The hybrid version of “The Little Mermaid,” interspersing live musical performances with a broadcast of the original Disney animated film, drew ABC’s largest audience of the 7-week-old prime-time television season and, among adults under 50, was last week’s highest-rated non-NFL program.
“The Wonderful World of Disney Presents The Little Mermaid Live!” averaged 9.02 million viewers to finish seventh overall among prime-time broadcast and cable programs airing between Nov. 4 and Sunday, according to live-plus-same-day figures released today by Nielsen.
The only programs that beat “The Little Mermaid Live!” in overall audience were three NFL games, an NFL pregame show, an NFL postgame show and the CBS action drama “NCIS.”
ABC’s biggest audience of the season had been Michigan’s 45-14 victory over Notre Dame on “Saturday Night Football” on Oct. 26, which averaged 6.754 million viewers.
“The Little Mermaid Live!” drew the week’s biggest audience for a non-NFL program among viewers ages 18-49, and was sixth, averaging 3.366 million viewers, among that group, which is targeted by ABC, NBC and Fox and coveted by advertisers.
NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” averaged its second-largest audience of the season, 22.988 million viewers, the seventh time in the 10-week NFL season that “Sunday Night Football” has been the week’s highest ranked prime-time program.
“NCIS” got the highest ratings for any non-sports program for the fifth time in the six weeks it has aired a new episode, averaging 10.89 million viewers, sixth overall.
CBS’ “Young Sheldon” drew the biggest audience for a comedy for the sixth time in the six weeks it has aired an original episode, averaging 8.839 million viewers, ninth overall.
“The Unicorn” was the most popular new series, averaging 5.894 million viewers, 32nd overall. CBS has had the highest-rated new series each week of the season.
NBC won the network race for the third time this season, averaging 7.07 million viewers. Its most-watched program outside of its NFL programming was an hourlong Tuesday edition of “The Voice,” which was 12th for the week, averaging 8.157 million viewers.
Fox was second after back-to-back victories from its World Series coverage, averaging 6.74 million viewers for its 17 hours, four minutes of prime-time programming, bolstered by the 25.323-million average for its 57-minute runover of its Sunday afternoon NFL coverage into prime time in the Eastern and Central time zones.
NFL programming also accounted for Fox’s three highest-ranked shows — its seven-minute NFL postgame show Sunday, which was third for the week, averaging 15.713 million viewers; its “Thursday Night Football” game between the L.A. Chargers and Oakland Raiders, fifth for the week, averaging 13.851 million viewers; and its 16-minute “Thursday Night Football” pregame show, 11th for the week, averaging 8.272 million viewers.
CBS was third for the week, averaging 5.84 million viewers. ABC was fourth for the seventh time in the season, averaging 4.25 million.
CBS and ABC did not have any prime-time NFL programming to bolster viewership.
CBS, NBC and ABC each broadcast 22 hours of prime-time programming.
The Dallas Cowboys’ 37-18 victory over the New York Giants on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” which averaged a season-high 14.724 million viewers, fourth for the week, was the highest-ranked cable show.
“Monday Night Football” has been at the top of the cable ratings for each of its first nine weeks of the 2019 season.
ESPN won the cable network prime-time battle, averaging 3.056 million viewers. Fox News Channel was second after back-to-back first-place finishes, averaging 2.594 million. MSNBC was third, averaging 1.89 million.