Weekly Ratings: Extra Sports Helpings Lift CBS, Fox As NBC Win Streak Comes to an End

Sports Ratings October
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CBS and Fox, both benefiting from more sports help than usual, were last week’s most popular networks among young adults — snapping NBC’s four-week winning streak to start the season.

The Eye’s joint telecast of “Thursday Night Football” with NFL Network delivered the week’s largest overall primetime audience for the first time (20.22 million), according to Nielsen, while finishing No. 3 in adults 18-49 (6.7/21).  The net also got a lengthy NFL overrun on Sunday, with the conclusion of the Indianapolis-Pittsburgh game averaging a 7.1/24 in 18-49 and 23.25 million total viewers in primetime’s opening hour.

CBS finished on top for the week in 18-49 (tied with Fox) as well as adults 25-54 and total viewers, marking the first time a network has won a week in total viewers opposite five games of the World Series.

Also clicking for CBS (as usual) last week was “The Big Bang Theory” in its final Monday outing of the season (4.6/14 in 18-49, 16.02 million viewers overall), though much of that audience left the network when lead-out “The Millers” kicked off its second season (2.1/6 in 18-49, 8.93 million viewers overall).

The net had good performances by its first-year shows, as “Scorpion” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 10.75 million with “The Millers” as its lead-in), “Stalker” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 7.37m) and “Madam Secretary” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 11.71 million viewers overall) held steady, and “NCIS: New Orleans” hit a four-week high (2.4/7 in 18-49, 16.13 million viewers overall), retaining 100% of its “NCIS” mothership lead-in for the first time.

At Fox, ratings for the Fall Classic were low relative to prior years, but all five games ranked among the week’s top 15 programs in 18-49. And the net, which got another solid perf from “Gotham” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 6.09 million viewers overall), finished the week on top in 18-49 for the first time since it aired baseball’s All-Star Game in July.

NBC claimed the week’s No. 1 primetime telecast in 18-49 with “Sunday Night Football” (7.1/19 in 18-49, 18.80m), which more than doubled the World Series head-to-head in 18-49 (7.1 vs. 3.3) and was up 13% vs. the comparable night a year ago.

Monday’s “The Voice” (3.4/10 in 18-49, 11.90 million viewers overall) and “The Blacklist” (2.4/7, 9.34m) again set the pace for the Peacock, which also got a pretty good premiere out of “Constantine” on Friday (1.4/5 in 18-49, 4.28 million viewers overall); the drama based on a DC Comic character retained 100% of its lead-in from the season premiere of “Grimm” (1.4/5, 5.28m).

In its second week, Tuesday comedy “Marry Me” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 5.61m) fell off by 22% from its week-earlier premiere, and sophomore lead-out “About a Boy” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.63 million) was off 18%.

ABC again had the No. 1 new drama in 18-49 with “How to Get Away With Murder” (3.0 in 18-49, 9.97 million viewers overall) as well as the top new comedy in “Black-ish” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 7.95 million viewers overall), with the former tying with lead-in “Scandal” as the No. 1 broadcast drama for the week.

Tuesday newbies “Selfie” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 3.82 million viewers overall) and “Forever” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.95 million viewers overall) were on the rise, but “Manhattan Love Story” fell further (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.62 million viewers overall) and was canceled by the network a couple of days later.

Friday’s “Cristela” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 5.04 million viewers overall) again finished within a tick of its “Last Man Standing” lead-in (1.1/4 in 18-49, 6.18 million viewers overall), leading into the top series of the night in 18-49: “Shark Tank” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 6.89 million viewers overall) and “20/20” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 5.84 million viewers overall), the latter of which hit a five-week high without “Dateline” as time period competition.

At CW, “The Flash” held strong in its third week (1.5/5 in 18-49, 3.59 million viewers overall), finishing more than half a ratings point in 18-49 and 1 million total viewers ahead of any other show on the network.

In cable, AMC’s “The Walking Dead” dipped in its third week opposite football and the World Series (7.0/18 in 18-49, 13.80 million viewers overall), but finished a tick behind “Sunday Night Football” as the week’s No. 1 primetime program in 18-49 — and poised to surge well ahead of it with DVR playback.

HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” ended its five-season run with a regular-timeslot audience of 2.33 million.

Hallmark Channel scored Saturday night with original movie “The Good Witch’s Wonder,” as the seventh installment of the “Good Witch” original movie franchise (which will be turned into a series in 2015) drew 2.5 million viewers.

(Week 5: Oct. 20-26, 2014)

Adults 18-49
Fox                    2.6/8
CBS                   2.6/8
NBC                  2.3/7
ABC                  1.7/5
UNI                  1.1/3
ESPN               1.0/3
AMC                 0.8/2
CW                   0.7/2
TBS                  0.6/2
USA                 0.5/1

Total Viewers (in millions)
CBS                 11.53
Fox                  10.12
NBC                  7.82
ABC                  6.61
ESPN               2.95
UNI                  2.84
AMC                1.73
CW                   1.72
Disney             1.71
Fox News        1.64


(Live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49
1.  Sunday Night Football (NBC), 7.1/19
2.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 7.0/21
3.  Thursday Night Football: San Diego-Denver (CBS/NFLN), 6.7/21
4.  Monday Night Football (ESPN), 4.8/14
5.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 4.6/14
6.  World Series: Game 1-Tuesday (Fox), 3.4/11
6.  World Series: Game 2-Wednesday (Fox), 3.4/11
6.  Modern Family (ABC), 3.4/10
6.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 3.4/10
10.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 3.3/10
10.  World Series: Game 5-Sunday (Fox), 3.3/9
12.  World Series: Game 3-Friday (Fox), 3.1/11
13.  How to Get Away With Murder (ABC), 3.0/9
13.  Scandal (ABC), 3.0/9
15.  World Series: Game 4-Saturday (Fox), 2.6/10
16.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 2.5/8
16.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 2.5/7
18.  NCIS (CBS), 2.4/8
18.  NCIS: New Orleans (CBS), 2.4/7
18.  Scorpion (CBS), 2.4/7
18.  The Blacklist (NBC), 2.4/7
18.  Black-ish (ABC), 2.4/7
18.  Once Upon a Time (ABC), 2.4/6

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  Thursday Night Football: San Diego-Denver (CBS/NFLN), 20.22
2.  Sunday Night Football: Green Bay-New Orleans (NBC), 18.80
3.  NCIS (CBS), 17.13
4.  NCIS: New Orleans (CBS), 16.13
5.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 16.02
6.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 13.80
7.  Monday Night Football: Houston-Pittsburgh (ESPN), 13.28
8.  60 Minutes (CBS), 13.23
9.  World Series: Game 2-Wednesday (Fox), 12.92
10.  World Series; Game 5-Sunday (Fox), 12.64
11.  Dancing With the Stars (ABC), 12.58
12.  World Series: Game 1-Tuesday (Fox), 12.19
13.  World Series: Game 3-Friday (Fox), 12.13
14.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 11.95
15.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 11.90
16.  Madam Secretary (CBS), 11.71
17.  Blue Bloods (CBS), 11.42
18.  Scorpion (CBS), 10.75
19.  World Series: Game 4-Saturday (Fox), 10.74
20.  The Good Wife (CBS), 10.21

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