With the four major broadcast networks combining to air just 13 hours of first-run scripted programming, alternative series accounted for five of the seven highest rated programs last week, May 11 through May 17.
The season finale of “Survivor,” on CBS finished second behind “60 Minutes,” averaging 7.961 million viewers, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.
The Monday edition of the NBC singing competition “The Voice” was fourth for the week, averaging 7.292 million viewers, while its Tuesday edition was seventh for the week, averaging 7.063 million viewers.
The season finale of ABC’s “American Idol” was fifth for the week, averaging 7.276 million viewers, 16.7% less than the 8.739-million average for the 2019 finale.
The 2019 “Idol” finale was sixth for its week, which included the series finales of the CBS comedy “The Big Bang Theory” and the HBO fantasy drama “Game of Thrones.”
Year-to-year increases in viewership for any type of programming are rare because of the increased viewership of streaming shows.
Fox’s “The Masked Singer” was sixth for the week, averaging 7.242 million viewers.
The CBS news magazine “60 Minutes,” finishing first for the second time in a row, was the highest averaged 9.938 million viewers, its most since the April 29 episode averaged 10.898 million viewers.
The week’s most-watched scripted program was the season finale of the Fox procedural drama “9-1-1,” which was third for the week, averaging 7.293 million viewers.
A rerun of CBS’ “Young Sheldon” was the most-watched comedy, tying for 11th with the ABC action drama “Station 19,” averaging 5.911 million viewers.
CBS was the most-watched network for the 14th consecutive week and the 19th time in the 34-week-old 2019-20 prime-time television season, averaging 4.87 million viewers. The season officially ends Wednesday.
ABC was second for the week, averaging 3.85 million, while NBC was third, averaging 3.48 million.
Fox was fourth among the broadcast networks for the 15th time in the 15 weeks following its Super Bowl LIV telecast, averaging 2.81 million viewers for its 15 hours of prime-time programming.
CBS, ABC and NBC each aired 22 hours of prime-time programming.
The highest rated cable program was the ninth episode of the 10-part documentary on Michael Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls, “The Last Dance,” which averaged 5.891 million viewers on ESPN and ESPN2, 13th overall.
The 10th episode that followed averaged 5.406 million viewers, second among cable programs and 17th overall.
Fox News Channel was first among cable networks for the 17th consecutive week, averaging 3.389 million viewers. Its biggest prime-time audience was for the Wednesday edition of the political talk show “Hannity,” which averaged 4.709 million viewers, third among cable programs and 20th overall.
MSNBC was second among cable networks for the 10th time in 13 weeks, averaging 2.007 million viewers. CNN averaged 1.478 million viewers to finish third for the fifth time in six weeks following its second-place finish the week of March 30-April 5.