Television viewers flock to ‘Night Court’, ‘Accused’ premieres
By STEVEN HERBERT
NBC’s revival of “Night Court” drew the largest audience for a comedy premiere since 2018 while the debut of Fox’s crime anthology “Accused” was the most-watched premiere since CBS’ “The Equalizer” on Super Bowl Sunday in 2021, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.
“Night Court” averaged 7.544 million television viewers, the most for a comedy premiere since ABC’s “The Conners” averaged 10.567 million viewers on Oct. 16, 2018. It was eighth among prime-time programs airing between Jan. 16 and Sunday, behind three NFL playoff games, two pregame shows and one postgame show and “Accused.”
A second episode that followed averaged 7.554 million viewers, 11th for the week, more than any non-NBC comedy.
“Accused” averaged 8.705 million television viewers, the most for a premiere since “The Equalizer” averaged 20.404 million viewers following the Super Bowl LV postgame show on Feb. 7, 2021. “Accused” had the most-watched premiere not following a Super Bowl since “9-1-1: Lone Star” averaged 11.405 million viewers on Jan. 19, 2020, following Fox’s coverage of the NFC championship game.
“Accused” followed Fox’s coverage of Sunday’s NFL divisional round playoff game between the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys, which averaged 45.654 million viewers, the most for a prime-time program since Super Bowl Sunday and the most for a divisional round playoff game since 2017.
The previous high came six days earlier, when the simulcast of the Dallas-Tampa Bay Buccaneers wild-card game on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes averaged a total of 31.199 million viewers.
Two prime-time NFL playoff games gave Fox the largest weekly viewership of any network during the 18-week-old 2022-23 season, averaging 14.52 million viewers for 17 hours of prime-time programming, topping the previous high of 9.57 million for 22 hours by NBC a week earlier when it also aired two playoff games.
ABC was second, averaging 4.61 million, followed by CBS, which averaged 3.83 million and NBC, which averaged 3.4 million, all for 22 hours of prime-time programming.
ABC’s most-watched non-NFL program was “The Rookie,” 20th for the week and 14th among non-NFL programs, averaging 4.777 million viewers.
CBS’ most-watched program was an edition of “60 Minutes” with three previously aired reports that were updated for the broadcast and averaged 6.319 million television viewers, 12th for the week.
The CW averaged 400,000 viewers for its 14 hours of programming. Its most-watched program was the crime drama “Walker” which averaged 763,000 viewers, 139th among broadcast programs. Its overall ranking was not available.
The 20 most-watched prime-time programs consisted of two NFL games; three NFL pregame shows; one NFL postgame show; “Accused”; two episodes of “Night Court”; the three elements of NBC’s “Chicago” franchise; “60 Minutes”; six CBS scripted programs; and “The Rookie.”
The most-watched cable program was the Dallas-Tampa Bay Buccaneers wild-card round game on ESPN, which averaged 11.657 million viewers.
ESPN was the most-watched cable network for the sixth consecutive week and 11th time in 13 weeks, averaging 2.37 million viewers. Fox News Channel was second, averaging 1.955 million viewers and MSNBC third, averaging 915,000.
The cable top 20 consisted ESPN’s coverage of the Dallas-Tampa Bay game and its 13-minute pregame show; 14 Fox News Channel weeknight political talk shows — five broadcasts each of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “Hannity” and four of “The Ingraham Angle”; History’s long-running chronicle of a search for treasure on a Canadian island, “The Curse of Oak Island”; TNT’s coverage of the Boston Celtics-Golden State Warriors NBA game; the Hallmark Channel movie “The Wedding Veil Journey”; and the TLC dating series, “90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After?”
The second season of “Ginny & Georgia” was Netflix’s most-watched program for the third time in the three weeks it has been available, with viewers spending 87.4 million hours watching its 10 episodes, according to figures released by the streaming service Tuesday.
Viewership was down 46.3% from the 162.72 million hours watched the previous week, the season’s first full week of release. The season was watched for 180.47 million hours from Jan. 5-8, the first four days it was available.
The first season was fourth of the week with 43.29 million hours watched.
“That ’90s Show” was fifth with 41.08 million hours watched of its 10 episodes the first four days they were available.
Netflix’s most-watched film was “Dog Gone,” with viewers spending 20.91 million watching the drama about the search by a young man (Johnny Berchtold) and his father (Rob Lowe) for the son’s beloved dog after they become separated on the Appalachian Trail.
Viewership was up 10.8% from the 18.88 million hours the previous week when it was fourth and available for three days.
The Monday episode of the Univision telenovela “Mi Camino Es Amarte” was the most-watched Spanish-language program, averaging 1.79 million viewers, 65th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 24th consecutive week and 162nd time in 164 weeks, averaging 1.34 million television viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 1.16 million viewers, followed by UniMas (410,000), and Estrella TV (70,000).
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched nightly newscast for 163rd time in 164 weeks and 215th time in 217 weeks, averaging 8.777 million viewers for its Tuesday through Friday editions. “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 7.446 million viewers, and the “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell” third, averaging 5.476 million viewers, both for their Monday through Friday broadcasts.
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were Fox’s coverage of the Dallas-San Francisco NFL divisional playoff game; the ABC-ESPN-ESPN2-ESPN Deportes simulcast of the Dallas-Tampa Bay Buccaneers wild-card round game; Fox’s coverage of Saturday’s Philadelphia Eagles-New York Giants divisional playoff game and its six-minute kickoff show; Fox’s 11-minute postgame show following the Dallas-San Francisco game; the 13-minute Dallas-Tampa Bay kickoff show; “Accused”; the “Night Court” premiere; and NBC’s “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago Med.”