NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” drew its smallest audience of the season’s 15 games but still was the most-watched prime-time program between Dec. 12-18, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.
The New York Giants’ 20-12 victory over the Washington Commanders averaged 15.376 million viewers. The previous low was 15.534 million viewers for the Miami Dolphins’ 16-10 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers Oct. 23 that included the first scoreless second half in the “Sunday Night Football” package since the 2008 NFL Kickoff game.
An NFL program has been the most-watched program each week of the 13-week-old 2022-23 prime-time television season.
A special hour-long, Christmas-themed episode of “Ghosts” averaged 6.999 million viewers, the most among the CBS comedy’s 27 episodes, and tops among the week’s comedies. “Ghosts” was 10th overall and fourth among non-NFL programs.
“60 Minutes” was the week’s most-watched non-NFL program, averaging 9.594 million viewers, fourth for the week behind “Sunday Night Football,” the NFL Network’s telecast of Saturday’s Buffalo Bills-Dolphins game and the 10-minute “Sunday Night Football” pre-kickoff show.
“60 Minutes” followed a 36-minute runover of CBS’ afternoon NFL coverage in the Eastern and Central time zones that averaged 23.24 million viewers. The runover is not considered a separate program but is included in the network’s weekly average.
“Yellowstone” was the most-watched entertainment program for the sixth time in the six weeks of its fifth season, averaging a combined 9.064 million viewers on Paramount Network and CMT, sixth for the week.
The CBS crime drama “FBI: Most Wanted,” was the most-watched program beginning at 10 p.m., averaging 4.997 million viewers, 15th for the week and ninth among non-NFL programs.
The CBS legal drama “So Help Me Todd” was the most-watched new series, averaging 4.696 million viewers, 17th for the week and 11th among non-NFL programs.
The combination of “Sunday Night Football” and five hours of “The Voice” made NBC the most-watched network for the 11th time in the season, averaging 5.57 million viewers.
The only weeks NBC did not win this season came when Fox aired coverage of the World Series.
NBC’s most-watched non-NFL programs were the two-hour season finale Tuesday and Monday edition of “The Voice,” which averaged 6.948 million and 6.897 million viewers, fifth and sixth among non-NFL programs and 11th and 12th overall.
An additional hour of “The Voice” that ran before the season finale was 14th for the week, averaging 5.3 million viewers.
CBS was second, averaging 4.51 million, and ABC third, 2.66 million.
ABC’s most-watched program was “Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration,” 20th for the week, averaging 4.26 million viewers.
NBC, CBS and ABC each aired 22 hours of prime-time programming.
Fox averaged 1.25 million viewers for its 15 hours of prime-time programming. Its most-watched program was the professional wrestling program “WWE Friday Night Smackdown,” 48th for the week averaging 2.191 million viewers.
The CW averaged 460,000 viewers for its 14 hours of programming. Its most-watched program was the 90th annual Hollywood Christmas Parade, which averaged 750,000 viewers, 124th 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; “60 Minutes”; “Yellowstone”; five CBS scripted programs and its alternative series “Survivor”; all three episodes of the NBC singing competition “The Voice”; and “Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration.”
The most-watched cable program was Saturday’s Buffalo-Miami game on NFL Network, which averaged 11.058 million viewers, second for the week.
ESPN returned to the top of the cable ratings after a one-week absence, averaging 1.975 million viewers for its sixth first-place finish eight weeks. Fox News Channel dropped one spot to second, averaging 1.941 million viewers.
Hallmark Channel rose one spot to third, averaging 1.194 million viewers. MSNBC dropped one spot to fourth, averaging 1.067 million viewers. Paramount Network was the other cable network to average more than 1 million viewers for its prime-time programming, averaging 1.019 million viewers.
The cable top 20 consisted two NFL games and two NFL pregame shows; `Yellowstone” and the premiere of its prequel “1923,” which followed it on Paramount Network and CMT; 12 Fox News Channel weeknight political talk shows (five broadcasts each of “Tucker Carlson Tuesday evening” and “Hannity” and two of “The Ingraham Angle”); History’s long-running chronicle of a search for treasure on a Canadian island, “The Curse of Oak Island”; and the Hallmark Channel movie, “`Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
“Wednesday” moved into second on Netflix’s all-time list for viewership by an English-language television series in its first 28 days of release, with another 173.96 million hours watched between Dec. 12-18, increasing its total to 1.196165 billion hours in its 26 days of release through Sunday, according to figures released by the streaming service.
The fourth season of “Stranger Things” holds the record with 1.35209 billion hours watched.
“Harry & Meghan” was second for the week with 97.71 million hours watched of its six episodes, including its final three which were released Thursday.
“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” was Netflix’s most-watched movie with 39.38 million hours watched in its first full week of release, 40.2% more than the 28.08 million hours watched the previous week when it was available for three days.
An episode of the Univision telenovela “Mi Camino Es Amarte” was the most-watched Spanish-language program for the fourth consecutive week, with the Dec. 13 episode averaging 1.475 million viewers, 52nd among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 19th consecutive week and 157th time in 159 weeks, averaging 1 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 910,000, followed by UniMas (330,000), Estrella TV (80,000) and Azteca America (40,000).
ABC’s “World News Tuesday evening with David Muir” was the most-watched nightly newscast for 158th time in 159 weeks and 210th time in 212 weeks, averaging 8.682 million viewers. “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 7.41 million viewers.
The “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell” was third, averaging 5.238 million viewers.
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC’s “Sunday Night Football”; Saturday’s Buffalo-Miami game on NFL Network; the 10-minute “Sunday Night Football” pre-kickoff show; “60 Minutes”; “Yellowstone”; ESPN’s “Monday Night Football’; the 22-minute third segment of NBC’s “Football Night in America”; the 16-minute pre-kickoff show for the Buffalo-Miami game; “FBI”; and “Ghosts.”