The NBC mystery “Manifest” was the most-watched of last week’s eight series premieres, while CBS finished first on premiere week for the 10th consecutive year, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.
“Manifest” averaged 10.411 million viewers, NBC’s largest audience in the Monday 10-11 p.m. time slot, other than for sports or live news coverage, since Dec. 14, 2015, when “Adele Live in New York City” averaged 11.3 million.
“Manifest” accomplished the rare feat of drawing more viewers than the established program preceding it, the singing competition “The Voice,” which averaged 9.668 million viewers, 16th among prime-time broadcast and cable programs airing between Sept. 24 and Sunday and 12th among nonsports programs.
“Manifest” was second in its time slot behind ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” 11th for the week and seventh among nonsports programs.
The CBS drama “God Friended Me” was the week’s second-most watched premiere, averaging 10.135 million viewers, second in its time slot behind “Sunday Night Football,” 13th overall and ninth among nonsports programs.
“God Friended Me” aired from 8:43-9:43 p.m. in the Eastern Time Zone, 7:43-8:43 in the Central Time Zone and 8-9 p.m. in the Pacific Time Zone.
“God Friended Me” retained 74.9 percent of the audience of the program that preceded it, “60 Minutes,” which averaged 13.537 million viewers, third for the week and first among nonsports programs.
For the fourth time in the four-week NFL season, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the week’s most-watched program.
The Baltimore Ravens’ 26-14 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers averaged 17.918 million viewers, 7.1 percent more than the 16.731 million average for last season’s Week 4 game, the Seattle Seahawks’ 46-18 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
The order of finish among the four major broadcast networks was identical from last season’s premiere week.
CBS finished first, averaging 8.36 million viewers, followed by NBC, which averaged 7.87 million, ABC, which averaged 5.43 million, and Fox, which averaged 5.33 million.
CBS and ABC both aired 22 hours of programming for ratings purposes, NBC 21 1/2 and Fox 17.
Viewership was down on CBS, NBC and ABC from last season’s premiere week and up on Fox.
CBS’ 12.1 percent decrease in viewership from its 9.51 million average for last season’s premiere week and Fox’s 69.7 percent increase from 3.14 million are both attributed to the shift of “Thursday Night Football” from CBS to Fox.
Fox’s coverage of the Los Angeles Rams’ 38-31 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on “Thursday Night Football” was second for the week, averaging 14.507 million viewers.
Viewership was down less than 1 percent from the “Thursday Night Football” game on CBS during last season’s premiere week, the Green Bay Packers’ lightning-interrupted 35-14 victory over the Chicago Bears, which averaged 14.61 million viewers, fourth for the week.
Even without a complete prime-time game, CBS did benefit from its NFL coverage.
CBS’ 43-minute runover of its Sunday afternoon NFL coverage into prime time averaged 20.33 million viewers, 11.6 percent more than the 18.21 million average for the 30-minute runover during last season’s premiere week.
The runover is not considered a separate program, but is included in the weekly average.
ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” was the most-watched cable program for the third consecutive week, with the Steelers’ 30-27 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers averaging 12.227 million viewers, sixth overall.
Viewership was down 10.74 percent from the corresponding game in the 2017 season, the Dallas Cowboys’ 28-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals that averaged 13.698 million viewers.
A “Monday Night Football” game has been the most-watched cable program each week of the NFL season.
Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable network for the 15th time in 17 weeks, averaging 3.148 million viewers. ESPN was second for the second consecutive week after back-to-back first-place finishes, averaging 2.457 million viewers.
MSNBC was third for the fourth consecutive week, averaging 2.057 million viewers.
The most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program was the Monday episode of the Telemundo telenovela “El Senor de los Cielos,” which averaged 2.062 million viewers to finish 75th among broadcast programs. Its overall place was not available.
Univision averaged 1.32 million viewers to finish first among the Spanish-language networks for the fifth consecutive week. Telemundo finished second, averaging 1.25 million, followed by UniMas, which finished averaged 380,000 viewers, Estrella TV, which averaged 290,000, and Azteca America, which averaged 80,000.
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 44th consecutive week and 55th of the past 56, averaging 8.23 million viewers.
The “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 7.634 million viewers.
The “CBS Evening News” averaged 5.649 million viewers. It has finished third each week since the week of Sept. 25-29, 2006.
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC’s “Sunday Night Football”; Fox’s “Thursday Night Football”; CBS’ “60 Minutes,” the 8 p.m. Monday “The Big Bang Theory” episode and “NCIS”; ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”; the 8 p.m. Thursday “The Big Bang Theory” episode; NBC’s 10-minute “Sunday Night Football” pre-kickoff show; CBS’ “Young Sheldon”; and NBC’s “This Is Us.”
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