Super Bowl and Super Bowl blackout top 2013 Nielsen rankings

Power outage during Super Bowl XLVII in 2013
The power outage at this year’s Super Bowl at the Superdome in New Orleans was the second most watched “program” of the year as measured by Nielsen.
(Al Bello / Getty Images)

With nearly 109 million viewers, this year’s Super Bowl match between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers on CBS ranked as the most-watched TV program of 2013.

And the No. 2 show of the year?  The infamous Super Bowl blackout early in the third quarter when the power unexpectedly went out in the New Orleans Superdome. 

More than 106 million viewers watched the 34 minutes of inaction, which ratings agency Nielsen officially categorized as “Super Bowl XLVII-Delay.”

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Nielsen on Tuesday released its Top 10 list of the year’s most-watched and most-tweeted shows.

The TV rankings were not surprising. NFL championship and playoff football games on CBS and Fox hogged the chart with only one other program managing to squeeze into the Top 10:  The Academy Awards telecast on ABC, which came in seventh with 40.4 million viewers.

The most popular regularly scheduled show was NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” with an average of 21.7 million viewers an episode.

“NCIS” on CBS was the most popular entertainment show with nearly 15 million viewers an episode.


Several new shows picked up significantly larger audiences when “time-shifted” viewing was factored in: NBC’s hit drama “Blacklist;” Fox’s “The Following;” CBS’ “Under the Dome;” ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.;” and Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow.”

Among shows that launched in the fall, Nielsen said the one that attracted the most Twitter mentions was AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” which generated an average of 521,000 tweets surrounding an episode of the final season.  AMC’s “The Walking Dead” came in second with an average of 490,000 tweets an episode. However, ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars,” which ran during the summer, consistently generated more than 1 million tweets an episode.


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