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NBC’s ‘Chicago’ series have strong showings but CBS wins weekly TV ratings race

Two people in firefighting gear stand side by side.
Alberto Rosende, left, and Jake Lockett in “Chicago Fire” on NBC.
(Adrian S. Burrows Sr. / NBC)
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“Chicago Fire” was last week’s top-ranked prime-time program, averaging 6.993 million viewers, and “Chicago Med,” which preceded it on NBC, was among only four other prime-time programs to average more than 6 million viewers.

“Chicago Med’s” average of 6.515 million viewers landed it fourth among prime-time programs airing between Feb. 20 and Sunday, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.

“Chicago P.D.” averaged 5.705 million viewers following “Chicago Fire,” sixth for the week and first among programs beginning at 10 p.m., which are generally less watched on a live-plus-same-day basis than programs beginning earlier.

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CBS had three of the week’s five most-watched programs and finished first in the network race for the fourth time in five 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 2022-23 television season. NBC finished first 14 times during the season’s 17 weeks to date, mainly thanks to “Sunday Night Football.”

CBS averaged 3.78 million viewers, NBC 3.43 million and ABC 2.97 million.

“FBI” was CBS’ ratings leader, averaging 6.892 million viewers to finish second, one spot ahead of “60 Minutes,” which averaged 6.879 million. “The Equalizer” averaged 6.514 million viewers following “60 Minutes” on CBS, fifth for the week.

CBS also had the week’s highest-ranked first-season series, the police drama “East New York,” 15th for the week, averaging 4.657 million viewers, and the most popular comedy, a rerun of “Young Sheldon,” 18th, averaging 4.332 million.

“American Idol” led ABC’s programs for the second time in the two weeks it has aired this season, averaging 5.247 million viewers, retaining 99.6% of the audience from its season premiere a week earlier, which averaged 5.269 million viewers.

Fox averaged 2.04 million viewers for its prime-time programming, topped by “The Masked Singer,” 23rd for the week, averaging 3.833 million viewers.

The CW averaged 480,000 viewers. Its biggest draw, for the third time in four weeks, was the magic competition series “Penn & Teller: Fool Us,” which averaged 686,000 viewers, 162nd among broadcast programs. Its overall ranking was not available.

The top 20 prime-time programs consisted of nine CBS scripted programs, its newsmagazine “60 Minutes” and the alternative program “The Price Is Right at Night”; five NBC scripted programs and the alternative program “America’s Got Talent: All-Stars”; and the ABC alternative programs “American Idol” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and its scripted police drama “The Rookie.”

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Each of the top five prime-time cable programs were editions of the Fox News Channel political talk show “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” topped by the Wednesday broadcast, which averaged 3.184 million viewers, 33rd overall.

Fox News Channel won the prime-time cable network race for the fifth consecutive week, averaging 2.065 million viewers. ESPN averaged 1.058 million viewers to finish second, three spots higher than the previous week, when it averaged 820,000. MSNBC finished third for the second consecutive week following a second-place finish, averaging 1.033 million.

The cable top 20 consisted of 13 Fox News Channel weeknight talk shows (five broadcasts each of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “Hannity” and three of “The Ingraham Angle”) and its Sunday talk show “Life, Liberty & Levin”; the MSNBC news and opinion program “The Rachel Maddow Show”; History’s “The Curse of Oak Island”; all three hourlong segments of the USA Network’s “WWE Raw”; and TNT’s coverage of the Lakers’ 124-111 victory over the Golden State Warriors Thursday.

The third season of “Outer Banks” was Netflix’s most-streamed program, with viewers watching the 10 episodes of the adventure drama for 154.97 million hours the first four days they were available, according to figures released by the streaming service Tuesday.

“We Have a Ghost” was Netflix’s most popular movie, with viewers watching the horror comedy for 40.47 million hours in its first three days of release.

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