers.
The runover is not considered a separate program, but is included in the network average.
The runover was followed in the Eastern and Central time zones, where the bulk of the nation’s population lives, by “60 Minutes” which averaged 11.02 million viewers, first among non-NFL programs for the third consecutive week and fifth overall.
The CBS action drama “NCIS” finished first among entertainment programs for the fourth time in the season, averaging 7.658 million viewers, ninth overall and second among non-NFL programs.
CBS’ “Young Sheldon” was the most-watched comedy for the second consecutive week, averaging 6.537 million viewers, 16th overall and ninth among non-NFL programs. CBS’ “FBI: International” was the most-watched new series for the second consecutive week, averaging 5.626 million viewers, 22nd overall and 15th among non-NFL programs.
The most-watched program beginning at 10 p.m. was the NBC crime drama “Chicago P.D.” which averaged 5.984 million viewers, 19th overall and 12th among non-NFL programs.
The week’s only premiere on the five major English-language broadcast networks, the NBC alternative series, “Home Sweet Home,” averaged 1.409 million viewers, 93rd among the week’s broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.
NBC’s most-watched non-NFL program was “Chicago Fire,” 11th overall and fourth among non-NFL programs, averaging 7.25 million viewers.
Fox’s most-watched program was the Philadelphia-Tampa Bay “Thursday Night Football” game which averaged 14.417 million viewers, second for the week. Its most-watched non-NFL program was Game 1 of the American League Championship Series Friday, which averaged 6.135 million viewers, 18th for the week and 11th among non-NFL program.
The procedural drama “9-1-1” was Fox’s most-watched non-sports program for the fourth consecutive week, averaging 5.253 million viewers, 29th overall and 22th among non-NFL programs.
“Dancing with the Stars” was ABC’s most-watched program for the second consecutive week, averaging 4.615 million viewers, 37th overall and 30th among non-NFL programs.
The CW’s most-watched program for the third consecutive week was the magic competition series “Penn & Teller: Fool Us,” which was 156th among broadcast programs, averaging 736,000 viewers. Its overall rank was not available.
The 20-most watched prime-time programs consisted of three NFL games, three NFL pregame shows and one postgame show; Game 5 of the Dodgers-San Francisco National League Division Series; Game 1 of the American League Championship Series; “60 Minutes” and five CBS scripted programs and five NBC entertainment programs.
The Monday episode of the Univision telenovela “Si nos dejan” was the most-watched prime-time Spanish-language program for the third time in four weeks, averaging 2.127 million viewers, 65th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 98th consecutive week and 100th time in 101 weeks, averaging 1.39 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 1.07 million viewers, followed by UniMas (470,000), 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 98th consecutive week, the 149th time in 150 weeks and the 201st time in 203 weeks, averaging 7.909 million viewers.
“NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 6.608 million viewers, followed by the “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell,” which averaged 4.938 million viewers.
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC’s “Sunday Night Football”; Fox’s “Thursday Night Football; the 10-minute “Sunday Night Football” pre-kickoff show; ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”; CBS’ “60 Minutes”; the 19-minute third segment of NBC’s “Football Night in America”; Fox’s six-minute NFL postgame show and 18-minute “Thursday Night Football” pregame show; and CBS’ “NCIS” and “The Equalizer.”