‘Fire Country’ crew enters strong in TV’s football-dominated fall

A line of firefighters walk through a brushy area in ”Fire Country" TV series.
”Fire Country” on CBS.
(Bettina Strauss / CBS)

The CBS drama “Fire Country” drew the largest audience among the 11 premieres so far in the 2022-23 prime-time television season.

“Fire Country” averaged 5.911 million viewers, 20th among the prime-time broadcast and cable programs airing between Oct. 3 and Sunday and 14th among non-sports programs, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen on Tuesday.

“Fire Country” drew 24.1% more viewers than the sixth season premiere of “SWAT,” which preceded it. “SWAT” averaged 4.763 million viewers, 30th for the week.

CBS has had the season’s three most-watched premieres. The police procedural “East New York” averaged 5.271 million viewers Oct. 2 and the legal drama “So Help Me Todd” 4.819 million Sept. 29.

The premiere of the ABC newspaper drama “Alaska Daily,” averaging 3.588 million viewers, finished first in its 10 p.m. Thursday time slot, sixth among programs beginning at 10 p.m. and 43rd for the week. It retained 94.4% of the audience of the 19th season premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy,” which preceded it. The medical drama averaged 3.801 million viewers, 40th for the week.


CBS’ other premiere, the alternative series “The Real Love Boat,” averaged 2.409 million viewers, fourth in its Wednesday 9-10 p.m. time slot, including trailing the Fox News Channel political talk show “Hannity,” and 71st for the week.

“The Real Love Boat” retained 46.8% of the audience of “Survivor” which preceded it. “Survivor” averaged 5.146 million viewers, 24th for the week.

The week’s other premiere, “Walker Independence,” the CW’s origin story for its crime drama “Walker,” averaged 615,000 viewers, 159th among broadcast programs and second among CW programs, behind “Walker,” which preceded it and averaged 760,000 viewers, 132nd among broadcast programs. Their overall rankings were not available.

“60 Minutes” was the highest rated non-NFL program for the third time in the three-week-old season, averaging 7.624 million viewers, sixth for the week, behind two NFL games, two NFL pregame shows and an NFL postgame show.

NBC’s “Chicago Fire” was the top ranked entertainment program for the second time in the season and the only entertainment program to top 7 million viewers, averaging 7.353 million viewers, seventh overall.

For the fifth time in the five-week-old NFL season, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was at the top of the prime-time ratings, with the Baltimore Ravens’ 19-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals averaging a 15.878 million viewers, which was a season low.


The previous low was 17.802 million for the Denver Broncos’ 11-10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers Sept 25.

NBC edged CBS, 5.57 million-5.52 million for its fifth consecutive victory. Fox was third, averaging 3.25 million viewers for its 16 hours of prime-time programming. ABC was fourth among the broadcast networks, averaging 2.79 million viewers. The CW averaged 410,000 viewers.

The 33-minute NFL postgame show “The OT,” which followed the runover, averaged 10.458 million viewers, fourth for the week. The procedural drama “9-1-1” was Fox’s top non-sports program for the third time in its three episodes for the season, averaging 4.997 million viewers, 28th for the week and 20th among non-sports programs.

ABC’s ratings leader was the sixth-season premiere of its firefighting drama “Station 19,” 33rd for the week and 25th among non-sports programs, averaging 4.193 million viewers.

The top 20 prime-time programs consisted of two NFL games; two NFL pregame shows; one NFL postgame show; one college football game; “60 Minutes”; eight CBS scripted programs; NBC’s “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med,” “Chicago P.D.”; and the two episodes of NBC’s singing competition “The Voice.”

ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” topped the cable charts, with the 49ers’ 24-9 victory over the Rams Oct. 3 averaging 10.864 million viewers, third overall.

The combination of “Monday Night Football” and three nights of Major League Baseball wild-card round games put ESPN at the top of the cable networks for the second consecutive week and fifth time in six weeks, averaging 3.256 million viewers.

Fox News Channel averaged 2.209 million viewers to finish second for the fifth time in six weeks. MSNBC averaged 1.171 million viewers for its sixth consecutive third-place finish after seven consecutive second-place finishes.

The cable top 20 consisted of ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” and its 13-minute kickoff show; three Major League Baseball wild-card playoff games on ESPN and one on ESPN 2; 13 Fox News Channel weeknight political talk shows — five broadcasts of both “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “Hannity” and three of “The Ingraham Angle”; and the Oct. 3 edition of the MSNBC news and opinion program, “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

“Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” was Netflix’s most-streamed program for the third time in the three weeks it has been available, with viewers spending 205.33 million hours watching the 10-episode limited series during the second full week it was available, according to figures released by the streaming service. Viewership was down 31.5% from the 299.84 million hours watched the previous week.

“Luckiest Girl Alive” was Netflix’s top movie, with the Mila Kunis-starring drama about a successful young woman who struggles with the lingering trauma of a devastating sexual assault as a teenager watched for 43.08 million hours the first three days it was available.