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‘America’s Got Talent’ Season 15 premiere continues series’ TV ratings domination

Sofia Vergara joined the judges table in the season premiere of "America's Got Talent" on NBC.
(Tyler Golden/NBC)

The 15th season premiere of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” was the top-rated prime-time program in the first full week of television’s summer season, continuing a winning streak dating back to the 2016 season premiere.

The two-hour episode May 26 averaged 9.899 million viewers, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen. An “America’s Got Talent” episode has been the week’s most-watched entertainment program every week an original episode has aired since its 2016 season premiere.

In a week when much prime-time network programming Saturday and Sunday was preempted by many stations for local coverage of unrest and protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the only other prime-time program between May 25 and Sunday to average more than 7 million viewers was “60 Minutes,” which averaged 7.679 million viewers. All three segments of the CBS news magazine were new. They were on plasma therapy, raw sewage entering Southern California’s coast lands and waters from Tijuana, Mexico, and NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover mission.

One other prime-time program averaged more than 6 million viewers, ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” third for the week, averaging 6.066 million viewers.

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The premiere of the CBS game show “Game On!” was 12th overall and the highest-rated prime-time program on May 27, averaging 4.444 million viewers.

The week’s other premiere, the ABC News documentary series “The Genetic Detective,” averaged 3.264 million viewers, ABC’s largest audience in the 10 p.m. Tuesday time slot since Nov. 5, 2019, when the mystery-themed thriller “Emergence” averaged 3.418 million. “The Genetic Detective” was 50th among the week’s cable and broadcast programs and 15th among 10 p.m. shows.

CBS recorded its 16th consecutive weekly in the network race and the 21st in the 36-week-old 2019-20 prime-time television season, averaging 3.74 million viewers.

NBC was second for the second consecutive week, averaging 3.3 million viewers, while ABC was third, averaging 3.14 million.

Fox was fourth for the 16 time in 17 weeks, averaging 1.41 million viewers for its 15 hours of programming. Its highest-rated program was Memorial Day rerun of the procedural drama “9-1-1,” which averaged 2.417 million viewers, 45th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.

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

Fox News Channel was first among cable networks for the 19th consecutive week, averaging 3.376 million viewers. It had each of the three most-watched prime-time cable programs, topped by the May 29 edition of the political talk show “Hannity,” which averaged 4.342 million viewers, 13th overall.

CNN averaged 2.325 million viewers to finish second after finishing third six of the previous seven weeks. MSNBC averaged 2.005 million viewers to finish third after finishing second 11 of the previous 14 weeks.


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