What We’re Watching: ’60 Minutes’ Tops Non-Sports Ratings; NBC First Among Networks

By STEVEN HERBERT, City News Service
Published on Sep 21, 2022

The 55th season premiere of “60 Minutes” was the week’s most-watched non-sports prime-time program, while the season’s final performance episode of “America’s Got Talent” was first among entertainment programs, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.

The edition which consisted of President Joe Biden’s first “60 Minutes” interview since taking office and Lesley Stahl’s interview with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi averaged 10.197 million viewers, fifth among prime-time programs airing between Sept. 12 and Sunday, behind two NFL games and two NFL pregame shows.

“60 Minutes” followed a 61-minute runover of CBS’ afternoon NFL coverage into primetime in the Eastern and Central time zones where the bulk of the nation’s population lives. The runover, mainly of the Dallas Cowboys’ 20-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Brett Maher’s 50-yard field goal as time expired, averaged 29.11 million viewers.

The runover is not considered a separate program but is included in the network average.

Viewership was up 21.3% from the 9.984 million average for the 54th season premiere which followed a 34-minute runover of CBS’ afternoon NFL coverage that averaged 24.63 million viewers.

The 121-minute “America’s Got Talent” episode Sept. 13 averaged 7.025 million viewers, seventh for the week. The two-hour season finale the next night averaged 6.817 million, eighth for the week.

The only other prime-time entertainment program to average more than 5 million viewers was the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards, ninth for the week, averaging 5.924 million viewers, its seventh record low in eight years. The previous low was 6.36 million in 2020 when it aired on ABC. The Emmy Awards rotate among the four major broadcast networks.

The total audience including digital viewing was 6 million.

Viewership for nearly all forms of programming has decreased because of increased programming on streaming, online, digital and cable platforms.

For the second time in the two-week-old NFL season, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the most-watched prime-time program, with the Green Bay Packers’ 27-10 victory over the Chicago Bears averaging 19.545 million viewers, 16.1% less than the 23.296 million average for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 19-3 victory over Dallas on “Sunday Night Football” opener a week earlier.

The total audience for Sunday’s game, which includes streaming viewership on Peacock, NBC Sports and NFL digital platforms was 20.8 million viewers, 16.8% less than the 25 million total audience for the “Sunday Night Football” season opener, according to Adobe Analytics figures provided by NBC.

The ABC-ESPN “Monday Night Football” simulcast of the Seattle Seahawks’ 17-16 victory over the Denver Broncos Sept. 12 was second, averaging 18.294 million viewers, including averaging 7.998 million viewers on ESPN, the most among the week’s cable programs.

The combination of “Sunday Night Football” and four hours and one minute of “America’s Got Talent” made NBC the most-watched network for the second consecutive week, averaging 6 million viewers.

CBS was second, averaging 4.24 million, followed by ABC, which averaged 3.56 million.

All three networks aired 22 hours of prime-time programming.

Fox averaged 1.79 million viewers for its 16 hours, 30 minutes of prime-time programming, topped by Saturday’s broadcast of Ohio State’s 77-21 victory over Toledo that averaged 3.048 million viewers, 31st for the week.

The CW averaged 320,000 viewers for its 14 hours of programming. Its most-watched program was the superhero series “DC’s Stargirl,” 171st among broadcast among broadcast programs, averaging 505,000 viewers. Its overall ranking was not available.

The 20 most-watched prime-time programs consisted of the two NFL games; three NFL pregame shows; “60 Minutes”; the two episodes of “America’s Got Talent”; the Primetime Emmy Awards; the Sunday and Wednesday episodes of the CBS alternative series “Big Brother”; two episodes of “Password” on NBC; reruns of the CBS scripted series “FBI” and “Young Sheldon”; the ABC alternative programs, “Celebrity Family Feud,” “The Bachelorette”; “Press Your Luck” and a rerun of “America’s Funniest Home Videos”; and the Wednesday edition of the Fox News Channel political talk show “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

The combination of “Monday Night Football” and two nights of college football made ESPN the most-watched cable network for the third consecutive week, averaging 2.245 million viewers. Fox News Channel averaged 2.176 million viewers to finish second for the third consecutive week following 12 consecutive first-place finishes.

MSNBC averaged 1.218 million viewers for its third consecutive third-place finish after seven consecutive second-place finishes.

The cable top 20 consisted of ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” and its 14-minute kickoff show; 13 Fox News Channel weeknight political talk shows – – five broadcasts of both “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “Hannity” and three of “The Ingraham Angle”; three college football games on ESPN; the Sept. 12 edition of the MSNBC news and opinion program, “The Rachel Maddow Show”; and the HBO fantasy drama “House of the Dragon.”

The fifth season of “Cobra Kai” was Netflix’s most-watched program for the second consecutive week, with viewers spending 95.55 million hours watching the 10 episodes of the martial arts comedy-drama the first full week they were available, according to figures released Tuesday by the streaming service.

Viewership was down 10.4% from the 106.7 million hours watched the previous week when the fifth-season episodes were available for three days.

“End of The Road” was Netflix’s most-watched movie for the second consecutive week with viewers watching the Queen Latifah-starring road trip movie for 27.19 million hours in its first full week of release, 10% less than the 30.21 million hours watched the previous week when it was available for three days.

The most-watched Spanish-language program was Univision’s coverage of Club America’s 2-1 victory over Chivas Saturday in a Liga MX game which averaged 1.427 million viewers, 64th among broadcast programs. Its overall ranking was not available.

Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the sixth consecutive week and 144th time in 146 weeks, averaging 1.2 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 830,000, followed by UniMas (450,000), Estrella TV (90,000) and Azteca America (60,000).

ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched nightly newscast for the 145th time in 146 weeks and 197th time in 199 weeks, averaging 7.305 million viewers. “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 6.165 million.

The “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell” was third, averaging 4.418 million.

The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC’s “Sunday Night Football”; the ABC-ESPN “Monday Night Football” simulcast; the 10- minute “Sunday Night Football” pre-kickoff show; the 14-minute “Monday Night Football” kickoff show; CBS’ “60 Minutes”; the 22-minute third segment of NBC’s “Football Night in America”; the Tuesday and Wednesday editions of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”; NBC’s coverage of the Primetime Emmy Awards; and the Sunday edition of CBS’ “Big Brother.”

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