Photo from Pixabay.
Photo from Pixabay.

The Thanksgiving night NFL game on NBC between the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots drew the largest audience for an NFL prime-time Thanksgiving game since the record-setting 2015 contest and was the most-watched prime-time program during the 10-week-old 2022-23 television season.

Minnesota’s 33-26 victory averaged 24.776 million viewers, the second-most for a prime-time Thanksgiving game, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Wednesday. The Chicago Bears’ 17-13 victory over the Green Bay Packers in the 2015 game averaged 27.75 million viewers.

Viewership figures before September 2020 did not include out-of-home viewing.

The NFL has annually played a prime-time game on Thanksgiving since 2006, except in 2020 when coronavirus issues forced its postponement.

NBC has carried the game since 2012. It had previously been carried by cable’s NFL Network.

The season’s previous high was 20.853 million for the Kansas City Chiefs’ 41-31 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” Oct. 2.

In a week with reduced original entertainment programming because of Thanksgiving, each of the eight most-watched prime-time programs were NFL games, pregame shows or postgame shows.

“Yellowstone” was the most-watched non-sports program for the second time in the three weeks its fifth season has been aired and the most-watched entertainment program for the third time, averaging a combined 9.146 million viewers on Paramount Network and CMT.

With CBS airing a rerun of “Young Sheldon” for the second consecutive week, “The Neighborhood” was the most-watched comedy for the second consecutive week and third time this season, averaging 5.702 million viewers, 23rd for the week and 10th among non-sports programs.

The CBS police procedural “East New York” was the most-watched new series for the fifth time in its nine episodes, averaging 4.986 million viewers, 26th for the week and 13th among non-sports programs.

The CBS crime drama “FBI: Most Wanted” was the most-watched program beginning at 10 p.m., averaging 5.107 million viewers, 25th for the week and 12th among non-sports programs.

The combination of the Thanksgiving night NFL game and “Sunday Night Football” made NBC the most-watched network for the eighth time in the season, averaging 8.16 million viewers between Nov. 21 and Sunday, its season high.

The only weeks NBC did not win this season came when Fox aired coverage of the World Series.

NBC’s most-watched non-NFL program was the Tuesday edition of the singing competition “The Voice,” 18th for the week and seventh among non-sports programs.

CBS was second, averaging 4.08 million viewers. Fox was third, averaging 3.41 million viewers for its 16 hours, 20 minutes of programming. ABC was fourth, averaging 3.35 million.

NBC, CBS and ABC each aired 22 hours of prime-time programming.

“60 Minutes” was CBS’ most-watched program, 11th for the week and second among non-sports programs, averaging 9.026 million viewers, its sixth-largest audience among its 11 editions for the season.

Fox’s average included a 29-minute runover of its afternoon NFL coverage into prime time in the Eastern and Central time zones that averaged 23.48 million viewers.

Fox’s most-watched program was its 12-minute NFL postgame show following the Thanksgiving Day game between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants that averaged 21.664 million viewers.

Fox’s most-watched non-sports program was “The Masked Singer” which averaged 7.863 million viewers following the Thanksgiving Day postgame show, 12th for the week and third among non-sports programs.

ABC’s most-watched program was Friday’s Florida-Florida State football game, 15th for the week averaging 6.71 million viewers.

ABC’s most-watched non-sports program was the medical drama “The Good Doctor,” 40th for the week and 21st among non-sports programs, averaging 3.09 million viewers.

The CW averaged 380,000 viewers for its 14 hours of programming. Its most-watched program was the 2000 animated special, “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer,” which averaged 520,000 viewers, 175th among broadcast programming. Its overall ranking was not available.

The 20 most-watched prime-time programs consisted of three NFL games; five NFL pregame shows; two NFL postgame shows; “Yellowstone”; “60 Minutes”; three CBS scripted programs; both episodes of the NBC singing competition “The Voice”; Fox’s “The Masked Singer”; and two college football games on ABC.

The most-watched cable program was the Nov. 21 broadcast of the San Francisco 49ers’ 38-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” which averaged 11.167 million viewers, sixth for the week.

“Monday Night Football” and two nights of college football made ESPN the most-watched cable network for the fourth time in five weeks, seventh time in nine weeks and 10th time in 13 weeks, averaging 2.989 million viewers. Hallmark Channel was second, averaging 1.713 million viewers and Fox News Channel third, averaging 1.643 million viewers.

Paramount Network was the other cable network to average more than 1 million viewers for its prime-time programming, averaging 1.241 million viewers.

The cable top 20 consisted of “Monday Night Football” and its 15-minute kickoff show; two episodes of “Yellowstone”; four Hallmark Channel movies; the second episode of the Paramount+ Sylvester Stallone-starring crime drama “Tulsa King,” which aired on Paramount Network; three college football games on ESPN; seven Fox News Channel weeknight political talk shows (three broadcasts each of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “Hannity” and one of “The Ingraham Angle”); and History’s long-running chronicle of a search for treasure on a Canadian island, “The Curse of Oak Island.”

A Netflix record was set by “Wednesday,” with viewers spending 341.23 million hours watching the eight episodes of the supernatural infused mystery charting Wednesday Addams’ years at Nevermore Academy in the first five days they were available, the most hours viewed in a week for an English-language television series on the streaming service.

“Slumberland” was Netflix’s most-watched movie, with viewers watching the fantasy adventure for 45.43 million hours in its first full week of release, 36.14% more than the 33.37 million hours watched the previous week when it was available for three days.

The most-watched Spanish-language program was the Tuesday episode of the Univision telenovela “Mi Camino Es Amarte,” which averaged 1.492 million viewers, 69th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.

Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 16th consecutive week and 154th time in 156 weeks, averaging 1.08 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 820,000, followed by UniMas (490,000), Estrella TV (70,000) and Azteca America (50,000).

The ratings for the broadcast network weeknight newscasts were not available.

The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC’s Thanksgiving Night NFL game; Fox’s 12-minute NFL postgame show on Thanksgiving; NBC’s “Sunday Night Football”; the 11-minute pre-kickoff show for NBC’s Thanksgiving Night NFL game; the 10-minute “Sunday Night Football” pre-kickoff show; ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”; the 13-minute Thanksgiving Night game pregame show; the 18-minute third segment of NBC’s “Football Night in America”; “Yellowstone”; and Fox’s 31-minute NFL postgame show Sunday, “The OT.”

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