NBC’s annual Thanksgiving night NFL game gave the network its second weekly prime-time ratings victory in three weeks, according to live-plus-same-day figures released today by Nielsen.
In a week that mixed the final three days of the November ratings sweeps with the rerun- and specials-heavy four-day Thanksgiving weekend, NBC averaged 9.63 million viewers for its prime-time television programming between Nov. 24 and Sunday.
CBS was second, averaging 9.26 million viewers, a week after finishing first for the eighth time in the television season’s first nine weeks, followed by ABC (6.91 million). Fox was fourth among the broadcast networks and fifth overall behind cable’s ESPN, averaging 3.19 million.
The Seattle Seahawks’ 19-3 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday was the week’s most-watched prime-time program. About 22.85 million viewers tuned in — the largest audience since Thanksgiving night NFL games began airing on broadcast television in 2012.
An NFL game has been the most-watched prime-time program in 12 of the past 13 weeks. Game 7 of baseball’s World Series was the only non-NFL game to be first during that span.
NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” game between the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs was second for the week, averaging 21.11 million.
NBC’s most-watched entertainment program was the Monday episode of “The Voice,” which was 19th among the week’s broadcast and cable programs, averaging 9.6 million viewers. NBC’s most-watched scripted program was “Chicago Fire,” 46th for the week, averaging 6.02 million.
CBS had the most-watched non-football program, “60 Minutes,” third for the week with 18.36 million viewers, and the most-watched scripted program, “NCIS,” sixth for the week, averaging 16.01 million.
NBC also finished first among harder-to-reach viewers ages 18-49, the group ABC and Fox also target and advertisers covet.
The winter finale of the AMC horror drama “The Walking Dead” was the week’s most-watched program among the group, averaging 9.62 million viewers.
NBC’s Thanksgiving night NFL game was second, averaging 9.44 million, followed by “Sunday Night Football” (9.34 million); the 10-minute “Sunday Night Football” kickoff show (6.85 million); and Fox’s 19-minute NFL postgame show Thursday, which included 13 minutes in prime time.
ESPN was the most-watched cable network for the 12th consecutive week, averaging 4.51 million viewers. It aired cable’s second- and third-most watched programs of the week, Saturday’s Alabama-Auburn college football game (13.53 million)and the “Monday Night Football” game between the Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints (10.87 million).
“The Walking Dead” was the most-watched cable program, averaging 14.81 million viewers, ninth overall.
The week’s most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program was the Wednesday episode of the Univision telenovela “Mi Corazon Es Tuyo,” which averaged 3.74 million viewers, 71st among all prime-time broadcast and cable programs.
As usual, Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network, averaging 2.66 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 1.08 million, followed by UniMas (570,000), Estrella TV (330,000), MundoFox (190,000) and Azteca America (80,000).
The “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 272nd consecutive week and 319th of the past 320, averaging 9.55 million viewers for its Monday through Wednesday and Friday broadcasts.
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was second, averaging 8.98 million and the “CBS Evening News” third, averaging 7.37 million viewers. The weekly figures for ABC and CBS are based on the Monday and Tuesday broadcasts.
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC’s Thursday night football game and “Sunday Night Football”; CBS’ “60 Minutes”; Fox’s 19-minute NFL postgame show Thursday; NBC’s 10-minute “Sunday Night Football” kickoff show; CBS’ “NCIS”; the Tuesday and Monday editions of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”; AMC’s “The Walking Dead”; and CBS’ “NCIS: New Orleans.”