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CBS’ ‘60 Minutes’ returns with a bang but football gives NBC the weekly ratings win

A man sits in an armchair facing another man whose back is to the camera.
President Joe Biden, in his first “60 Minutes” interview since taking office, talks to Scott Pelley.

(Eric Kerchner / “60 Minutes"/CBS)

The 55th season premiere of “60 Minutes” was the week’s top-rated non-sports prime-time program last week, while the season’s final performance episode of “America’s Got Talent” was first among entertainment programs.

“60 Minutes” featured its first interview with President Joe Biden since he took office and Lesley Stahl’s interview with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. The episode averaged 10.197 million viewers, fifth among prime-time programs airing between Sept. 12 and Sunday, behind two NFL games and two NFL pregame shows, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.

“60 Minutes” followed a 61-minute runover of CBS’ afternoon NFL coverage in the Eastern and Central time zones, where the bulk of the nation’s population lives. The runover into prime time, mainly of the Dallas Cowboys’ 20-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Brett Maher’s 50-yard field goal as time expired, averaged 29.11 million viewers. Viewership for “60 Minutes” was up 21.3% from the 9.984 million average for the 54th season premiere.

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The 121-minute “America’s Got Talent” episode Sept. 13 averaged 7.025 million viewers, seventh for the week. The two-hour season finale the next night averaged 6.817 million, eighth for the week.

The only other prime-time entertainment program to average more than 5 million viewers was the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards, ninth for the week, averaging 5.924 million viewers, its seventh record low in eight years. The previous low was 6.36 million in 2020 when it aired on ABC. The Emmy Awards rotate among the four major broadcast networks.

The total audience for the Emmys, including digital viewing, was 6 million.

Viewership for nearly all forms of programming has decreased because of increased programming on streaming, online, digital and cable platforms.

For the second time in the 2-week-old NFL season, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was at the top of the prime-time ratings, with the Green Bay Packers’ 27-10 victory over the Chicago Bears averaging 19.545 million viewers, 16.1% less than the 23.296 million average for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 19-3 victory over Dallas on the “Sunday Night Football” opener a week earlier.

The total audience for Sunday’s game, which includes streaming viewership on Peacock, NBC Sports and NFL digital platforms, was 20.8 million viewers, 16.8% less than the 25 million total audience for the “Sunday Night Football” season opener, according to figures provided by NBC.

The ABC-ESPN “Monday Night Football” simulcast of the Seattle Seahawks’ 17-16 victory over the Denver Broncos Sept. 12 finished second, averaging 18.294 million viewers. That includes its average of 7.998 million viewers on ESPN, the most among the week’s cable programs.

The combination of “Sunday Night Football” and four hours and one minute of “America’s Got Talent” made NBC the top-ranked network for the second consecutive week, averaging 6 million viewers. CBS was second, averaging 4.24 million, followed by ABC, which averaged 3.56 million.

Fox averaged 1.79 million viewers for its prime-time programming, topped by Saturday’s broadcast of Ohio State’s 77-21 victory over Toledo that averaged 3.048 million viewers, 31st for the week.

The CW averaged 320,000 viewers. Its biggest draw was the superhero series “DC’s Stargirl,” 171st among broadcast among broadcast programs, averaging 505,000 viewers.

The top 20 prime-time programs consisted of the two NFL games; three NFL pregame shows; “60 Minutes”; the two episodes of “America’s Got Talent”; the Primetime Emmy Awards; the Sunday and Wednesday episodes of the CBS alternative series “Big Brother”; two episodes of “Password” on NBC; reruns of the CBS scripted series “FBI” and “Young Sheldon”; the ABC alternative programs “Celebrity Family Feud,” “The Bachelorette,” “Press Your Luck” and a rerun of “America’s Funniest Home Videos”; and the Wednesday edition of the Fox News Channel political talk show “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

The combination of “Monday Night Football” and two nights of college football gave ESPN the top spot in the cable network race for the third consecutive week, averaging 2.245 million viewers. Fox News Channel averaged 2.176 million viewers to finish second for the third consecutive week following 12 consecutive first-place finishes.

MSNBC averaged 1.218 million viewers for its third consecutive third-place finish after seven consecutive second-place finishes.

The cable top 20 consisted of ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” and its 14-minute kickoff show; 13 Fox News Channel weeknight political talk shows — five broadcasts apiece of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “Hannity” and three of “The Ingraham Angle”; three college football games on ESPN; the Sept. 12 edition of the MSNBC news and opinion program “The Rachel Maddow Show”; and the HBO fantasy drama “House of the Dragon.”

The fifth season of “Cobra Kai” was Netflix’s most-streamed program for the second consecutive week, with viewers spending 95.55 million hours watching the 10 episodes of the martial arts comedy-drama the first full week they were available, according to figures released Tuesday by the streaming service

Viewership was down 10.4% from the 106.7 million hours watched the previous week when the fifth-season episodes were available for three days.

“End of the Road” was Netflix’s most popular movie for the second consecutive week, with viewers watching the Queen Latifah-starring road trip movie for 27.19 million hours in its first full week of release, 10% less than the 30.21 million hours watched the previous week when it was available for three days.


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