‘Young Sheldon,’ ‘NCIS’ propel CBS to the top of prime-time ratings

 Iain Armitage in "Young Sheldon" on CBS.
Iain Armitage in CBS’ “Young Sheldon,” which led prime-time programs for the second time in three weeks.
(Bill Inoshita / CBS)

The comedy “Young Sheldon” was the top rated prime-time program for the second time in three weeks, averaging 7.504 million viewers, helping CBS finish first in the network race for the fifth time in six weeks.

CBS also had the only other prime-time program between Feb. 27 and Sunday to average more than 7 million viewers — the action drama “NCIS,” which averaged 7.011 million viewers — and eight of the 10 programs averaging more than 6 million, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Tuesday.

CBS averaged 4.94 million viewers for the week. ABC was second, averaging 3.2 million, and NBC third, averaging 3.14 million viewers.


The only network other than CBS to finish first over the past six weeks was Fox, when it finished first the week of Feb. 6-12, when it aired Super Bowl LVII.

CBS also had the week’s most popular 10 p.m. program, the long-running police drama “Blue Bloods,” which was ninth for the week, averaging 6.219 million viewers, and it had the biggest audience for a first-season series, “Fire Country,” 11th for the week averaging 5.998 million.

NBC’s “Chicago Fire” was the top non-CBS program, finishing fifth, averaging 6.715 million viewers, a week after finishing first when CBS aired a rerun of “Young Sheldon,” averaging 6.993 million viewers.

“American Idol” was ABC’s ratings leader for the third time in the three weeks it has aired this season, averaging a season-high 5.616 million viewers, 12th for the week. The season’s previous episodes averaged 5.269 million and 5.247 million viewers.

Fox averaged 1.79 million viewers. “The Masked Singer” was its highest rated program for the second consecutive week, finishing 28th, averaging 3.679 million viewers.

The CW averaged 430,000 viewers. The crime drama “Walker” was its biggest draw for the second time in three weeks, averaging 619,000 viewers, 172nd among broadcast programs.


The week’s only premiere on the five major English-language networks, the CBS spy action comedy “True Lies,” was second in its 10 p.m. Wednesday time slot, seventh among the week’s 10 p.m. shows and 37th for the week, averaging 3.223 million viewers. It retained 67.7% of the audience of the two-hour season premiere of “Survivor” that preceded it and averaged 4.762 million viewers.

The top 20 prime-time programs consisted of 12 CBS scripted programs, its news magazine “60 Minutes” and the season premiere of the alternative program “Survivor”; three 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.”

Each of the top four prime-time cable programs were editions of the Fox News Channel political talk show “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” topped by the Thursday broadcast, which averaged 3.346 million viewers, 33rd overall.

Fox News Channel won the prime-time cable network race for the sixth consecutive week, averaging 2.059 million viewers. ESPN was second for the second consecutive week, averaging 1.267 million. MSNBC finished third for the third consecutive week following a second-place finish, averaging 1.096 million.

The cable top 20 consisted of 14 Fox News Channel weeknight talk shows (five broadcasts each of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and “Hannity” and four of “The Ingraham Angle”); History’s “The Curse of Oak Island”; the MSNBC news and opinion program “The Rachel Maddow Show”; ESPN’s coverage of the New York Knicks’ 131-129 double-overtime victory over the Boston Celtics Sunday; and all three hour-long segments of the USA Network professional wrestling program “WWE Raw.”

The third season of “Outer Banks” was Netflix’s most-streamed program for the second consecutive week, with viewers watching the 10 episodes of the adventure drama for 99 million hours during the first full week they were available, 36.1% less than the 154.97 million hours watched the previous week when they were available for four days, according to figures released by the streaming service.


“We Have a Ghost” was Netflix’s most popular movie for the second consecutive week, with viewers watching the horror comedy for 42.62 million hours in its first full week of release, 5.3% more than then 40.47 million hours the previous week when it was available for three days.