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‘Young Rock’ has the largest audience in years for an NBC comedy

Triptych of actors
“Young Rock,” the loosely biographical comedy about Dwayne Johnson, had the best showing in the ratings for any new NBC comedy since 2017. Adrian Groulx, left, Bradley Constant, and Uli Latukefu star as the Rock over the years.
(Mark Taylor/NBC)

The series “Young Rock” drew the largest audience among the 14 comedies that have premiered on NBC since 2017.

The biographical look at various chapters at football player turned professional wrestler turned actor Dwayne Johnson’s life averaged 5.319 million viewers, second in its 8-8:30 p.m. Tuesday time slot behind a rerun of the CBS action drama “NCIS,” 18th among prime-time programs airing between Feb. 15 and Sunday and third among comedies, according to live-plus-same-day figures released Tuesday by Nielsen.

Also finishing second in its time slot was the premiere of the NBC comedy “Kenan,” which stars Kenan Thompson as the host of an Atlanta morning television program and the widowed father of two daughters. “Kenan” averaged 4.226 million viewers, 28th for the week and sixth among comedies.

The week’s other premiere airing on a major broadcast network was the Fox game show “Cherries Wild,” which averaged 1.195 million viewers opposite “60 Minutes” and finished 110th among broadcast programming.

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With CBS not airing original episodes of television’s two most-popular entertainment programs to have aired at least five episodes this season — “NCIS” and “FBI” — its news magazine “60 Minutes” was the week’s prime-time ratings winner, averaging 9.555 million viewers.

“The Equalizer” which followed “60 Minutes,” was the week’s only other program to average more than 8 million viewers, averaging 8.125 million.

An element of NBC’s “Chicago” franchise had the largest audience for any non-CBS program for the third consecutive week, with “Chicago Med” averaging 7.591 million viewers, fourth for the week.

The procedural drama “9-1-1” was Fox’s top ranked program for the fifth consecutive week, averaging 6.85 million viewers, sixth for the week.

“American Idol” was ABC’s biggest draw, for the second time in the two weeks it has aired this season, averaging 6.674 million viewers, seventh for the week.

CBS’ “Young Sheldon” was the highest-rated comedy, averaging 7.721 million viewers, third for the week. NBC’s “Chicago P.D.” was the ratings winner for programs beginning at 10 p.m., averaging 5.879 million viewers, finishing 11th for the week.

CBS was first in the network race for the fifth consecutive week and seventh time in the 22-week-old 2020-21 television season, averaging 4.59 million viewers for its prime-time programming.

ABC was second, averaging 3.87 million viewers, and NBC third, averaging 3.49 million. Fox was fourth, averaging 2.62 million viewers. The same order as the previous three weeks.

The Fox News Channel political talk show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” ended the three-week streak of “The Rachel Maddow Show” being the top-rated prime-time cable program, with the Wednesday episode averaging 3.704 million viewers, 38th overall.

CNN’s town hall with President Joe Biden was second among cable programs and 39th overall, averaging 3.66 million.

The order of finish among the top three cable networks was the same for the fourth consecutive week. Fox News Channel was first, averaging 2.42 million viewers, MSNBC second, averaging 1.905 million, and CNN third, averaging 1.603 million.

“Bridgerton” topped the list of the most-watched shows on the four streaming services whose figures are publicly released by Nielsen for the second consecutive week and third time in four weeks.

Viewers watched 1.061 billion minutes of Netflix’s steamy eight-episode period drama between Jan. 18-24, the fifth time in its five weeks of release it has topped the 1 billion-minutes mark. Viewership was down 23.4% from the 1.386 billion minutes watched the previous week.

With an additional 12 episodes available, “Criminal Minds” jumped two spots to second, with viewers watching 939 million minutes of 297 episodes of the 2005-20 CBS police procedural, 10.1% more than the 853 million minutes watched the previous week.

For the second consecutive week, all of the Top 10 programs were on Netflix. Nielsen also releases viewership figures for programming streamed on Disney+, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.


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