Tom Brady’s first game against his former team drew the second-largest audience in “Sunday Night Football” history, while “60 Minutes” was the most-watched non-NFL program in the second week of the 2021- 22 prime-time television season, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.
NBC’s coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 19-17 victory over the New England Patriots averaged 26.747 million viewers. The only “Sunday Night Football” game to average a larger audience was Washington’s 28-18 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 30, 2012 which decided the NFC East title and ended Dallas’ season. That game averaged 30.28 million viewers.
“Sunday Night Football” has aired on NBC since 2006 after being carried by ESPN from the 1987 to 2005 seasons and TNT from 1990-97.
“60 Minutes” drew its largest audience since Jan. 17, averaging 10.321 million viewers, sixth among prime-time broadcast and cable programs airing between Sept. 27 and Sunday, behind two NFL games, two NFL pregame shows and an NFL postgame show.
“60 Minutes” aired following a 34-minute runover of CBS’ afternoon NFL coverage into prime time in the Eastern and Central time zones — where the bulk of the nation’s population lives — that averaged 23.36 million viewers. The runover is not considered a separate program but is included in the network average.
“NCIS” was the most-watched entertainment program for the second consecutive week, averaging 8.055 million viewers, eighth overall and the only entertainment program to average more than 8 million viewers. The viewership of the CBS action drama was down 4.7% from the 8.451 million average for its 19th season premiere a week earlier.
The lone premiere on the five major English-language broadcast networks, the NBC epic adventure “La Brea,” averaged 6.373 million viewers, first in its 9 p.m. Tuesday time lot, eighth among non-NFL programs and 16th overall. It retained 85.7% of the audience of “The Voice” that preceded it.
The Tuesday episode of “The Voice” averaged 7.435 million viewers, first in its 8 p.m. Tuesday time slot, third among non-NFL programs and 10th overall. It was NBC’s most-watched non-NFL program.
NBC was first for the second time in the young season, averaging 7.53 million viewers. CBS was second, averaging 5.25 million viewers and ABC third, averaging 3.67 million, all for 22 hours of prime-time programming.
Fox averaged 2.07 million viewers for its 15 hours, 47 minutes of prime-time programming. The CW averaged 390,000 viewers for its 14 hours of prime-time programming.
The week’s 20-most watched prime-time programs consisted of three NFL games, four NFL pregame shows and a postgame show; six NBC entertainment programs — two episodes of “The Voice,” all three “Chicago” series and “La Brea”; and “60 Minutes,” four CBS scripted programs and “Survivor.”
ABC’s most-watched program was the season premiere of the action drama “Station 19,” 27th for the week averaging 5.04 million viewers.
Fox’s most-watched programs were its six-minute NFL postgame show which averaged 11.982 million viewers, fifth for the week, and the procedural drama “9-1-1,” 24th for the week, averaging 5.453 million viewers.
The CW’s most-watched program was Friday’s season premiere of the magic competition series “Penn & Teller: Fool Us,” which was 157th among broadcast programs, averaging 665,000 viewers. Its overall rank was not available.
The most-watched cable program was ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” game Sept. 27, fourth overall, averaging 12.901 million viewers for the Cowboys’ 41-21 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
ESPN was the most-watched cable network for the second consecutive week, averaging 2.779 million viewers. Fox News Channel was second for the second consecutive week after 11 consecutive first-place finishes, averaging 2.258 million viewers.
MSNBC was third for the third consecutive week, averaging 1.194 million viewers.
CNN was 10th, two places lower than the previous week, averaging 601,000 viewers. TLC was fourth, averaging 832,000, followed by Hallmark Channel (763,000), Discovery (714,000), TBS (704,000), USA Network (688,000) and Food Network (662,000).
The top 20 cable programs consisted of “Monday Night Football” and its 14-minute pregame show; the Cincinnati Bengals’ 24-21 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on NFL Network’s “Thursday Night Football” and its 23- minute pregame show; two college football games on ESPN; 12 Fox News Channel political talk show — five broadcasts each of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “Hannity” and two of “The Ingraham Angle” — and two broadcasts of the MSNBC news and opinion program “The Rachel Maddow Show.”
The Monday episode of the Univision telenovela “Si nos dejan” was the most-watched prime-time Spanish-language program for the second consecutive week, averaging 1.927 million viewers, tying for 61st among broadcast programs with a Saturday rerun of CBS’ “FBI: International.” Its overall rank was not available.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 96th consecutive week and 98th time in 99 weeks, averaging 1.36 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 1.06 million viewers, followed by UniMas (420,000), Estrella TV (120,000) and Azteca America (30,000).
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 96th consecutive week, the 147th time in 148 weeks and the 199th time in 201 weeks, averaging 7.951 million viewers.
“NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 6.407 million viewers, followed by the “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell,” which averaged 4.778 million viewers.
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” its 12-minute pre-kickoff show and 22-minute third segment of “Football Night in America”; ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”; Fox’s six- minute NFL postgame show; CBS’ “60 Minutes”; the 20-minute second segment of “Football Night in America”; CBS’ “NCIS”; NFL Network’s “Thursday Night Football”; and NBC’s Tuesday episode of “The Voice.”