CBS comes out on top amid drop in TV viewership after Stanley Cup Final

A group of young teenagers stands in a V formation
“Stranger Things” jumped back to the top of Netflix’s streaming rankings. Eduardo Franco, left, Charlie Heaton, Millie Bobby Brown, Noah Schnapp and Finn Wolfhard star.

Viewership for the four major broadcast networks dropped 19.7% from the previous week, thanks to the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final and the Fourth of July weekend.

There was only one prime-time program between June 27 and Sunday to average more than 5 million viewers — the NBC talent competition “America’s Got Talent,” which averaged 5.982 million viewers — and one other to top 4 million, the 7 p.m. edition of the CBS news magazine “60 Minutes,” which averaged 4.354 million viewers, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen on Wednesday.

In the previous week, the 7 p.m. edition of “60 Minutes” and “America’s Got Talent” both topped 6 million viewers the previous week, while ABC’s coverage of Games 6 and 5 of the Stanley Cup Final each drew more than 5 million.

The top ranked prime-time sporting event between June 27 and Sunday was Fox’s “Baseball Night in America,” which averaged 1.905 million viewers for regional coverage of games between the Dodgers and San Diego Padres and Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs, 70th for the week.

CBS won the network race, averaging 2.68 million viewers, 9.2% less than its 2.95 million average the previous week when it finished second. NBC was second, averaging 2.38 million, 4% less than its 2.48 million average when it finished third the previous week.


ABC averaged 2.14 million viewers to finish third. Its viewership was down 39.7% from its 3.55 million average the previous week when it finished first for the fourth time in the first four full weeks of television’s summer season. The 9 p.m. Sunday rerun of “Celebrity Family Feud” was its ratings leader, averaging 3.329 million viewers to finish seventh.

Fox averaged 1.59 million viewers, 1.2% less than its 1.61 million-average the previous week. “MasterChef” was its most popular program for the fifth consecutive week, averaging 2.226 million viewers to finish 53rd, including trailing 16 cable programs.

The CW averaged 390,000 viewers, 11.36% less than its 440,000 average the previous week. The superhero drama “Superman & Lois” was its biggest draw, averaging 818,000 viewers, 135th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.

The top 20 prime-time programs consisted of two editions of the CBS news magazine “60 Minutes”; NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”; reruns of seven CBS scripted programs; two reruns of CBS’ “The Price Is Right at Night”; reruns of three ABC alternative programs (two of “Celebrity Family Feud” and one of “America’s Funniest Home Videos”), a rerun of the NBC drama “Chicago Fire” and four broadcasts of Fox News Channel political talk shows — three of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and one of “Hannity.”

The Wednesday edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” was the highest rated prime-time cable program, averaging 3.184 million viewers, 12th overall. The Monday edition was second, averaging 3.162 million, 13th overall, and the Tuesday edition third, averaging 3.133 million, 15th overall.

For the third consecutive week at least three broadcasts of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” have been the top rated prime-time cable programs.


Fox News Channel led the cable network ratings in prime-time for the fourth consecutive week, averaging 2.053 million viewers. MSNBC was second for the third consecutive week, averaging 1.313 million. HGTV was third, averaging 858,000.

The cable top 20 consisted of 13 Fox News Channel political talk shows — five broadcasts of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and four each of “Hannity” and “The Ingraham Angle”; three segments of MSNBC’s coverage of the House Select Committee hearings on the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol; the June 27 edition of the MSNBC news and opinion program “The Rachel Maddow Show”; the June 28 edition of the MSNBC news and political commentary program, “The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell,” which followed that night’s hearings coverage; and the first two hourlong segments of the USA Network professional wrestling program “WWE Raw” on June 27.

The biggest cable audience for coverage of the week’s House Select Committee hearings was the 10:02 a.m.-12:56 p.m. Pacific time segment June 28, which averaged 3.518 million viewers, the week’s top ranked cable program. Figures for the broadcast network coverage were not available.

Friday’s release of the final two episodes of “Stranger Things” put the science fiction horror series back atop Netflix’s list of most-streamed programs after a one-week absence, with viewers spending 301.28 million hours watching its nine episodes, according to figures released by the streaming service Tuesday.

“The Man From Toronto” was Netflix’s most popular movie for the second time in its two weeks of release, with viewers spending 62.64 million hours watching the Kevin Hart- and Woody Harrelson-starring action comedy in its first full week of release, 16.2% more than the 53.89 million hours the previous week when it was available for three days.