What We’re Watching: ‘Yellowstone’ Draws Largest Non-Sports Audience of Season

By STEVEN HERBERT, City News Service
Published on Nov 16, 2022

The fifth season premiere of “Yellowstone” drew the largest audience of any non-sports cable or broadcast program in the eight- week-old 2022-23 prime-time television season, while its second episode that followed drew the second-largest.

Sunday’s 74-minute season premiere of the Kevin Costner-starring neo- Western averaged 12.493 million viewers on seven Paramount cable networks, including 9.409 million on the Paramount Network, according to live-plus-same- day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.

The 73-minute second episode averaged 11.289 million viewers, including 8.439 million on Paramount Network.

The Paramount Network viewership for the season premiere was the most for any cable program between Nov. 7 and Sunday and fourth overall behind the Fox’s seven-minute NFL postgame show Sunday, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” and its 10-minute pre-kickoff show.

The Paramount Network viewership for the second episode was sixth for the week, also trailing the Nov. 7 “Monday Night Football” game on ESPN, which averaged 9.356 million viewers for the Baltimore Ravens’ 27-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

The season’s previous high for a non-sports program was the Oct. 16 broadcast of the CBS news magazine “60 Minutes” which averaged 10.719 million viewers. The most for an entertainment program was 7.407 million for the Oct. 18 episode of the CBS crime drama “FBI.”

The 56th annual CMA Awards on ABC was the week’s third most-watched entertainment program, averaging 7.454 million viewers, eighth for the week, third among entertainment programs. The audience was the ceremony’s largest since 2019 when it averaged 11.278 million viewers.

CBS’ “Young Sheldon” was the most-watched comedy for the seventh time in the seven episodes it has aired this season, averaging 7.135 million viewers, 11th for the week, seventh among non-sports programs and fourth among entertainment programs.

The CBS police procedural “East New York” was the most-watched new series for the fourth time in its six episodes, averaging 4.696 million viewers, 24th for the week, 17th among non-sports programs and 13th among entertainment programs.

“Sunday Night Football” drew its second-smallest audience among its 10 broadcasts of the 2022 season, 15.843 million viewers, for the San Francisco 49ers’ 22-16 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, in a game the Chargers were held scoreless in the second half after leading 16-10 at halftime.

“Sunday Night Football’s” smallest audience of the season was 15.534 million viewers for the Miami Dolphins’ 16-10 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers Oct. 23, which included the first scoreless second half in the “Sunday Night Football” package since the 2008 NFL Kickoff game.

With the World Series concluded, NBC returned to the top of the ratings, averaging 5.02 million viewers. Outside of its NFL programming, NBC’s most-watched program was “Chicago Fire,” 16th for the week, 10th among non- sports programs and seventh among entertainment programs, averaging 6.137 million viewers.

Fox was second after its back-to-back first-place finishes the previous two weeks with the World Series, averaging 4.45 million viewers for its 16 hours, three minutes of prime-time programming, including 63 minutes of NFL programming Sunday that averaged 29.77 million viewers.

Fox’s most-watched program was its seven-minute NFL postgame show that averaged 18.132 million viewers following a 56-minute runover of its afternoon NFL coverage into prime time in the Eastern and Central time zones, where the bulk of the nation’s population lives. Viewership for the runover was not available. It is not considered a separate program but is included in the network’s weekly average.

Fox’s most-watched non-NFL program was animated comedy “The Simpsons,” which followed the postgame show and averaged 4.771 million viewers, 22nd for the week, 15th among non-sports programs and 11th among entertainment programs.

ABC was third, averaging 3.92 million viewers. CBS was fourth, averaging 3.65 million. “60 Minutes” was its most-watched program, averaging a season-low 6.769 million viewers, 13th for the week and eighth among non- sports programs.

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

The CW averaged 420,000 viewers for its 14 hours of programming. The crime drama “Walker” was its most-watched program for the third time in six weeks, averaging 768,000 viewers, 126th among broadcast programs. Its overall ranking was not available.

The 20 most-watched prime-time programs consisted of Fox’s NFL postgame show; two NFL games; three NFL pregame shows; two episodes of “Yellowstone”; three Fox News Channel hourlong election results segments; the CMA Awards; “60 Minutes”; three CBS scripted programs; three NBC entertainment programs; and the Fox procedural drama “9-1-1.”

The combination of its coverage of the midterm elections results and weeknight political talk shows made Fox News Channel the most-watched cable network, averaged 3.151 million viewers. ESPN averaged 2.194 million viewers to finish second after back-to-back first-place finishes, five in six weeks and eight in 10 weeks.

MSNBC was third, averaging 1.655 million viewers, followed by Paramount Network, which averaged 1.582 million viewers, and Hallmark Channel, fifth averaging 1.233 million viewers.

CNN was the other cable network to average more than 1 million viewers for its primetime programming, averaging 1.194 million, sixth for the week.

Fox News Channel averaged 7.422 million viewers for its prime-time election coverage Nov. 8, 131.2% more than MSNBC’s average of 3.21 million.

The cable top 20 consisted of three episodes of “Yellowstone”; ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” and its 15-minute kickoff show; all three of Fox News Channel’s hourlong election results segments; two of MSNBC hourlong election results segments; nine Fox News Channel weeknight political talk shows (four broadcasts of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” three of “Hannity” and two “The Ingraham Angle”); and ESPN’s coverage of Saturday’s Georgia-Mississippi State college football game.

The fifth season of “The Crown” was Netflix’s most-watched program with viewers watching its 10 episodes for 107.39 million hours over the first five days they were available.

“Manifest” dropped one spot to second, with viewers watching the first 10 episodes of the supernatural drama’s fourth season for 74.78 million hours in their first full week of release, 31.1% more than the 57.06 million hours watched the previous week when they were available for three days.

“Enola Holmes 2” was Netflix’s most-watched movie for the second time in the two weeks it has been available, with viewers spending 62.86 million hours watching the sibling mystery in its first full week of release, 1.9% less than the 64.08 million hours watched the previous week when it was available for three days.

For the second consecutive week, the most-watched Spanish-language program was an episode of the Univision telenovela “Los Ricos También Loran,” with the Thursday episode averaging 1.639 million viewers, 62nd among broadcast programs. Its overall ranking was not available.

Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 14th consecutive week and 152nd time in 154 weeks, averaging 1.23 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 750,000, followed by UniMas (460,000), Estrella TV (70,000) and Azteca America (50,000).

ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched nightly newscast for 153rd time in 154 weeks and 205th time in 207 weeks, averaging 7.968 million viewers. “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 6.833 million.

The “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell” was third, averaging 5.025 million for its Monday and Wednesday through Friday newscasts.

The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were Fox’s seven-minute NFL postgame show; NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” and its 10-minute pre- kickoff show; the 8 p.m. episode of “Yellowstone”; ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”; the 9:14 p.m. episode of “Yellowstone”; the 9 p.m. segment of Fox News Channel’s election night coverage; the CMA Awards; and the 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. segments of Fox News Channel’s election night coverage.

Make a Comment

  • (not be published)