Fox’s ‘The Masked Singer’ season finale wins prime-time TV ratings race
The third season finale of Fox’s “The Masked Singer” won the biggest audience for any prime-time program in a week that combined the final three days of the official prime-time television season and the first four of the summer season.
The singing competition where singer-songwriter and television personality Kandi Burruss was revealed to be the winner averaged 9.005 million viewers, its most since its post-Super Bowl episode which averaged 23.731 million viewers, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Wednesday by Nielsen.
Viewership for the finale was 7.6% more than the 8.371-million average for the second season finale on Dec. 18, 2019, but 21.6% less than the 11.479-million average for the first-season finale on Feb. 27, 2019.
“The Masked Singer” was the only prime-time program to average more 8 million viewers between May 18 and Sunday.
The season’s final two episodes of the NBC singing competition “The Voice” were the only other programs to average more than 7 million viewers. The two-hour episode May 18 averaged 7.635 million viewers, its most since the April 20 episode, which averaged 9.181 million viewers.
The finale May 19, which also ran for two hours, averaging 7.545 million viewers, 1.5% more than the record-low 7.43-million average for the 2019 spring season finale.
Official viewership for most forms of programming is down compared with the past primarily due to increased viewership of streaming programming, including the same programs shown on traditional television.
The premiere of the competition series “Ultimate Tag,” which followed “The Masked Singer,” was 18th for the week, second in its Wednesday 9-10 p.m. time slot and second among the week’s Fox programming, averaging 4.351 million viewers.
The week’s other premiere, the Fox dating series “Labor of Love,” averaged 891,000 viewers to finish 129th among broadcast programs, including trailing seven episodes of the 1960-68 CBS comedy “The Andy Griffith Show” on MeTV. Its overall ranking was not available.
CBS averaged 4.11 million viewers to be win the network race for the 15th consecutive week and the 20th time the 34-week-old 2019-20 prime-time television season.
CBS had each of 16 most-watched scripted series programs, topped by a rerun of “NCIS,” fourth for the week, averaging 6.741 million viewers.
NBC was second, averaging 3.58 million viewers. Fox ended its 15-week streak of fourth-place finishes among the broadcast networks by averaging 2.88 million viewers for its 16 hours of programming to finish third.
ABC averaged 2.85 million viewers to finish fourth. Its most-watched program was “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” fifth for the week averaging 5.967 million viewers.
CBS, NBC and ABC each aired 22 hours of prime-time programming.
Fox News Channel was first among cable networks for the 18th consecutive week, averaging 2.998 million viewers. It had each of the seven most-watched prime-time cable programs, topped by the Tuesday edition of the political talk show “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” which averaged 4.309 million viewers, tying for 20th overall.
MSNBC was second among cable networks for the 11th time in 14 weeks, averaging 1.795 million viewers. CNN averaged 1.354 million viewers to finish third for the sixth time in seven weeks following its second-place finish the week of March 30 through April 5.
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