The finale of ABC’s “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time” was last week’s highest-rated non-sports prime-time program, while the premiere of Fox’s “9-1-1: Lone Star” and CBS’ “NCIS” were the week’s other entertainment programs to average more than 9 million viewers.
Ken Jennings’ third victory in four matches averaged 13.552 million viewers, sixth among the prime-time broadcast and cable programs airing between Jan. 13 and Sunday, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Wednesday.
Viewership was lower than for each of the first three matches the previous week, but still more than any other entertainment program during the 17-week-old 2019-20 television season.
The final match also averaged more viewers than any of the first five games of Fox’s coverage of baseball’s World Series.
“9-1-1: Lone Star” was second among non-sports programs and fifth overall, averaging 11.405 million, the most for a series premiere this season, surpassing the previous high of 7.196 million viewers for “FBI: Most Wanted” on CBS Jan. 7.
“9-1-1: Lone Star” followed Fox’s coverage of the NFC championship game, which averaged 42.792 million, the most for a prime-time program this season. Viewership for the San Francisco 49ers’ 37-20 victory over the Green Bay Packers was down 20.6 percent from last year’s prime-time conference championship game, the New England Patriots’ 37-31 overtime victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC championship game, which averaged 53.918 million viewers.
Official viewership for most programming is lower than in the past because of increased viewership of streaming programming, including streams of the same programs shown on traditional television. Viewership for the NFC championship game was in part depressed by San Francisco taking a 27-0 halftime lead.
The Democratic presidential debate on CNN Jan. 14 averaged 7.404 million viewers, 14th for the week and ninth among non-football programs.
Viewership was up 18.3 percent from the most recent debate Dec. 19, which averaged a combined audience of 6.173 million viewers on CNN and PBS, the least of the 2020 campaign’s nine debate telecasts.
The NFC championship game gave Fox its fifth weekly ratings victory of the season, averaging 9.91 million viewers for its 16 hours, 41 minutes of prime-time programming.
CBS was second, averaging 4.94 million, followed by ESPN, which averaged 4.278 million; NBC, which averaged 4.21 million; and ABC, which averaged 3.75 million.
Fox’s highest-rated program outside of its Sunday programming was the comedy “Last Man Standing,” which averaged 4.795 million viewers, 30th for the week, 24th among non-sports programs.
The week’s most-watched cable program was ESPN’s coverage of LSU’s 42-25 victory over Clemson in the College Football Playoff national championship, which averaged 25.583 million viewers, third overall.
Viewership was 3.5 percent higher than Clemson’s 44-16 victory over Alabama in the 2019 championship, which averaged 24.708 million viewers.