With football out of the way, ‘Young Sheldon’ tops ratings

Iain Armitage and Raegan Revord in "Young Sheldon" on CBS.
Iain Armitage and Raegan Revord in “Young Sheldon” on CBS.
(Robert Voets/CBS)

With the NFL season over, “Young Sheldon” became the first scripted program to top the weekly prime-time ratings in the 22nd week of the 2022-23 television season.

The CBS comedy averaged 7.304 million viewers, one of three programs airing between Feb. 13 and Sunday to top 7 million viewers, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Wednesday. The CBS crime drama “FBI” was second for the week, averaging 7.197 million and the CBS action drama, “NCIS” finished third, averaging 7.053 million.

NFL programming dominated from the start of its season through the Super Bowl. NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the top-ranked prime-time program each of the first seven weeks of the television season. An NFL postgame show on Fox led the ratings for the eighth week. “Sunday Night Football” topped the rankings five of the next six weeks, only interrupted by NBC’s Thanksgiving night NFL game between the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots.


ESPN’s coverage of Georgia’s 42-41 victory over Ohio State in a College Football Playoff semifinal on New Year’s Eve was that week’s ratings leader, while NFL games finished first each of the next four weeks.

CBS’ coverage of the Grammys was the top-ranked program the week of Jan. 30-Feb. 5, when there were no prime-time NFL games. Fox’s coverage of Super Bowl LVII dominated ratings the following week.

Last week, CBS averaged 4.19 million viewers to be the most-watched network for the third time in four weeks, a run interrupted only by Fox’s coverage of Super Bowl LVII. CBS did not finish first during any of the first 18 weeks of the season.

NBC was second, averaging 3.24 million and ABC third, averaging 2.79 million.

NBC’s prime-time leader was the medical drama “Chicago Med,” fifth for the week, averaging 6.736 million viewers.

Fox averaged 2.12 million viewers. Its highest rated program was the 13-minute Daytona 500 post-race show, which averaged 5.073 million viewers, 15th for the week.

The premiere of the Fox comedy “Animal Control” averaged 2.086 million viewers, fourth in its 9-9:30 p.m. Thursday time slot and 72nd for the week, but led Fox’s ratings that night.


Fox’s top non-sports program was the season premiere of “The Masked Singer,” 29th for the week averaging 3.708 million viewers.

ABC’s programming was led by the season premiere of “American Idol,” 12th for the week averaging 5.269 million viewers.

The ABC drama “The Company You Keep” had the biggest audience of the week’s two premieres on the five major broadcast networks, averaging 2.369 million viewers following “American Idol,” fourth in its 10-11 p.m. Sunday time slot, 11th among the week’s programs beginning at 10 p.m. and 61st for the week.

The CW averaged 480,000 viewers. Its biggest draw was the crime drama “Walker,” which averaged 816,000 viewers, 142nd among broadcast programs. Its overall ranking was not available.

The top 20 prime-time programs consisted of 10 CBS scripted programs and its newsmagazine “60 Minutes”; five NBC scripted programs; ABC’s “American Idol” and “America’s Funniest How Videos”; Fox’s Daytona 500 post-race show; and the TNT-TBS simulcast of the NBA All-Star Game.

Despite drawing a record-low audience among available figures, Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game led the week’s prime-time cable programs, averaging a total 4.59 million viewers, 19th overall. The previous low for an NBA All-Star Game was 5.943 million viewers in 2021, when it also was simulcast by TNT and TBS. Figures date back to 1990.


Official viewership for nearly all forms of programming has decreased because of increased viewing of streaming programming, including the same program shown on traditional television.

Fox News Channel won the prime-time cable network race for the fourth consecutive week, averaging 2.152 million viewers. TNT was second, averaging 1.631 million, and MSNBC third, averaging 1.139 million viewers.

The cable top 20 consisted of three programs on TNT or TBS related to the NBA’s All-Star Weekend, 14 Fox News Channel weeknight political talk shows (five broadcasts each of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “Hannity” and four of “The Ingraham Angle”); the MSNBC news and opinion program, “The Rachel Maddow Show”; History’s “The Curse of Oak Island”; and the 9 p.m. segment of the USA Network professional wrestling program “WWE Raw.”

The fourth season of “You” was Netflix’s most-streamed television program for the second consecutive week, with viewers spending 64.06 million hours watching the 10 episodes of the psychological thriller in the first full week they were available, according to figures released by the streaming service Tuesday.

Viewership was down 30.4% from the 92.07 million hours watched the previous week when the episodes were available for four days.

“Your Place or Mine” was Netflix’s most popular movie for the second consecutive week, with viewers watching the romantic comedy for 53.81 million hours the first full week it was available, 5% more than the 51.23 million hours watched the previous week when it was available for three days.