What We’re Watching: CBS, NFL Draft Top TV Ratings

By STEVEN HERBERT, City News Service
Published on May 4, 2022

Even in April, NFL programming topped the prime-time ratings.

The combined average viewership of Thursday’s first round of the NFL draft by ESPN, ABC and NFL Network averaged 10.031 million viewers — 4.446 million on ESPN, 3.803 million on ABC and 1.782 million on NFL Network, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.

CBS had each of the three most-watched non-draft programs between April 25 and Sunday — “FBI” which averaged 7.555 million viewers; “60 Minutes,” which averaged 7.532 million; and “Young Sheldon,” which averaged 6.906 million.

CBS finished first for the 10th time in the 10 weeks following the conclusion of NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics, and the 16th time in the 32-week-old 2021-22 television season — averaging 4.36 million viewers.

ABC returned to second after a week’s absence, averaging 3.3 million viewers. Its most-watched programs were the Sunday and Monday editions of “American Idol,” fifth and seventh for the week, averaging 6.566 million and 5.823 million viewers.

Sunday’s episode in which contestants sang Disney songs was the most- watched of the season. An episode of “American Idol” has been ABC’s most- watched program in nine of the 10 weeks it has aired this season, with the only exception being the week ABC aired the Oscars.

NBC was third among the broadcast networks for the ninth time in 10 weeks, averaging 2.83 million. With the network airing reruns of its three “Chicago” series, its most-watched program was the family drama “This Is Us,” 15th for the week averaging 4.927 million viewers.

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

Fox averaged 2.03 million viewers for its 16 hours of prime-time programming, topped by the procedural drama “9-1-1,” 13th for the week averaging 5.083 million viewers. “9-1-1” has been Fox’s most-watched program all five times an original episode has aired since March 21.

The CW averaged 410,000 viewers for its 14 hours of programming. The superhero drama “Superman & Lois,” was The CW’s most-watched program for the sixth time among its 10 original episodes this season, averaging 831,000 viewers, 134th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.

The 20 most watched prime-time programs consisted of 12 programs that aired on CBS — nine scripted series episodes, “60 Minutes,” the alternative series “Survivor” and the primetime special, “The Price is Right at Night”; three ABC alternative programs — two “American Idol” episodes and “America’s Funniest Home Videos”; NBC’s “This Is Us” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”; Fox’s “9-1-1” and “9-1-1: Lone Star” and ESPN’s coverage of the first round of the NFL draft

The most-watched cable program was ESPN’s coverage of the first round of the NFL draft, which averaged 4.446 million viewers, 19th overall.

Fox News Channel returned to the top of the cable ratings after a one- week absence, averaging 2.287 million viewers. TNT averaged 2.125 million to finish second, one week after finishing first.

ESPN was third for the third consecutive week, averaging 1.552 million.

The cable top 20 consisted of nine NBA playoff games — eight on TNT and one on ESPN; nine Fox News Channel political talk shows — four broadcasts each of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “Hannity” and one of “The Ingraham Angle”; and two NFL draft telecasts on ESPN.

An episode of the Univision telenovela “Madre” was the most-watched Spanish-language program for the sixth time in nine weeks, with the Friday episode averaging 1.847 million viewers, 54th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.

Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 126th consecutive week and 128th time in 129 weeks, averaging 1.38 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 910,000 viewers, followed by UniMas (610,000), Estrella TV (120,000) and Azteca America (40,000).

ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched nightly newscast for the 125th time in 126 weeks and 177th time in 179 weeks, averaging 7.169 million viewers. “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 6.572 million.

The “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell” was third, averaging 4.627 million.

The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were CBS’ “FBI,” “60 Minutes” and “Young Sheldon”; the Sunday edition of ABC’s “American Idol’; CBS’ “FBI: International”; the Monday edition of “American Idol”; CBS’ “Blue Bloods,” “Survivor” and “FBI: Most Wanted”; and ABC’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”

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