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Home / News / The Industry / ‘Young Sheldon,’ CBS lead post-NFL television ratings

‘Young Sheldon,’ CBS lead post-NFL television ratings

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By Steven Herbert

With the NFL season over, “Young Sheldon” became the first scripted program to top the weekly prime-time ratings in the 22nd week of the 2022-23 television season, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Wednesday by Nielsen.

The CBS comedy averaged 7.304 million viewers, one of three programs airing between Feb. 13 and Sunday to top 7 million viewers. The CBS crime drama “FBI” was second for the week, averaging 7.197 million and the CBS action drama, “NCIS” third, averaging 7.053 million.

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the most-watched prime-time program each of the first seven weeks of the television season. A seven-minute NFL postgame show was the most-watched program during the eighth week.

“Sunday Night Football” was the most-watched prime-time program five of the next six weeks, only interrupted by NBC’s Thanksgiving night NFL game between the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots.

ESPN’s coverage of Georgia’s 42-41 victory over Ohio State in a College Football Playoff semifinal on New Year’s Eve was that week’s most-watched program, while NFL games finished first each of the next four weeks.

CBS’ coverage of the Grammys was the most-watched program the week of Jan. 30-Feb. 5, when there were no prime-time NFL games. Fox’s coverage of Super Bowl LVII was the most-watched program the following week.

CBS averaged 4.19 million viewers to be the most-watched network for the third time in four weeks, a run interrupted only by Fox’s coverage of Super Bowl LVII. CBS did not finish first during any of the first 18 weeks of the season.

NBC was second, averaging 3.24 million and ABC third, averaging 2.79 million, all for 22 hours of prime-time programming.

NBC’s most-watched program was the medical drama “Chicago Med,” fifth for the week, averaging 6.736 million viewers. ABC’s most-watched program was the season premiere of “American Idol,” 12th for the week averaging 5.269 million viewers.

Fox averaged 2.12 million viewers for its 15 hours, 24 minutes of programming. Its most-watched program was the 13-minute Daytona 500 post-race show, which averaged 5.073 million viewers, 15th for the week.

Fox’s most-watched nonsports program was the season premiere of “The Masked Singer,” 29th for the week averaging 3.708 million viewers.

The ABC drama “The Company You Keep” was the most-watched of the week’s two premieres on the five major broadcast networks, averaging 2.369 million viewers following “American Idol,” fourth in its 10-11 p.m. Sunday time slot, 11th among the week’s programs beginning at 10 p.m. and 61st for the week.

The premiere of the Fox comedy “Animal Control” averaged 2.086 million viewers, fourth in its 9-9:30 p.m. Thursday time slot and 72nd for the week, but Fox’s most-watched program of the night.

The CW averaged 480,000 viewers for its 14 hours of programming. Its most-watched program was the crime drama “Walker,” which averaged 816,000 viewers, 142nd among broadcast programs. Its overall ranking was not available.

The 20 most-watched prime-time programs consisted of 10 CBS scripted programs and its news magazine “60 Minutes”; five NBC scripted programs; the ABC alternative programs “American Idol” and “America’s Funniest How Videos”; Fox’s 13-minute Daytona 500 post-race show; and the TNT-TBS simulcast of the NBA All-Star Game.

Despite drawing a record-low audience among available figures, Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game was the week’s most-watched prime-time cable program, averaging a total 4.59 million viewers, 19th overall. The previous low was 5.943 million viewers in 2021, when it also was simulcast by TNT and TBS. Figures date back to 1990.

Official viewership for nearly all forms of programming has decreased because of increased viewing of streaming programming, including the same program shown on traditional television.

Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable network in prime time for the fourth consecutive week, averaging 2.152 million viewers. TNT was second, averaging 1.631 million, and MSNBC third, averaging 1.139 million viewers.

The cable top 20 consisted of three programs on TNT or TBS related to the NBA’s All-Star Weekend, 14 Fox News Channel weeknight political talk shows (five broadcasts each of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “Hannity” and four of “The Ingraham Angle”); the MSNBC news and opinion program, “The Rachel Maddow Show”; History’s long-running chronicle of a search for treasure on a Canadian island, “The Curse of Oak Island”; and the 9 p.m. segment of the USA Network professional wrestling program “WWE Raw.”

The fourth season of “You” was Netflix’s most-watched television program for the second consecutive week, with viewers spending 64.06 million hours watching the 10 episodes of the psychological thriller in the first full week they were available, according to figures released by the streaming service Tuesday.

Viewership was down 30.4% from the 92.07 million hours watched the previous week when the episodes were available for four days.

“Your Place or Mine” was Netflix’s most-watched movie for the second consecutive week, with viewers watching the romantic comedy for 53.81 million hours the first full week it was available, 5% more than the 51.23 million hours watched the previous week when it was available for three days.

The most-watched prime-time Spanish-language program was the Monday episode of the Univision telenovela “Vencer La Ausencia,” which averaged 1.543 million viewers,  70th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.

Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 28th consecutive week and 166th time in 168 weeks, averaging 1.27 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 1 million viewers, followed by UniMas (420,000) and Estrella TV (90,000).

ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched nightly newscast for 167th time in 168 weeks and 219th time in 221 weeks, averaging 8.336 million viewers. “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 7.192 million viewers, and the “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell” third, averaging 5.234 million viewers.

The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were CBS’ “Young Sheldon,” “FBI,” “NCIS,” and “60 Minutes”; NBC’s “Chicago Med” and “Chicago Fire”; and “Ghosts,” “The Neighborhood,” “The Equalizer”  and “Bob Hearts Abishola.”

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