Weekly Ratings: ’60 Minutes’ Back on Top; Fox Business, Fox News Channel Shine

Last week was another good one in primetime for football and zombies, but it also featured strong tune-in for a pair of primary debates — including record-setting numbers for Fox Business Network — as well as inflated news ratings for coverage of the Paris terrorist attacks.

It was a notable weekend in primetime for CBS News, whose Democratic debate from Des Moines, Iowa, averaged 8.55 million viewers — below the year’s prior debates but a good number for a Saturday night and well above what comparable debates have done in prior election cycles. And on Sunday, “60 Minutes” racked up its largest audience in a year (18.13 million) for a telecast that featured a report from Paris, an interview with new Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and a look at the state of concussion safety and science in football. Excluding NFL action, the newsmagazine was the most-watched primetime program of the week.

(CBS Sports certainly contributed to the big tune-in for “60 Minutes” by funneling a huge audience into the program in much of the country. The conclusion of the NFL game between the New England Patriots and New York Giants drew more than 35 million viewers, and the national NFL window for CBS was easily the most-watched telecast for the week of Nov. 9-15 with a network season-high 28.3 million viewers.)

In a first for Fox, its Roger Ailes-run Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network both ranked among the top five basic cable networks in total viewers. FBN, which was No. 4 among the cablers, had the No. 1 program in all of cable for the week (and No. 5 among all programs) with the fourth GOP debate of the primary season (13.45 million). And Fox News Channel, whose ratings were elevated over the weekend due to the terrorist attacks, finished behind only ESPN last week in primetime, and was No. 1 among all cable networks on a total-day basis.

On Friday night, shortly after news of the Paris terrorist attacks broke, roughly 9.2 million people were watching Fox News (4.4 million), CNN (3.2 million), MSNBC (1.2 million) and HLN (308,000) — about 2.5 times the tune-in to these channels over the prior four weeks (3.6 million). CNN was the cable news leader in the 25-54 demo for 23 of 24 hours from Friday night through Saturday night.

On the entertainment front last week, AMC’s “The Walking Dead” was up about 5% week to week (6.5/20 in 18-49, 12.87 million viewers overall), ranking No. 2 to NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” (7.0/21 in 18-49, 19.39 million viewers overall) among the week’s top primetime programs. “Dead” provided a strong lead-in to post-apocalyptic martial arts drama “Into the Badlands” (3.15 in 18-49, 6.39 million viewers overall), which was on par with CBS’ “Supergirl” and NBC’s “Blindspot” as the fall’s highest-rated premieres in the demo and ranks among the top cable launches ever in the demo.

NBC won among all networks in 18-49 for the seventh time in eight weeks this television season, with three nights of “The Voice” joining “Sunday Night Football” among the week’s top dozen primetime shows in 18-49. The Peacock also scored with season highs for “Chicago Fire” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 11.14 million viewers overall) and “Law & Order: SVU” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 10.38 million), both of which took advantage of “Voice” lead-ins.

CBS stayed on top in total viewers, with “60 Minutes,” “NCIS” (16.68) and “The Big Bang Theory” (14.19 million) standing as the frame’s three most-watched non-sports programs.

In other ratings news, Sinclair’s new Sunday morning news program “Full Measure with Sharyl Atkisson” delivered its best ratings yet on Nov. 15 (318,300 households). During its first five weeks (Oct. 4-Nov. 1), the half-hour series, which is shaping up to be the broadcast group’s most successful program ever, averaged 255,900 households to put it ahead of cable news networks Fox (236,400), CNN (171,900) and MSNBC (58,800). The highest-rated markets to date have been Las Vegas, West Palm Beach, Providence, San Antonio and Cincinnati.


(Nov. 9-15, 2015; live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49 rating/share
NBC ……………….. 2.3/8
CBS ………………… 2.0/6
ABC ………………… 1.6/5
Fox …………………. 1.2/4
ESPN ………………  1.1/4
UNI ………………… 0.8/2
CW …………………. 0.6/2
AMC ……………….. 0.6/2
TEL ………………… 0.6/2
TBS ………………… 0.5/2

Total Viewers (in millions)
CBS ……………………  10.24
NBC …………………..    8.33
ABC …………………..    6.20
Fox ……………………    3.62
ESPN ………………..     3.10
UNI …………………..    2.03
FNC …………………..    1.81
HALL ………………..    1.63
CW ……………………    1.55
USA …………………..    1.51


(Nov. 9-15, 2015; live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49 rating/share
1.  Sunday Night Football: Arizona-Seattle (NBC), 7.0/21
2.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 6.5/20
3.  Monday Night Football: Chicago-San Diego (ESPN), 4.2/13
3.  Empire (Fox), 4.2/13
5.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 3.7/13
6.  60 Minutes (CBS), 3.6/10
7.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 3.2/10
8.  Into the Badlands (AMC), 3.1/9
9.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 2.7/9
9.  Modern Family (ABC), 2.7/8
11.  Thursday Night Football: Buffalo-NY Jets (NFLN), 2.6/8
12.  The Voice-Wednesday (NBC), 2.4/8
12.  Milwaukee Republican Debate (FBN), 2.4/8
14.  NCIS (CBS), 2.3/7
15.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 2.2/8
15.  Scandal (ABC), 2.2/7
15.  Blindspot (NBC), 2.2/7
18.  Survivor (CBS), 2.1/7
18.  The Goldbergs (ABC), 2.1/7
20.  Chicago Fire (NBC), 2.0/7
20.  The Middle (ABC), 2.0/7
20.  Dancing With the Stars (ABC), 2.0/6
20.  Law & Order: SVU (NBC), 2.0/6

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  Sunday Night Football: Arizona-Seattle (NBC), 19.39
2.  60 Minutes (CBS), 18.13
3.  NCIS (CBS), 16.68
4.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 14.91
5.  Wisconsin Republican Debate (FBN), 13.45
6.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 12.87
7.  Dancing With the Stars (ABC), 12.63
8.  NCIS: New Orleans (CBS), 12.39
9.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 12.02
10.  Monday Night Football: Chicago-San Diego (ESPN), 11.44
11.  Empire (Fox), 11.20
12.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 10.86
13.  Madam Secretary (CBS), 10.61
14.  Blue Bloods (CBS), 10.33
15.  The Voice-Wednesday (NBC), 10.14
16.  Scorpion (CBS), 9.34
17.  Survivor (CBS), 9.00
18.  Iowa Democratic Debate (CBS), 8.55
19.  The Good Wife (CBS), 8.52
20.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 8.51

Source: Nielsen

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