What We’re Watching: CBS’ ‘The Equalizer’ Top Prime-Time Entertainment Programs

By STEVEN HERBERT, City News Service
Published on Mar 9, 2022

“The Equalizer” was the most-watched entertainment program in a week the four major English-language broadcast networks pre-empted programming for coverage of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.

The crime drama was third among prime-time programs between Feb. 28 and Sunday, averaging 7.131 million viewers, trailing the CBS news magazine “60 Minutes,” which precedes it and averaged 7.993 million, and Fox News Channel’s airing of the State of the Union address, which averaged 7.206 million

There were two other prime-time entertainment programs to average more than 7 million viewers. The CBS action drama “NCIS” was fourth for the week, averaging 7.12 million viewers, and the NBC medical drama “Chicago Med,” fifth, averaging 7.053 million viewers.

CBS’ perennially popular scripted programming helped it to its second straight first-place finish since the end of the Winter Olympics and eighth of the 24-week-old 2021-22 prime-time television season, averaging 4.56 million viewers.

ABC was second, averaging 3.87 million viewers, followed by cable’s Fox News Channel, which averaged 3.507 million, and NBC, which averaged 3.2 million, all for 22 hours of prime-time programming.

Fox averaged 1.88 million viewers for its 15 hours, 48 minutes of prime-time programming. The CW averaged 500,000 for its 14 hours of prime-time programming.

CBS’ “Young Sheldon” was the most-watched comedy for the 22nd consecutive week, averaging 6.48 million viewers, 10th for the week. The CBS police drama “Blue Bloods” was the most-watched show in the 10 p.m. time slot for the 12th time in the season, averaging 5.896 million viewers, 14th overall.

The CBS comedy “Ghosts” was the most-watched first-season program for the seventh time, averaging 5.52 million viewers, 17th overall.

“American Idol” was ABC’s most-watched program for the second time in the two weeks it has aired this season, finishing eighth, averaging 6.573 million viewers, 4.4% more than the 6.296 million average for its season premiere.

The procedural drama, “9-1-1: Lone Star” was Fox’s most-watched program for the second consecutive week and fourth time in five weeks, averaging 4.824 million viewers, 27th overall.

The crime drama “Walker” was The CW’s most-watched program for the seventh time in its 10 episodes this season, averaging 897,000 viewers, 138th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.

The only premiere on the five major English-language broadcast networks, the NBC dating series “The Courtship,” was 133rd among broadcast programs, averaging 988,000. Its overall rank was not available.

The State of the Union address last Tuesday averaged 38.197 million viewers on 16 networks. Biden’s address to Congress on April 28, 2021, averaged 26.936 million viewers. The speech a president delivers to Congress in his first year in office is not considered a State of the Union address.

Then-President Donald Trump’s final State of the Union address in 2020 averaged 37.173 million viewers.

The 20 most watched prime-time programs consisted of five State of the Union address-related programs on Fox News Channel and one on ABC; “60 Minutes” and eight CBS entertainment programs; the three elements of NBC’s Chicago franchise — “Chicago Med,” “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago P.D.”; and two ABC alternative programs “American Idol” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos” which precedes it.

Fox News Channel had each of the six most-watched prime-time programs and nine of the top 10, making it the most-watched cable network for the seventh consecutive week, averaging 3.507 million viewers. CNN was second for the second consecutive week, averaging 1.808 million viewers.

MSNBC was third for the ninth consecutive week, averaging 1.67 million viewers.

The cable top 20 consisted of nine State of the Union address programs — five on Fox News Channel, three on CNN and one on MSNBC — 10 Fox News Channel political talk shows — five broadcasts of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and four of “Hannity” and one of “The Ingraham Angle”; and ESPN’s coverage of the 35-minute ceremony following the final game for Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The week’s most-watched Spanish-language program was the Thursday episode of the Univision telenovela “Madre,” which averaged 1.69 million viewers, 76th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.

Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 118th consecutive week and 120th time in 121 weeks, averaging 1.39 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 930,000 viewers, followed by UniMas (510,000), Estrella TV (110,000) and Azteca America (60,000).

ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched nightly newscast for the 117th time in 118 weeks and 169th time in 171 weeks, averaging 8.778 million viewers. “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 7.319 million.

The “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell” was third, averaging 5.085 million.

The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were CBS’ “60 Minutes”; Fox News Channel’s airing of the State of the Union address; CBS’ “The Equalizer” and “NCIS”; NBC’s “Chicago Med” and “Chicago Fire”; Fox News Channel’s 13-minute State of the Union preview; ABC’s “American Idol”; Fox News Channel’s 22-minute State of the Union analysis program; and CBS’ “Young Sheldon.”

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