'SNF' Still Highest-Rated TV Network Show, Non-Sports Series Continue To Decline

TV network shows -- especially top non-sports TV series -- continue their steady decline so far this season, and have now fallen under a key viewer level.

With the exception of some high-profile series, no non-sports TV series averaged more than 10 million viewers through the first eight weeks of the broadcast TV season, according to Nielsen live program-plus-seven days of time-shifted viewing.

A year ago, during a similar time frame, there were two shows over the 10 million mark: CBS’ “NCIS” (11.7 million) and NBC’s “Chicago Fire” (10.1 million).

This year, there are eight non-sport TV series over the 9 million viewer mark -- with “NCIS” still leading in this prime-time series category -- now at 9.74 million viewers (down 17% from the year before).

This was followed by "FBI" at 9.61 million (down 3%), "Blue Bloods" at 9.55 million (also slipping 3%), NBC’s "Chicago Fire" with 9.39 million (off 7%), CBS' "60 Minutes" at 9.23 million (down 2%), and CBS' "Young Sheldon" at 9.13 million (down 0.4%).

Coming in at eighth place was CBS' "Ghosts," a rare gainer among TV network series in its second season at 9.09 million viewers -- 16% higher over its rookie season.

The best-performing show on ABC, "The Good Doctor," came in at 6.19 million (down 14% from a year ago). For Fox, its best performer is "911" at 7.47 million (off 11%). For the CW, the top show is "Walker" at 1.38 million (falling 22%).

Overall, the highest-rated TV network prime-time show -- as it has been for many years -- was NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.” Through eight games it is averaging at 18.17 million viewers, down just 1%. A year ago the series was at 18.33 million.

The second-best performer was Fox's late-afternoon NFL Sunday coverage, at 14.1 million -- up 5%. (The game overlaps into prime time, which starts at 7 p.m. on Sunday) A year ago, season-to-date, the NFL series came in at 13.4 million.

In terms of overall network impressions, for total day viewing -- from September 19 through November 22 -- CBS was tops with 98.09 billion, which represents a 7.9% share of voice (SOV) of all networks, according to iSpot.tv.

Total impression results here include national linear, national time-shifted, local, video-on-demand and OTT, according to iSpot.tv's measure.

NBC was next at 74.38 billion impressions and a 5.97% share of voice (SOV), while ABC came in at 70.09 billion with a 5.6% SOV, and Fox was at 51.62 billion with a 4.1% SOV, followed by The CW with 6.0 billion impressions and a 0.48% SOV.

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