UCLA-Gonzaga NCAA basketball semifinal is a winner for CBS

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UCLA’s dramatic 93-90 overtime loss to Gonzaga in an NCAA men’s basketball national semifinal drew the second-largest audience for a prime-time program since Super Bowl Sunday.

CBS’ telecast Saturday averaged 14.942 million viewers, trailing only “Oprah With Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special,” which averaged 17.813 million viewers, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.

UCLA also accounted for the week’s highest-rated cable program, as TBS’ coverage of its 51-49 victory over Michigan in the East Regional final March 30 averaged 6.886 million viewers, eighth among prime-time broadcast and cable programs airing between March 29 and Sunday.

The week’s highest-rated entertainment program was NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” which served as both crossover and lead-in to the premiere of “Law & Order: Organized Crime.”

“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” averaged 8.033 million viewers, second for the week, while “Law & Order: Organized Crime” averaged 7.858 million, third for the week.

The week’s other scripted premiere, CBS’ “United States of Al,” averaged 5.309 million viewers, 20th for the week, 13th among entertainment programs, second among comedies and first in its 8:30-9 p.m. Thursday time slot. It retained 79.9% of the audience of “Young Sheldon” that preceded it.

“Young Sheldon” was the week’s top-rated comedy, averaging 6.644 million viewers, ninth for the week and sixth among entertainment programs.

The premiere of the ABC dog-grooming competition series “Pooch Perfect” was 33rd for the week, 25th among entertainment programs and third in its 8-9 p.m. March 30 time slot, averaging 4.174 million viewers.

CBS finished first in the network race for the 11th consecutive week and 13th time in the 28-week-old 2020-21 prime-time television season, averaging 6.09 million viewers, despite not airing original episodes of its second- and third-rated entertainment series of the season, “NCIS” and “FBI.”

The order of finish behind CBS was the same as the previous week. ABC was second, averaging 3.76 million viewers, and NBC third, averaging 3.7 million. Fox was fourth for the 10th consecutive week, averaging 1.8 million viewers.

The CW again finished fifth among the five major English-language broadcast networks, averaging 550,000 viewers

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The Sunday edition of “American Idol” was ABC’s highest-ranked program for the second consecutive week, averaging 5.607 million viewers, 16th for the week and 10th among entertainment programs.

Fox’s biggest audience for the third consecutive week was for “The Masked Singer,” 22nd for the week and 14th among entertainment programs, averaging 5.049 million viewers.

Superhero drama “The Flash” was The CW’s highest-ranked program, averaging 909,000 viewers, 135th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.

After a one-week absence, Fox News Channel returned to the top among cable networks, averaging 2.128 million viewers. TBS was second, averaging 1.608 million viewers, one week after finishing first.

MSNBC was third for the third for the third consecutive week after seven consecutive second-place finishes, averaging 1.585 million viewers.

“Coming 2 America” topped Nielsen’s latest weekly report on streaming viewership, covering the week of March 1-7, with viewers watching 1.413 billion minutes of the sequel to the 1988 Eddie Murphy-starring film “Coming to America” in its first three days of release.

“Coming 2 America” was the first program streaming on Amazon Prime Video to top a weekly streaming Top 10 list, which are customarily dominated by Netflix. Nielsen issued its first report on viewership of Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video programming covering the week of Aug. 3-9.

The previous week’s leader, “Ginny & Georgia,” dropped to second despite increasing its viewership. Viewers watched 1.161 billion minutes of the 10-episode Netflix dramedy March 1-7, its first full week of release, 21.8% more than the 953 million minutes watched in its first five days of release.

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