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‘60 Minutes’ and ‘NCIS’ keep CBS on top of network ratings

Mark Harmon, left, and Gary Cole on "NCIS" on CBS.
Mark Harmon, left, and Gary Cole on “NCIS” on CBS.
(Michael Yarish/CBS)

The CBS News magazine “60 Minutes” was the top-rated non-NFL prime-time program for the second consecutive week while “NCIS” finished first among entertainment programs for the third time in the three-week-old 2021-22 prime-time television season.

The new episode of “60 Minutes,” ninth among the prime-time broadcast and cable programs airing between Oct. 4 and Sunday, averaging 8.473 million viewers, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.

For the record:

9:32 a.m. Oct. 13, 2021A previous version of this story indicated that the “60 Minutes” episode that aired Sunday featured an interview with former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen. That episode aired the previous week. Segments airing Oct. 10 included reports on deepfakes; children separated from their parents at the U.S. border and Deep Springs College.

Viewership was down 17.9% from the 10.321 million average for the previous Sunday’s edition which followed a 34-minute runover of CBS’ afternoon NFL coverage into prime time in the Eastern and Central time zones, where the bulk of the nation’s population lives.

The CBS action drama “NCIS” was 11th overall, averaging 7.961 million viewers after averaging 8.451 million viewers and 8.055 million viewers for its first two episodes.

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CBS also had the top-ranked new series, “FBI: International,” 23rd overall, averaging 6.078 million viewers; the most popular comedy, “Young Sheldon” 17th averaging 7.118 million viewers; and the highest-ranked 10 p.m. scripted series, “Blue Bloods,” 24th, averaging 5.999 million.

The CBS comedy “Ghosts” had the biggest audience of the week’s three premieres on the major networks, averaging 5.522 million viewers, 31st overall. CBS’ premiere of its sequel to “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “CSI: Vegas,” averaged 4.123 million viewers, 45th overall.

The CW’s reboot of the 1993-95 Nickelodeon action-adventure game show, “Legends of the Hidden Temple” averaged 251,000 viewers, 237th among the week’s broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” topped the ratings for the third time in the television season and fourth time in the five-week-old NFL season, averaging 17.523 million viewers for the Buffalo Bills’ lightning-interrupted 38-20 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

The 58-minute weather delay at the start of the third quarter is considered a separate program under Nielsen rules and averaged 14.749 million viewers, third for the week.

NBC was first for the third time in the season, averaging 6.08 million viewers. CBS finished second, averaging 5.93 million viewers. Fox was third, averaging 5.34 million. ABC was in fourth place, averaging 3.48 million. The CW averaged 430,000 viewers.

NBC’s biggest audiences for non-NFL programs were for the Monday and Tuesday episodes of “The Voice,” which averaged 7.48 million and 7.214 million viewers, 14th and 15th for the week.

Fox’s viewership was boosted by a 38-minute runover of its afternoon NFL coverage into prime time in the Eastern and Central time zones which averaged 21.921 million viewers. The runover is not considered a separate program but was included in the weekly average.

Fox’s ratings leader was its first “Thursday Night Football” game of the 2021 season, the Rams’ 26-17 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, which averaged 14.764 million viewers, second for the week.

ABC’s biggest draw was “Dancing with the Stars,” 39th for the week, averaging 4.736 million viewers.

The week’s top 20 prime-time programs consisted of three NFL games, four NFL pregame shows, two postgame shows and the lightning delay that interrupted “Sunday Night Football” ; CBS’ coverage of Texas A&M’s 41-38 upset of previously undefeated and top-ranked Alabama; ESPN’s coverage of the Boston Red Sox’ 6-2 victory over the New York Yankees in the American League wild-card game; four NBC entertainment programs; “60 Minutes” and three CBS scripted programs.

ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” game Oct. 4, with the Chargers’ 28-14 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders averaging 12.322 million viewers, was at the top of the cable rankings and finished sixth overall.

ESPN won the cable network race for the third consecutive week, averaging 2.918 million viewers. Fox News Channel was second for the third consecutive week after 11 consecutive first-place finishes, averaging 2.246 million viewers.

Three nights of National League postseason baseball featuring the Dodgers lifted TBS to third, averaging 2.21 million viewers, four spots higher than the previous week when it averaged 704,000 viewers.

MSNBC averaged 1.166 million viewers to drop to fourth after three consecutive third-place finishes.

CNN averaged 682,000 viewers to finish eighth, three places higher than the previous week when it averaged 601,000 viewers. HGTV was fifth, averaging 885,000, followed by TLC (808,000) and Hallmark Channel (776,000).

The top 20 cable programs consisted of “Monday Night Football” and its 15- and 32-minute pregame shows, the second necessitated by a lightning delay to the Chargers-Raiders game; “Thursday Night Football” on NFL Network; the American League wild-card game on ESPN; the National League wild-card game and two National League Division Series games between the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants on TBS; two American League Division Series games between the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays on Fox Sports 1; and 10 Fox News Channel political talk shows — five broadcasts of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” four of “Hannity” and one of “The Ingraham Angle.”

“Clickbait” edged “Lucifer” to top Nielsen’s top 10 list of streamed programs for the second consecutive week. Viewers spent 1.108 billon minutes from Sept. 6-12 watching the eight-episode miniseries about the abduction of a man (Adrian Grenier) in a crime with a sinister online twist.


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