What We’re Watching: ’60 Minutes,’ CBS Again Top TV Ratings

By STEVEN HERBERT, City News Service
Published on Mar 29, 2023

The post-NCAA men’s basketball edition of “60 Minutes” was the most-watched prime-time program for the second consecutive week, again drawing its largest audience since Jan. 8, 9.291 million viewers, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.

The CBS News magazine followed a 39-minute runover of the network’s coverage of Miami’s 88-81 victory over Texas in the Midwest Regional final in the Eastern and Central time zones, where the bulk of the nation’s population lives. The overrun averaged 13.77 million viewers. It is not considered a separate program but is included in the weekly average.

The only other prime-time programs between March 20 and Sunday to average more than 7 million viewers also had ties to the tournament.

TBS’ coverage of Connecticut’s 82-54 rout of Gonzaga in Saturday’s West Regional final averaged 7.985 million viewers, and the 12-minute bridge show that preceded it and followed Florida Atlantic’s 79-76 victory over Kansas State in the East Regional final averaged 7.674 million viewers.

CBS finished first for the seventh time in nine weeks, averaging 4.88 million viewers. It aired 10 of the week’s 17 most-watched programs, including the most-watched scripted program, “The Equalizer,” fourth for the week, averaging 6.831 million viewers, following “60 Minutes”; the most-watched comedy, “The Neighborhood,” 10th averaging, 5.679 million viewers; the most- watched first-season program, the police drama, “East New York,” 15th, averaging 5.114 million; and the most-watched program beginning at 10 p.m., “NCIS: Hawai’i,” 17th, averaging 4.982 million viewers.

The only times CBS has not finished first in the past nine weeks were the weeks of Feb. 6-13, when Fox aired Super Bowl LVII, and March 6-12 when ABC aired the Oscars.

NBC was second for the second consecutive week, averaging 3.36 million viewers. “Chicago Fire” was its most-watched program, finishing fifth for the week, averaging 6.777 million viewers.

ABC was third among the broadcast networks for the second consecutive week, averaging 2.84 million viewers. “American Idol” was ABC’s most-watched program for the fifth time in the six weeks it has aired this season, finishing 11th, averaging 5.253 million viewers. The only interruption to the streak was the week that ABC aired the Oscars.

CBS, NBC and ABC each aired 22 hours of prime-time programming.

Fox averaged 2.04 million viewers for its 15 hours of programming. The procedural drama “9-1-1” was its most-watched program for the third consecutive week, finishing 24th, averaging 4.414 million viewers.

The CW averaged 430,000 viewers for its 14 hours of programming. The crime drama “Walker” was its most-watched program, averaging 672,000 viewers, tying for 150th among broadcast programs with the 8 p.m. March 20 episode of the 1960-68 CBS comedy, “The Andy Griffith Show” on MeTV.

The 20 most-watched prime-time programs consisted of six CBS scripted programs, its news magazine “60 Minutes” and alternative series “Survivor”; four NCAA men’s basketball tournament games — three on CBS and one on TBS; two NCAA men’s basketball studio shows — one each on TBS and CBS; five NBC programs — the scripted programs “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med” and “Chicago P.D.” and the two editions of its singing competition “The Voice”; and the ABC singing competition, “American Idol.”

The most-watched cable program was TBS’ coverage of the Connecticut- Gonzaga NCAA men’s basketball tournament game, which averaged 7.985 million viewers, second overall.

TBS’ NCAA tournament coverage enabled it to end Fox News Channel’s eight-week streak of topping the cable ratings, averaging 3.078 million. Fox News Channel was second, averaging 2.023 million, and ESPN third, averaging 1.201 million.

MSNBC was the other cable network to average more than 1 million viewers for its prime-time programming, averaging 1.183 million.

The cable top 20 consisted of three NCAA men’s basketball tournament games and three tournament studio shows on TBS; 11 Fox News Channel weeknight political talk shows (five broadcasts of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” four of “Hannity” and two of “The Ingraham Angle”); Fox Sports 1’s coverage of the Japan-United States World Baseball Classic championship game; the MSNBC news and opinion program, “The Rachel Maddow Show”; and ESPN’s coverage of Sunday’s Iowa-Louisville NCAA women’s basketball tournament Elite Eight game.

Sunday’s season premiere of “Succession” garnered a series-high 2.3 million viewers across HBO Max and linear telecasts, according to a statement from the streaming service’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery.

The drama about a well-to-do family that owns a global media company failed to make Nielsen’s top 40 cable programs for the week, which covers all dayparts and required minimum average viewership of 1.97 million viewers.

“The Night Agent” was Netflix’s most-watched title, with viewers watching the 10-episode action thriller for 168.71 million hours during the first four days it was available, according to figures released by the streaming service Tuesday.

The second season of “Shadow and Bone” was second with 55.03 million hours watched of the fantasy’s eight episodes in their first full week of release, 9.2% more than the 50.4 million hours the previous week when they were available for four days.

“The Glory” was third after back-to-back first-place finishes with 48.35 million hours for the 16 episodes of the South Korean revenge thriller, 60.9% less than the 123.59 million hours the previous week, the first full week its second eight episodes were available.

“Luther: The Fallen Sun” was Netflix’s most-watched movie for the third consecutive week, despite a 64.5% drop in viewership from the previous week. Viewers spent 24.7 million hours watching the continuation of the BBC psychological crime thriller in its second full week of release.

“Luther: The Fallen Sun” was watched for 69.54 million hours the previous week and 65.92 million hours the week of March 6-12 when it was available for three days.

The animated children’s movie “The Magician’s Elephant” rose one spot to second with 16.73 million hours watched, a 22.2% increase over the 13.69 million hours watched the previous week when it was available for three days.

Each of the four most-watched Spanish-language programs were episodes of the Univision telenovela, “Mi Camino es Amarteo,” topped by the March 20 episode which averaged 1.722 million viewers, 66th among broadcast programs. Its overall ranking was not available.

Each of the previous three weeks of the five most-watched Spanish- language programs were episodes of “Mi Camino es Amarteo”

Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 33rd consecutive week and 171st time in 173 weeks, averaging 1.21 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 960,000 viewers, followed by UniMas (510,000) and Estrella TV (80,000).

ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched nightly newscast for 172nd time in 173 weeks and 224th time in 226 weeks, averaging 8.069 million viewers. “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 6.77 million viewers. The “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell” third, averaging 4.895 million viewers for its Monday through Thursday newscasts.

The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were CBS’ “60 Minutes”;  TBS’ coverage of the Connecticut-Gonzaga NCAA men’s basketball tournament game and the 12-minute studio show preceding it; CBS’ “The Equalizer”; NBC’s “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago Med”; CBS’ “NCIS”; the March 20 episode of NBC’s singing competition “The Voice”; CBS’ coverage of Thursday’s UCLA-Gonzaga NCAA men’s basketball tournament game and “The Neighborhood.”

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