‘NCIS’ — and CBS — finish atop the ratings for week of Jan. 25-31

Mark Harmon in "NCIS" on CBS.
Mark Harmon stars in the procedural crime drama “NCIS,” which won the top spot in the week’s TV ratings and lifted CBS to a first place finish.
(Sonja Flemming/CBS)

In the first week of the 2020-21 prime-time television season without an NFL game, “NCIS” became the season’s first entertainment program to finish at the top of the ratings.

The action drama averaged 10.026 million viewers, helping CBS to its second consecutive first-place finish in the network race and its fourth during the 19-week-old season, according to live-plus-same-day figures for Jan. 25 to Sunday released by Nielsen.

CBS also had both of the week’s other prime-time programs to average more than 8 million viewers. The news magazine “60 Minutes” averaged 9.356 million and the crime drama “FBI” had 8.278 million following “NCIS.”


CBS averaged 4.66 million viewers for the week, despite airing three hours of reruns both Friday and Sunday, two hours Saturday and 90 minutes on Thursday. ABC was second, averaging 3.62 million viewers, with three hours of reruns. NBC was third, averaging 3.01 million, with nine hours of reruns.

Fox was fourth for the week, averaging 2.63 million viewers for its programming, including three hours of reruns, all on Sunday.

CBS also had the week’s top rated comedy, “The Neighborhood,” eighth overall, averaging 6.416 million viewers, and had the 10 p.m. show with the biggest audience, “FBI: Most Wanted,” which averaged 6.233 million viewers following “FBI,” ninth for the week.

“Celebrity Wheel of Fortune” was ABC’s highest rated program for the fourth time in the four weeks it has aired, averaging 6.61 million viewers, seventh for the week. Viewership was up 4.9% percent from the 6.304-million average the previous week.

The Lakers’ 96-95 victory over the Boston Celtics, which averaged 2.743 million viewers, was second among Saturday programs and 70th overall, had the largest audience for any sporting event.

The three elements of the “Chicago” franchise were NBC’s top ranked programs. “Chicago Med” was fifth for the week, averaging 7.21 million viewers. “Chicago Fire,” which followed, averaged 6.957 million viewers, sixth for the week. “Chicago P.D.” averaged 5.971 million viewers following “Chicago Fire,” second-most among 10 p.m. programs and 10th overall.


The Fox procedural drama “9-1-1” was the non-CBS program with the biggest audience for the second consecutive week, averaging 7.217 million viewers, fourth for the week.

The five broadcasts of the MSNBC news and opinion program “The Rachel Maddow Show” were the week’s five top cable programs, led by the Monday edition, which averaged 3.993 million viewers, 27th overall.

The Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable network, averaging 2.555 million viewers, one week after finishing third, for Inauguration Week. MSNBC was second for the second consecutive week, averaging 2.233 million viewers, 16.2% percent less than its 2.665-million average the previous week.

CNN dropped to third, averaging 1.785 million viewers, 35.3% less than the previous week, when it averaged 2.757 million, finishing first among cable networks.