‘Young Sheldon’ helps give CBS winning prime-time ratings edge


CBS had each of last week’s five most-watched prime-time programs and eight of the top 10 to finish first in the network race for the 16th time in 17 weeks.

“NCIS” was the only prime-time program between May 10 and Sunday to average more than 8 million viewers, averaging 8.94 million to finish first for the third consecutive week and the seventh time in the 34-week-old 2020-21 television season, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.

“NCIS” is the only scripted series to win a week this season.

CBS had five of the other seven programs to average more than 7 million viewers — “60 Minutes” (7.987 million), “FBI” (7.692 million), “The Equalizer” (7.386 million), “Young Sheldon” (7.211 million) and the 10 p.m. Friday episode of “Blue Bloods” (7.07 million).

The only non-CBS programs to average more than 7 million viewers were NBC’s “Chicago Fire,” sixth for the week, averaging 7.078 million; and “Chicago Med,” which precedes “Chicago Fire” and was eighth for the week, averaging 7.06 million.

CBS averaged 4.96 million viewers for its prime-time programming for the week, for its 18th first-place finish of the season. The order behind CBS was the same as the previous week, with NBC finishing second, averaging 3.73 million; and ABC third, averaging 2.89 million.

Fox was fourth among the broadcast networks for the 16th consecutive week, averaging 2.28 million viewers. The CW again was fifth among the five major English-language broadcast networks, averaging 500,000 viewers.

“American Idol” was ABC’s highest rated program for the seventh consecutive week it has aired, averaging 6.106 million viewers, 11th for the week.

Fox’s top ranked show was the procedural drama “9-1-1,” which averaged 5.829 million viewers, 15th for the week. A “9-1-1” episode has been Fox’s most-watched program all 12 weeks it has aired this season.

The martial arts action-adventure series “Kung Fu” had the CW’s biggest audience for the fifth time in the six weeks it has aired, averaging 955,000 viewers, 127th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.

The Tuesday edition of the Fox News Channel political talk show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” was the prime-time cable ratings winner for the second consecutive week, averaging 3.266 million viewers, 38th overall.

The Fox News Channel won the cable network prime-time race for the seventh consecutive week and the 15th time in 16 weeks, averaging 2.288 million viewers.

The second- and third-place finishers were the same as the previous week. MSNBC was second, averaging 1.436 million viewers, followed by HGTV, averaging 1.194 million.

The top 20 cable programs consisted of 13 Fox News Channel shows: five broadcasts each of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “Hannity” and three of “The Ingraham Angle”; five broadcasts of the MSNBC news and opinion program “The Rachel Maddow Show,” the Hallmark Channel movie “Sweet Carolina” and the HGTV renovation series “Home Town Takeover.”

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