Wednesday, April 17, 2019

TV Ratings: 'Thrones', The Masters Deliver

Tiger Woods
This past weekend’s season premiere "Game of Thrones" stands as the most-watched one-day event in the history of the cable network that began in 1978.

Citing Nielsen data, The Associated Press reports 17.4 million people watched the Sunday opener to the show’s final season, either live on the network at 9 p.m., streamed, through HBO’s on-demand service or during two reruns that aired later that night. Nielsen can’t account for people who watched more than once.

Viewership for the show is more impressive when you consider that HBO is a service that people have to specifically pay for. It is available in around 35 million households in the United States, or roughly a third of the number of homes that can see CBS, NBC and ABC.

Tiger Woods’ stirring comeback in the Masters gave CBS its biggest audience for that marquee golf tournament in six years, Nielsen said. Sunday’s final round, which was moved up several hours due to the threat of bad weather in Georgia, averaged 10.8 million viewers. The broadcast’s peak came when Woods won shortly after 2 p.m. ET, with 18.3 million viewers.

CBS easily won the week in prime-time, averaging 7.1 million viewers. ABC had 4.5 million viewers, NBC had 3.7 million, Fox had 2.3 million, Univision had 1.3 million, ION Television had 1.2 million, Telemundo had 1.1 million and the CW had 700,000.

Fox News Channel was the week’s most popular cable network, averaging 2.38 million viewers in prime time. MSNBC had 1.56 million, HGTV had 1.182 million, USA had 1.177 million and TNT had 1.11 million.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 7.9 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” was second with 7.5 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.5 million viewers.

⏩ Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for April 8-14:

1. NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship: Virginia vs. Texas Tech, CBS, 19.72 million.
2. “NCIS,” CBS, 11.82 million.
3. “Game of Thrones,” HBO, 11.76 million.
4. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 8.72 million.
5. “The Code,” CBS, 8.14 million.
6. “Blue Bloods,” CBS, 8.09 million.
7. “The Voice” (Monday), NBC, 7.62 million.
8. “Survivor,” CBS, 7.6 million.
9. “NCAA Basketball Pre-Game Show,” CBS, 7.47 million.
10. “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 7.32 million.

11. “American Idol” (Sunday), ABC, 7.26 million.
12. “The Big Bang Theory” (Thursday, 8 p.m.), CBS, 6.98 million.
13. “God Friended Me,” CBS, 6.92 million.
14. “Hawaii Five-0,” CBS, 6.87 million.
15. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 6.83 million.
16. “Grey’s Anatomy,” ABC, 6.82 million.
17. “NCIS: Los Angeles,” CBS, 6.79 million.
18. “NCIS: New Orleans,” CBS, 6.7 million.
19. “American Idol” (Monday), ABC, 6.5 million.
20. “The Big Bang Theory” (Thursday, 9 p.m.), CBS, 6.15 million.

As for syndication, ratings bloomed as April got underway in the session ending April 7. For example, among the top six bellwether magazines both Entertainment Tonight and Extra clocked double-digit increases, according to TV NewsCheck.

ET jumped 12% to a 2.9 live-plus-same-day national Nielsen rating, while Extra vaulted 10% to a 1.1. Inside Edition also moved up, adding 7% to a 2.9 to tie ET after Edition host Deborah Norville announced her cancer surgery on April 1. Access was also sharp, grabbing the group’s third-highest slot with a steady 1.3 and tying TMZ.

Judge Judy, which was in reruns on four of the five days, still rose to a three-week high 6.8% and continued to trounce all shows in the household ratings for a record 39 weeks in a row.

Elsewhere in daytime:
  • Dr. Phil, also partially in repeats,  remained chat champ for a 135th week with a steady 2.7.
  • Live with Kelly and Ryan raced ahead 10% to a 2.3 and took talk’s silver medal.
  • Ellen DeGeneres went from reruns to original episodes and recovered 12% to a third-place 1.9.
Seeing sharply higher numbers were game show leaders Jeopardy, which climbed 9% to a 6.1, and Wheel of Fortune, which accelerated 11% to a 6.1.

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