What Were the TV Season’s Most-Watched Shows? And Which Cancelled Dramas Had the Most Viewers?

What Were the TV Season’s Most-Watched Shows? And Which Cancelled Dramas Had the Most Viewers?

The numbers are in for the 2023-24 broadcast-TV season, and this year was — as always and forever — a touchdown for football fare.

NBC’s Sunday Night Football ranked No. 1 for the season — and was in fact up 9% year-over-year — with an average audience of 19.8 million total viewers (including Live+7 playback data). ABC’s Monday Night Football placed a distant second, with 11.7 million weekly viewers.

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The TV season’s most-watched scripted show was CBS’ freshman hit, Tracker, which enjoyed a post-Super Bowl debut and went on to average nearly 11 million weekly viewers.

IN THE 18-49 DEMO, Sunday Night Football as usual dominated, up 6% from last year with a 5.19 rating, followed by Monday Night Football (2.45), ABC’s NBA Saturday Primetime (1.1) and then CBS’ Survivor (1.06).

Of the Top 20 non-sports entertainment programs, CBS boasted eight, ABC followed close with 7, NBC had four, and Fox claimed one (the USA Network-bound Friday Night SmackDown).

IN TOTAL VIEWERS, the aforementioned Tracker (with 10.8 million weekly viewers) kept CBS’ NCIS (9.7 mil, -2% YOY) out of the top spot for the first time in five years. CBS’ Young Sheldon, with its swan song, five-peated as TV’s most-watched comedy (with a steady 9.3 million viewers).

All told, CBS delivered a whopping 13 (!) of the Top 20 most-watched non-sports entertainment programs (including the cancelled NCIS: Hawai’i, which ranked No. 12), followed by NBC (with five) and ABC (two).

Listed below are my hand-curated rankings for the broadcast networks’ assorted offerings; last season’s can be found here. Hit Comments to share what delights or depresses you.

MOST-WATCHED RETURNING COMEDY

MOST-WATCHED RETURNING COMEDYMOST-WATCHED RETURNING COMEDY

MOST-WATCHED RETURNING COMEDY

1. Young Sheldon, CBS (9.3 million; ended)
2. Ghosts, CBS (8.2 million)
3. The Neighborhood, CBS (5.7 million)
4. Bob Hearts Abishola, CBS (5.3 million; ended)
5. The Conners, ABC (4.1 million; heading into final season)

TOP-RATED RETURNING COMEDY (18-49 DEMO):
Young Sheldon (0.75 rating)

MOST-WATCHED NEW COMEDY

MOST-WATCHED NEW COMEDYMOST-WATCHED NEW COMEDY

MOST-WATCHED NEW COMEDY

1. Extended Family, NBC (3.3 million; cancelled)
2. Ghosts UK, CBS (acquired) (3 million)
3. Krapopolis, Fox (1.2 million)

TOP-RATED NEW COMEDY (18-49 DEMO):
Extended Family (0.39 rating; still cancelled)

MOST-WATCHED RETURNING DRAMA

MOST-WATCHED RETURNING DRAMAMOST-WATCHED RETURNING DRAMA

MOST-WATCHED RETURNING DRAMA

1. NCIS, CBS (9.7 million viewers)
2. FBI, CBS (8.8 million)
3. Chicago Fire, NBC (8.6 million)
4. Blue Bloods, CBS (8.4 million; first half of final season)
5. Chicago Med, NBC (8 million)
6. The Equalizer, CBS (7.9 million)
7. Chicago P.D., NBC (7.82 million)
8. NCIS: Hawai’i (7.79 million; cancelled)
9. Fire Country, CBS (7.3 million)
10. FBI: Most Wanted, CBS (7.2 million)

TOP-RATED RETURNING DRAMA (18-49 demo):
Law & Order: SVU, NBC (0.83)

MOST-WATCHED NEW DRAMA

MOST-WATCHED NEW DRAMAMOST-WATCHED NEW DRAMA

MOST-WATCHED NEW DRAMA

1. Tracker, CBS (10.8 million)
2. Elsbeth, CBS (7.4 million)
3. NCIS: Sydney, CBS (6.5 million)
4. The Irrational, NBC (5.9 million)
5. Found, NBC (5 million)

TOP-RATED NEW DRAMA (18-49 DEMO):
Tracker, CBS (0.8 rating)

MOST-WATCHED UNSCRIPTED SHOW

MOST-WATCHED UNSCRIPTED SHOWMOST-WATCHED UNSCRIPTED SHOW

MOST-WATCHED UNSCRIPTED SHOW

1. Survivor, CBS (6.4 million)
2. The Golden Bachelor, ABC (6 million)
3. Dancing With the Stars, ABC (5.94 million)
4. American Idol, ABC (5.6 million)
5. Jeopardy! Masters, ABC (5 million)

TOP-RATED UNSCRIPTED SHOW (18-49 demo):
Survivor, CBS (1.06 rating)

MOST-WATCHED CANCELLED SHOWS

MOST-WATCHED CANCELLED SHOWSMOST-WATCHED CANCELLED SHOWS

MOST-WATCHED CANCELLED SHOWS

1. Blue Bloods, CBS (8.4 million for first half of final season)
2. NCIS: Hawai’i, CBS (7.8 million)
3. So Help Me Todd, CBS (6.2 million)
4. CSI: Vegas, CBS (6.1 million)
5. The Good Doctor, ABC (5 million)

TOP-RATED CANCELLED SHOW (18-49 DEMO):
Blue Bloods, CBS (0.54)
(Law & Order: Organized Crime, which had a 0.61 rating, is moving from NBC to Peacock)

LEAST-WATCHED RENEWED SHOWS (SCRIPTED, NON-CW)

LEAST-WATCHED RENEWED SHOWS (SCRIPTED, NON-CW)LEAST-WATCHED RENEWED SHOWS (SCRIPTED, NON-CW)

LEAST-WATCHED RENEWED SHOWS (SCRIPTED, NON-CW)

1. The Great North, Fox (576,000)
2. Krapopolis, Fox (1.23 million; was renewed way back in October 2022)
3. Bob’s Burgers, Fox (1.35 million)
4. Family Guy, Fox (1.44 million)
5. The Simpsons, Fox (2 million)
6. The Cleaning Lady, Fox (2 million)
7. Animal Control, Fox (2.1 million)
8. Lopez vs. Lopez, NBC (2.3 million)
9. Alert: MPU, Fox (2.5 million)
10. Night Court, NBC (3.9 million)

TOP 10 OVERALL BY TOTAL VIEWERS

TOP 10 OVERALL BY TOTAL VIEWERSTOP 10 OVERALL BY TOTAL VIEWERS

TOP 10 OVERALL BY TOTAL VIEWERS

1. Sunday Night Football, NBC (19.8 million, +9% year-over-year)
2. Monday Night Football, ABC (11.7 million, N/A YOY)
3. Tracker, CBS (10.8 million, new)
4. NCIS, CBS (9.7 million, -2%)
5. Young Sheldon, CBS (9.3 million, steady)
6. FBI, CBS (8.8 million, -8%)
7. Chicago Fire, NBC (8.6 million, -8%)
8. Blue Bloods, CBS (8.4 million, -11%)
9. 60 Minutes, CBS (8.3 million, -6%)
10. Ghosts, CBS (8.2 million, -10%)

DROPPED OUT OF LAST YEAR’S TOP 10
Chicago Med, The Equalizer

TOP 10 OVERALL BY DEMO

TOP 10 OVERALL BY DEMOTOP 10 OVERALL BY DEMO

TOP 10 OVERALL BY DEMO

1. Sunday Night Football, NBC (5.19 demo rating, +6% year-over-year)
2. Monday Night Football, ABC (2.45, N/A YOY)
3. NBA Saturday Primetime, ABC (1.1, N/A YOY)
4. Survivor, CBS (1.06, steady)
5. Saturday Night Football, ABC (1.02, +13%)
6. Law & Order: SVU, NBC (0.83, -8%)
7. Chicago P.D., NBC (0.82, -18%)
7 (tie). 9-1-1, ABC (0.82, -18%)
7 (tie). The Bachelor, ABC (0.82, N/A YOY)
8. The Golden Bachelor, ABC (0.80, new)
8 (tie). Tracker, CBS (0.80, new)

DROPPED OUT OF LAST YEAR’S TOP… 14 (with ties)
Chicago Fire, American Idol, Ghosts, Young Sheldon, 60 Minutes, The Masked Singer, Next Level Chef and Chicago Med

Want SCOOP on any of the above? Email [email protected] and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line!

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