ACMs top Emmys for week’s awards-show ratings victory

Regina King in "The 72nd Annual Emmy Awards" on ABC.
Regina King, winner for lead actress in a limited series/movie for “Watchmen,” in “72nd Emmy Awards” on ABC.

The 72nd Emmy Awards weren’t last week’s highest-rated awards show or even the top prime-time program on ABC.

The season premiere of “Dancing With the Stars” was ABC’s highest-rated program between Sept. 14 and Sunday, averaging 8.132 million viewers, seventh for the week, second among non-NFL programming and first in entertainment programming, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen on Tuesday.

CBS’ coverage of the 55th Academy of County Music Awards averaged 6.835 million viewers, ninth for the week, third among non-NFL programming and second in entertainment programming.

The Emmy Awards averaged a record-low 6.36 million viewers, 11th for the week, fourth among non-NFL programming and third in entertainment programming.


For the second time in the two-week-old NFL season, “60 Minutes” topped the ratings for non-NFL program, averaging 9.662 million viewers, finishing fifth overall for the week.

The CBS News magazine followed a 50-minute runover of the network’s afternoon NFL coverage into prime time in the Eastern and Central time zones, which included the Chargers 23-20 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in most markets.

The Seattle Seahawks’ 35-30 victory over the New England Patriots on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the week’s most-watched prime-time program, averaging 17.689 million viewers.

Viewership was essentially unchanged from last season’s Week 2 “Sunday Night Football” game, a 24-20 victory by the Atlanta Falcons over the Philadelphia Eagles.

NFL programming accounted for the week’s top four programs.

NBC’s nine-minute “Sunday Night Football” pre-kickoff show was second for the week, averaging 11.506 million, followed the first game of ESPN’s season-opening “Monday Night Football” doubleheader, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 26-16 victory over the New York Giants Sept. 14, which averaged 11.235 million viewers, and Fox’s six-minute postgame show Sunday, which averaged 10.883 million.

NBC finished first in the network race for the second consecutive week, averaging 4.82 million viewers.

Outside of its football programming, NBC’s biggest audiences were for the Tuesday and Wednesday “America’s Got Talent” episodes, which were ranked 12th and 13th for the week, fifth and sixth among non-NFL programs and fourth and fifth among entertainment programs, averaging 5.945 million and 5.33 million viewers.

CBS was second for the week, averaging 4.07 million, followed by ABC, which averaged 3.83 million.

Fox’s biggest rating for a prime-time program, other than its NFL postgame show, was “WWE’s Friday Night Smackdown” professional wrestling program, which averaged 2.037 million viewers, 39th among broadcast programs and seventh among Friday broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.

The Steelers-Giants game was the week’s cable program with the biggest audience. The second game of the doubleheader, the Tennessee Titans’ 16-14 victory over the Denver Broncos, was second among cable programs and eighth overall, averaging 8.07 million viewers.

Viewership for the opening game was 16.9% less than the 13.527-million average for the 2019 opener, a 30-28 victory by the New Orleans Saints over the Houston Texans.

The second game averaged 26.3% less than 10.953-million average for the second game in 2019, the Oakland Raiders 24-16 victory over the Denver Broncos.

The week’s other prime-time NFL game, the Cleveland Browns’ 35-30 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on a Thursday night game carried by the NFL Network, averaged 6.68 million viewers, third among cable programs and 10th overall.

Official viewership for nearly all forms of programming has decreased because of increased viewing of streaming programming, including the same program shown on traditional television.

Despite ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” doubleheader, Fox News Channel was the top ranked cable network for the 34th time in 35 weeks, averaging 3.697 million viewers.

ESPN was second, averaging 3.41 million and MSNBC third, averaging 1.958 million.