NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the most-watched program for the ninth time in the 11-week-old 2021-22 prime-time television season, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Wednesday.
The Kansas City Chiefs’ 22-9 victory over the Denver Broncos averaged 17.507 million viewers, 7.9% more than the 16.226 million average for the previous week’s “Sunday Night Football” game, a 16-10 victory by the Baltimore Ravens over the Cleveland Browns that finished second for the week of Nov. 22-28, behind NBC’s Thanksgiving Night game between the Buffalo Bills and New Orleans Saints.
CBS’ “60 Minutes” was the most-watched non-sports program for the sixth time in the season, averaging 10.299 million viewers, sixth overall behind three NFL games, the 10-minute “Sunday Night Football” pregame show and Fox’s coverage of the Big Ten Football Championship Game.
The news magazine followed a 43-minute runover of CBS’ afternoon NFL coverage in the Eastern and Central time zones where the bulk of the nation’s population lives. The runover averaged 25.73 million viewers. It is not considered a separate program, but is included in the network’s weekly average.
“Young Sheldon” was the most-watched comedy for the ninth consecutive week, averaging 6.591 million viewers, fifth among non-sports programs and 10th overall.
Another CBS comedy, “Ghosts,” was the most-watched new series for the third time in its eight episodes, averaging 5.456 million viewers, 10th among non-sports programs and 19th overall.
The CBS police drama “Blue Bloods” was the most-watched program beginning at 10 p.m. for the fourth time in five weeks and seventh time in the season, averaging 5.811 million viewers, eighth among non-sports programs and 17th overall.
The combination of “Thursday Night Football” and Saturday’s Big Ten Football Championship Game made Fox the most-watched network for the fourth time in the season, all in the past six weeks, averaging 6.35 million viewers for its 17 hours of prime-time programming between Nov. 29 and Sunday.
Fox is aided by its lack of 10 p.m. non-sports programming, which is generally low-rated among the three major networks airing it.
NBC was second, averaging 6.08 million viewers, followed by CBS, which averaged 5.33 million and ABC, which averaged 2.88 million. The CW averaged 400,000 for its 14 hours of programming.
NBC, CBS and ABC each aired 22 hours of prime-time programming.
The Dallas Cowboys’ 27-17 victory over the New Orleans Saints on “Thursday Night Football” averaged 16.695 million viewers, second for the week. Michigan’s 42-3 victory over Iowa in the Big Ten Football Championship Game averaged 11.658 million viewers, fourth for the week.
Fox’s most-watched non-NFL program for the fourth time in five weeks was the procedural drama “9-1-1,” which averaged 5.374 million viewers, 20th overall and 11th among non-sports programs.
NBC’s most-watched non-NFL programs were the Tuesday and Monday editions of “The Voice,” 13th and 15th overall and fourth and sixth among non-NFL programs, averaging 6.76 million viewers and 6.48 million.
ABC’s most-watched program was Friday’s Pac-12 Football Championship Game, with Utah’s 38-10 victory over Oregon averaging 4.247 million viewers, 34th for the week.
ABC’s most-watched non-sports program was the ABC News interview “Alec Baldwin Unscripted, which averaged 4.225 million viewers, 35th for the week and 23rd among non-sports programs.
The crime drama “Walker” was The CW’s most-watched program for the fifth time in six weeks, averaging 930,000 viewers, 120th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.
The three-hour NBC musical “Annie Live!” which aired opposite most of “Thursday Night Football” was 13th among non-sports programs and 22nd overall.
The premiere of the Jimmy Fallon-hosted NBC musical game show “That’s My Jam” was 32nd for the week and 22nd among non-sports programs, averaging 4.256 million viewers, 65.7% of the audience of “The Voice” that preceded it.
The 20 most watched prime-time programs consisted of three NFL games; three NFL pregame shows; Fox’s coverage of the Big Ten Football Championship Game and its 16-minute pregame show; CBS’ 19-minute SEC Championship Game postgame show; “60 Minutes”; five CBS entertainment programs; three NBC entertainment programs; “Yellowstone” and “9-1-1.”
“Monday Night Football” was the most-watched cable program for the 12th time in 12 2021 regular-season broadcasts, with the Washington Football Team’s 17-15 victory over the Seattle Seahawks Nov. 29 averaging 10.896 million viewers, fifth for the week.
Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable network for the second time in three weeks, averaging 2.421 million viewers. ESPN was second after three first-place finishes in four weeks, averaging 2.047 million viewers. Hallmark Channel was third for the fourth consecutive week, averaging 1.527 million viewers. MSNBC was fourth, averaging 1.162 million viewers.
CNN rose three spots to 14th, averaging 527,000 viewers. CNN also trailed Freeform (1.022 million), HGTV (916,000), TLC (883,000), Paramount Network (800,000), History (749,000), TNT (748,000), TBS (733,000), Discovery (728,000) and Food Network (709,000).
The top 20 cable programs consisted of “Monday Night Football” and its 14-minute pregame show; “Thursday Night Football” on NFL Network; 12 Fox News Channel political talk shows — five broadcasts each of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “Hannity” and two of “The Ingraham Angle”; two Hallmark Channel “Countdown to Christmas” movies; “Yellowstone”; History’s long-running chronicle of the quest to solve the more than two-century-old treasure mystery on a Canadian island, “The Curse of Oak Island”; and TNT’s coverage of the Phoenix Suns’ 104-96 victory over the Golden State Warriors.
The Monday episode of the Univision telenovela “La Desalmada” was the most-watched prime-time Spanish-language program for the second consecutive week, averaging 1.923 million viewers, 67th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 105th consecutive week and 107th time in 108 weeks, averaging 1.4 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 900,000 viewers, followed by UniMas (540,000), Estrella TV (110,000) and Azteca America (50,000).
One week after its streak of 103 consecutive first-place finishes was ended on Thanksgiving Week by “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt,” ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” returned to the top of the network nightly news ratings, averaging 8.036 million viewers.
“NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 7.363 million viewers, followed by the “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell,” which averaged 5.229 million viewers.
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC’s “Sunday Night Football”; Fox’s “Thursday Night Football”; NBC’s 10-minute “Sunday Night Football” pre-kickoff show; Fox’s coverage of the Big Ten Football Championship Game; ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”; CBS’ “60 Minutes”; Fox’s 16-minute Big Ten Football Championship Game pregame show; Fox’s 19-minute “Thursday Night Football” pregame show; the 22-minute third segment of NBC’s “Football Night in America”; and CBS’ “NCIS.”