The NFL once again dominates Variety’s ranker of the most-watched television telecasts of the year. No surprise, of course, Super Bowl LIV was easily the top program of 2020, with 102 million viewers on February 2.
Actually, seven of the ten telecasts of the year came from the NFL, and 28 out of the top 100 of the year. The other major sports leagues weren’t as lucky: Impacted by delayed seasons and playoffs due to COVID-19, only Game 6 of baseball’s World Series made it on the top 100 list, while the NBA Finals completely missed the ranker this year. And that’s despite teams from the nation’s second-largest market, Los Angeles, winning both of them.
Scripted series accounted for 39 of the top 100 slots, while competition series took up nine spots. The Season 4 post-Super Bowl premiere of "The Masked Singer" was easily the most-watched entertainment program of the year, with 27.4 million viewers. (It kept humming throughout the year, landing 16 slots in the top 100 telecasts among adults 18-49.)
Audiences gravitated to ABC’s January stunt “Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time,” as all four installments made it on the end-of year list. That was the most of any reality show.
And given how this was one of the most tumultuous years in recent history, news programs and coverage can be found all over this year’s ranker. CBS’ “60 Minutes” shows up five times, while 11 slots are devoted to debates or election coverage.
|Top 20 TV Shows For 2020 (Courtesy of Sportico)|
Ratings for Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Channel topped all news and basic cable channels for a fifth straight year in 2020, according to Reuters citing Nielsen data released on Tuesday.
The network averaged 1.9 million viewers per day and 3.6 million in primetime - record levels for cable news channels - during a news-heavy year marked by the coronavirus pandemic, protests for racial justice and a contentious U.S. presidential election.
While Fox was ahead in key metrics when looking at the year as a whole, AT&T Inc’s CNN beat Fox in total day ratings for 41 straight days after the Nov. 3 presidential contest, CNN said on Dec. 16. The channel also recorded its most-watched year in its 40-year history, with an average of 1.1 million viewers per day and 1.8 million in primetime.