2022 Oscars ceremony on ABC tops weekly TV ratings

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With four NCAA men’s basketball tournament games among the top six prime-time programs, CBS finished first in the ratings for the fifth time in the five weeks that followed NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics.

CBS averaged 6.22 million viewers for its prime-time programming between March 21 and Sunday, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen on Tuesday. The weekly average was CBS’ most since the week of Jan 17-23 when it aired the Kansas City Chiefs’ 42-36 overtime victory over the Buffalo Bills in an NFL divisional playoff game and averaged 10.37 million viewers for the week.

CBS’ viewership was up 13.7% from its 5.47-million average the previous week.

The ratings leader for CBS was St. Peter’s’ 67-64 upset of Purdue Friday to become the first 15th-seeded team to reach the Elite 8, which averaged 10.181 million viewers, third for the week.

CBS also had the top-ranked scripted program, “FBI,” eighth for the week, averaging 8.022 million viewers; top-ranked first-season series, “FBI: International,” 14th, averaging 6.11 million; top-ranked 10 p.m. program, “FBI: Most Wanted,” 15th, averaging 5.788 million following “FBI: International”; and top-ranked comedy, “Bob Hearts Abishola,” 18th, averaging 5.386 million.

The Oscars gave second-place ABC its biggest weekly average of the 2021-22 television season, at 5 million. Sunday’s three-hour, 40-minute ceremony at the Dolby Theatre hosted by Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes was first for the week, averaging 16.62 million viewers, the second-lowest on record but more than last year’s record-low of 10.54 million.

The audience was the season’s largest for a prime-time entertainment program.

ABC’s second-highest rated program was “American Idol,” 21st for the week, averaging 5.29 million viewers.

NBC averaged 2.28 million to finish third among the broadcast networks and fifth overall behind TBS (2.811) and Fox News Channel (2.466 million). With NBC airing reruns of its three “Chicago” series, its ratings leader was “This Is Us,” 26th for the week, averaging 4.449 million viewers.

Fox averaged 2.27 million viewers, topped by “9-1-1,” 20th for the week, averaging 5.333 million viewers for the procedural drama’s first original episode since Dec. 6.

The CW averaged 440,000. The superhero drama “Superman & Lois,” was its biggest draw for the fifth time among its eight original episodes this season, averaging 797,000 viewers, 147th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.

The week’s only premiere on the five major English-language broadcast networks, NBC’s “American Song Contest,” was fifth in its 8-10 p.m. time slot March 21 and 53rd for the week, averaging 2.86 million viewers.

The top 20 prime-time programs consisted of four NCAA men’s basketball tournament games and two between games bridge shows on CBS; Saturday’s Arkansas-Duke game on TBS and the 20-minute bridge show that preceded it; “60 Minutes”; seven CBS entertainment programs; ABC’s Oscars coverage and two red carpet shows that preceded it; and Fox’s “9-1-1.”

TBS’ coverage of Duke’s 78-69 victory over Arkansas on Saturday was the top-ranked program on cable. The Elite 8 game averaged 10.342 million viewers, second for the week.

NCAA tournament coverage enabled TBS to end Fox News Channel’s nine-week streak as the leading cable network, averaging 2.811 million viewers. Fox News Channel finished second, averaging 2.466 million viewers, and MSNBC third, averaging 1.121 million.

The cable top 20 programs consisted of 11 Fox News Channel political talk shows — five broadcasts of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” four of “Hannity” and two of “The Ingraham Angle”; five NCAA men’s tournament games and three between-game bridge shows on TBS; and History’s “The Curse of Oak Island.”

The second season of “Bridgerton” became the most-streamed Netflix English-language television title in its premiere weekend, with viewers spending 193.02 million hours watching the eight episodes in their first three days of release, according to figures released by the streaming service. “Brigerton’s” first season was the third highest English-language program on Netflix with 32.28 million hours watched. The eight-episode cooking series, “Is It Cake?” finished second with 48.94 million hours watched in its first full week of release.

The science-fiction action movies “The Adam Project” was Netflix’s most-watched English-language movie for the third time in its three weeks of release with 31.7 million hours watched.

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