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NBC Wins Eighth Straight Premiere Week in TV Ratings, Snaps CBS’ 10-Year Total Viewers Streak

NBC hasn’t won Week 1 in total viewers since 2001

The 2019-20 broadcast TV season kicked off last Monday with new and returning shows premiering on NBC, ABC, Fox and CBS. And NBC was the winner among the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic during that seven-day start to Fall TV for the eighth year in a row and took the total viewers victory for the first time since 2001. The network snapped CBS’ 10-year, first-place streak in premiere week’s overall sets of eyeballs.

While the home of “This Is Us” and “Sunday Night Football” (two of the shows that helped the network win here) hasn’t topped Week 1 in total viewers in 18 years, its eighth-straight No. 1 (or tie for No. 1) in the key demo marks the longest streak since Nielsen people meters were started in 1987. (The previous record was set by NBC with its seventh win last year.)

The Top 5 entertainment shows of the week excluding sports and newsmagazine “60 Minutes,” which benefited from an NFL overrun, were: “The Masked Singer” (2.5 rating), “This Is Us” (1.8), “The Voice” – Monday (1.7), “The Voice” – Tuesday (1.6) and “9-1-1” (1.6).

Including sports, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” topped every other show with a 7.8 rating, with Fox’s “Thursday Night Football” coming in second with a 5.6.

See below for the Monday, Sept. 23- Sunday, Sept. 29 averages in both the key demo and total viewers, according to Live + Same Day data from Nielsen.

Adult 18-49 Rating:

1. NBC: 1.8
2. Fox: 1.7
3. CBS: 1.0
4. ABC: 0.9

Total Viewers:

1. NBC: 7.5 million
2. CBS: 6.9 million
3. Fox: 5.8 million
4. ABC: 4.7 million

We’ve excluded The CW from these rankings, as it kicks off its new season next week.

As TheWrap previously explained, NBC wasn’t necessarily a lock to take this year’s ratings crown, even though it had dominated the last seven year’s of September starts.

Here is how the Big 4 networks’ 2018-19 fall premiere week shook out among adults 18-49:

1. NBC: 2.0
2. Fox: 1.6
3. CBS: 1.3
4. ABC: 1.2

In total viewers, however, CBS finished first. See those rankings below:

1. CBS: 8.4 million
2. NBC: 7.9 million
3. ABC: 5.4 million
4. Fox: 5.3 million