‘Tracker’ Debuts to 18.4 Million Viewers on CBS Thanks to Super Bowl Lead-In

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The series premiere of the Justin Hartley-led procedural scored the biggest audience for a primetime entertainment program this season

Tracker
Justin Hartley as Colter Shaw in "Tracker" (Michael Courtney/CBS)

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Sunday’s “Tracker” series premiere ranked as the most-watched entertainment program this season, thanks to its Super Bowl lead-in.

The new CBS procedural, which stars Justin Hartley as reward seeker Colter Shaw, debuted to an audience of 18.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen live-plus-same-day figures.

As “Tracker” premiered following the Kansas City Chiefs’ victory over the San Francisco 49ers at 11:14 p.m. ET/8:14 p.m. PT, the telecast became the most-watched primetime entertainment program the series premiere of “The Equalizer” following the 2021 Super Bowl.

Despite premiering at 11:14 p.m. ET — the latest start time for a post-Super Bowl program in history — “Tracker” also saw a 16% uptick in viewership when compared to last year’s post-Super Bowl program, “Next Level Chef,” which drew 15.85 million viewers as it aired on Fox on Feb. 12, 2023.

When accounting for delayed three-day viewing and its upcoming encore episode on Thursday, internal estimates project viewership for the series premiere will pass 25 million viewers by the end of the week.

In addition to “Tracker,” the Super Bowl boosted figures for CBS’ late night programming, with both “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” and “After Midnight” posting ratings gains.

Beginning its airing at 12:50 a.m. ET/9:50 p.m. with guests John Krasinski, Ryan Gosling and Jon Stewart, “The Late Show” averaged 3.74 million viewers — its biggest live-plus-same-day audience since the post-Super Bowl broadcast on February 7, 2021.

As Wayne Brady, Maria Bamford and Kevin Smith appeared on “After Midnight,” the new late night series scored its most-watched episode to date with 2.03 million viewers.

The post-Super Bowl boost isn’t surprising as Sunday’s matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers scored the Super Bowl’s biggest audience in history. The game drew 123.7 million viewers as it aired across CBS, Paramount+, Nickelodeon, Univision, CBS Sports, Univision and NFL digital properties, including NFL+., according to Nielsen fast national and adobe analytics.

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