Paramount Global, the former ViacomCBS, may no longer be using “CBS” (or “Viacom,” for that matter) in its corporate name, but CBS still has the most-watched non-football show on broadcast television in “NCIS.” (Technically, with “FBI,” it has the two most-watched series on broadcast TV.)
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (yes, that’s what it stands for) drama, now in its 19th season, is averaging 11.3 million total viewers, according to what Nielsen calls its “most current” ratings. That data set includes one week of delayed viewing where available.
That “NCIS” average is better than 1 million viewers (age 2 and older) more than the most-watched show on rival network NBC, “Chicago Fire,” which is currently averaging 10 million viewers. Both “NCIS” and “Fire” (and “FBI,” for that matter, which averages 10.3 million viewers) are way above anything Fox or ABC has.
Fox’s top show, “9-1-1,” has brought in 7.32 million total viewers per episode, on average, thus far this season. ABC’s “The Good Doctor” is averaging 7.28 million viewers. We pushed those two out to two decimal places to break the rounded “tie” between the shows.
Way, way lower is The CW’s top show, “Superman & Lois,” with 1.5 million total TV viewers per episode.
That’s not bad for a freshman on The CW, which skews young and toward non-Nielsen-measured digital viewing. Broadcast TV’s most-watched first-year show is “Ghosts,” also on CBS, which is averaging 8.3 million total viewers so far this season.
All above numbers include seven days of delayed (mostly via DVR) viewing for episodes between Sept. 20, 2021, and Feb. 6, 2022. For episodes that aired Feb. 7-Feb. 10, we have three days of delayed viewing. For episodes that aired Feb. 11-Feb. 13, we only have Live + Same Day tallies.
This time last year, “NCIS” had an average of 12.8 million total viewers, “9-1-1” averaged 10.4 million, “Chicago Fire” got 10.3 million per episode and “The Good Doctor” got 7.3 million.
In February 2021, “The Good Doctor” was actually ABC’s fourth most-watched show, behind “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Big Sky” and “Station 19.” “Chicago Fire” and “9-1-1” were both their respective networks’ most-watched show back then too. CBS’ top show at the time was “The Equalizer,” but that’s mostly because of the post-Super Bowl episode blowing up the averages.