For the third time in the 16-week-old 2021-22 television season a program other than NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” topped the prime-time rankings, but like the other two times, it took another NFL game to do it.
ABC-ESPN simulcast of the Dallas Cowboys’ 51-26 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday averaged 20.207 million viewers, the most for a prime-time program since Oct. 28 when the Arizona Cardinals-Green Bay Packers “Thursday Night Football” game on Fox averaged 20.264 million viewers, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday. The game averaged 13.7 million viewers on ABC and 5.507 million on ESPN.
Only three prime-time programs this season averaged more viewers than Saturday’s game — the New England Patriots-Tampa Bay Buccaneers “Sunday Night Football” game Oct. 3 (26.747 million), its pregame show (20.317 million) and the Arizona-Green Bay game.
The Arizona-Green Bay and Buffalo Bills-New Orleans Saints Thanksgiving night game on NBC were the only other non-”Sunday Night Football” games to top the weekly ratings.
“Sunday Night Football” was second for the week, with the Chargers’ 35-32 overtime loss to Las Vegas Raiders averaging 17.691 million viewers, seventh among the season’s 18 “Sunday Night Football” games.
“60 Minutes” was the top rated non-sports program for the ninth time in the season, averaging 9.898 million viewers, seventh overall behind three NFL games, two NFL pregame shows and Fox’s 17-minute NFL postgame show, “The OT.”
The CBS crime drama “FBI” was the lead the ratings for entertainment programs for the second time in the season, averaging 8.52 million viewers, ninth for the week and second among non-sports programs.
CBS also had the top-ranked comedy, first-year series and 10 p.m. program. “Young Sheldon” led all comedies for the 14th consecutive week, averaging 7.385 million viewers, 10th for the week and second among entertainment programs. “Ghosts” was at the top of the list for first-year series for the fourth time, averaging 6.478 million viewers, 16th for the week and seventh among entertainment programs. The police drama “Blue Bloods” topped the list of 10 p.m. programs for the eighth time, averaging 6.068 million viewers, 17th for the week and eighth among entertainment programs.
“Judge Steve Harvey” had the largest audience of the seven premieres on the five major English-language networks, with the unscripted courtroom comedy averaging 5.158 million viewers, 19th among entertainment programs, 28th overall and second in its 8-9 p.m. time slot Jan. 4. The Fox crime drama “The Cleaning Lady” was second among the premieres, averaging 3.65 million viewers, 30th among entertainment programs, 41st overall and second in its 8-9 p.m. time slot Jan. 3.
“Women of the Movement” was the only other premiere to average more than 3 million viewers. Back-to-back episodes of the six-episode series on the quest by Mamie Till-Mobley to find justice after her son Emmett Till was murdered averaged 3.12 million viewers, 37th among entertainment programs, 53rd overall and fourth in its Thursday 8-10 p.m. time slot.
The combination of seven of the top 10 entertainment programs, the NFL runover and “60 Minutes” put CBS at the top of the network ratings for the fourth time in the season, averaging 5.47 million viewers. NBC was second, averaging 5.19 million, followed by ABC, which averaged 4.81 million.
Fox averaged 3.29 million viewers and the CW 430,000s.
The 20 most watched prime-time programs consisted of three NFL games; four NFL pregame shows; “The OT”; “60 Minutes”; seven CBS entertainment programs; the three elements of NBC’s “Chicago” franchise — “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med” and “Chicago P.D.” — and “9-1-1: Lone Star.”
ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” was the most-watched cable program of the 15th time in 17 weeks, with the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 26-14 victory over the Cleveland Browns Jan. 3 averaging 11.781 million viewers, sixth for the week.
ESPN won the cable network race for the third consecutive week, averaging 3.368 million viewers. Fox News Channel was second behind ESPN for the third consecutive week after three first-place finishes in five weeks, averaging 2.253 million viewers. MSNBC was third, averaging 1.239 million viewers.
CNN was 11th, averaging 691,000 viewers. CNN also trailed Hallmark Channel (1.197 million), HGTV (1.165 million), TLC (879,000), TBS (757,000), Discovery (728,000), History (724,000) and Food Network (715,000).
The top 20 cable programs consisted of two NFL games, two NFL pregame shows and the Texas Bowl on ESPN; 11 Fox News Channel political talk shows — five broadcasts each of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “Hannity” and one of “The Ingraham Angle”; two editions of the MSNBC news and opinion program “The Rachel Maddow Show”; the Hallmark Channel movie, “The Wedding Veil”; and History’s long-running chronicle of the quest to solve the more than two-century-old treasure mystery on a Canadian island, “The Curse of Oak Island.”
“Don’t Look Up” was the most-streamed English-language film on Netflix for the third consecutive week despite a 61.8% drop in viewership from the previous week, according to figures released Tuesday by the streaming service.
Viewers spent 58.2 million hours between Jan. 3 and Sunday watching the comedy about an approaching comet that will destroy Earth; it was the film’s second full week of release. “Don’t Look Up” was watched for 152.29 million hours the previous week and for 321.52 million hours in the first 17 days it has been available.
The post-apocalyptic science-fiction thriller “Mother/Android” was second with 29.73 million hours watched.
The fourth season of “Cobra Kai” topped the English-language television series for the second consecutive week with 107.81 million hours watched of its 10 episodes, 10.2% less than 120.06 million hours the previous week when it was available for three days.
The first season of the eight-episode thriller “Stay Close” was second with 91.18 million hours watched in its first full week of release, 191.4% more than the previous week when it was available for three days.