“60 Minutes” was the most-watched non-NFL program in the first week of the 2022-23 prime-time television season and “FBI” the most-watched entertainment program, while the lone scripted premiere, NBC’s “Quantum Leap” reboot, was fourth in its time slot.
The CBS news magazine averaged 7.144 million viewers, sixth among prime-time broadcast and cable prime-time programs airing between Sept. 19 and Sunday behind two NFL games, two NFL pregame shows and an NFL postgame show, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.
“FBI” was seventh, with the CBS crime drama averaging 6.806 million viewers.
Four other entertainment programs averaged more than 6 million viewers. “Chicago Fire” averaged 6.746 million viewers, eighth for the week. “Chicago Med,” which preceded “Chicago Fire” on NBC, was ninth for the week, averaging 6.585 million.
The two-hour episode of “The Voice” Sept. 20 was 11th for the week, averaging 6.191 million. The two-hour season premiere of the NBC singing competition one night earlier was 13th, averaging 6.117 million viewers, one spot behind the 13-minute pregame show immediately preceding ABC’s “Monday Night Football,” which averaged 6.164 million viewers.
“Quantum Leap” averaged 3.348 million viewers, 44th among the week’s prime-time broadcast and cable programs and fifth among programs beginning at 10 p.m. It retained 54.7% audience of the season premiere of “The Voice” which preceded it.
Viewership grew to 5.1 million viewers in the three-day period after it initially aired. The 53% increase was the most for an NBC premiere since “Manifest” in 2018, according to the network.
The week’s other premiere, ABC’s “Celebrity Jeopardy!” averaged 4.03 million viewers, 33rd for the week, 22nd among non-sports programs and second among ABC’s non-sports programs. Viewership was 227.1% higher than the special “Global Citizen Festival: Take Action NOW,” which averaged 1.232 million viewers preceding it.
Viewership for the second episode of Fox’s country music drama “Monarch” dropped 57.5% from its 4.034 million average for its premiere Sept. 11 immediately following its NFL coverage to 1.716 million viewers, 68th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.
For the third time in the three-week-old NFL season, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the most-watched prime-time program, with the Denver Broncos’ 11-10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers averaging 17.802 million viewers, 8.9% less than the 19.545 million average for the Green Bay Packers’ 27-10 victory over the Chicago Bears one week earlier.
The total audience for Sunday’s game, which includes streaming viewership on Peacock, NBC Sports and NFL digital platforms, was 18.9 million viewers, 9.1% less than the total audience for the Packers-Bears game, according to Nielsen and Adobe Analytics figures.
NBC finished first on premiere week for the fourth consecutive season, averaging 5.99 million viewers. It also led among entertainment programming.
ABC, which aired the second-most prime-time NFL programming behind NBC, was second, averaging 4.52. Its most-watched program was the Philadelphia Eagles’ 24-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on “Monday Night Football,” which averaged 12.859 million viewers, second for the week.
ABC’s most-watched non-sports program was “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune,” 30th for the week averaging 4.302 million viewers.
CBS was third, averaging 3.85 million viewers. It did not air any prime-time NFL programming.
Fox averaged 3.95 million viewers for its 17 hours of prime-time programming, including a 32-minute runover of its afternoon NFL coverage into primetime in the Eastern and Central time zones where the bulk of the nation’s population lives which averaged 28.72 million viewers.
The runover is not considered a separate program but is included in the weekly average.
Fox’s most-watched program was its 28-minute NFL postgame show, “The OT,” which averaged 12.133 million viewers, fourth for the week. Its most-watched non-sports program was the sixth season premiere of procedural drama “9-1-1,” 25th for the week and 15th among non-sports programs, averaging 4.817 million.
The CW averaged 330,000 viewers for its 14 hours of programming. The 8:30 p.m. Sunday rerun of “World’s Funniest Animals” was its most-watched program for the third time in four weeks, averaging 561,000 viewers, 169th among broadcast programs. Its overall ranking was not available.
The CW will begin airing its new programming for the 2022-23 season Oct. 2.
The 20 most-watched prime-time programs consisted of three NFL games; three NFL pregame shows; Fox’s NFL postgame show, “The OT”; “60 Minutes”; five CBS scripted programs — “FBI,” “NCIS,” “FBI: International,” “NCIS: Hawaii” and “FBI: Most Wanted”; the CBS alternative series “Survivor”; four NBC scripted programs — “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med,” “Chicago P.D.” and “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” and two episodes of NBC’s “The Voice.”
ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” game between the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans on Sept. 19 was the most-watched cable program, averaging 6.574 million viewers, 10th overall.
Fox News Channel returned to the top of the cable ratings after a three-week absence, averaging 2.117 million viewers. ESPN was second after three consecutive first-place finishes, averaging 2.022 million viewers. MSNBC averaged 1.209 million viewers for its fourth consecutive third-place finish after seven consecutive second-place finishes.
The cable top 20 consisted of ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”; ESPN’s coverage of the Arkansas-Texas A&M college football game; 13 Fox News Channel weeknight political talk shows — five broadcasts of both “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “Hannity” and three of “The Ingraham Angle”; one edition each of the MSNBC news and opinion programs, “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell”; “All In with Chris Hayes” and “Alex Wagner Tonight”; ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” game between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox; and the HBO fantasy drama “House of the Dragon.”
Netflix’s most-watched program was “Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” with viewers spending 196.2 million hours watching the 10-episode limited series the first three days it was available, according to figures released by the streaming service.
“Do Revenge” was Netflix’s most-watched movie, with viewers spending 42.55 million hours watching the teenage dark comedy in its first full week of release. Viewership was 59.3% from the 26.67 million hours the previous week when it was available for three days and finished second.
The most-watched Spanish-language program was Univision’s coverage of Mexico’s 1-0 victory over Peru in a men’s soccer exhibition game at the Rose Bowl that averaged 1.673 million viewers, 69th among broadcast programs. Its overall ranking was not available.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the seventh consecutive week and 145th time in 147 weeks, averaging 1.22 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 850,000, followed by UniMas (400,000), Estrella TV (90,000) and Azteca America (60,000).
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched nightly newscast for the 146th time in 147 weeks and 198th time in 200 weeks, averaging 7.564 million viewers. “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 6.456 million.
The “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell” was third, averaging 4.574 million.
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC’s “Sunday Night Football”; ABC’s “Monday Night Football” game between Philadelphia and Minnesota; the 10-minute “Sunday Night Football” kickoff show; Fox’s 28-minute NFL postgame show, “The OT”; the 23-minute third segment of NBC’s “Football Night in America”; CBS’ “60 Minutes” and “FBI”; NBC’s “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago Med”; and ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” game between the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans.