TBS, UCLA Victory Over Alabama Top Prime-Time Cable Viewership

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HOLLYWOOD (CNS) - With coverage of the NCAA men's basketball tournament accounting for each of the five most-watched prime-time cable programs, TBS ended Fox News Channel's eight-week streak of finishing first among cable networks.

TBS averaged 2.752 million viewers for its prime-time programming between March 22 and Sunday, 46.1% more than its 1.884-million average the previous week when it finished second, according to live-plus-same-day figures released today by Nielsen.

UCLA's 88-78 overtime upset of Alabama Sunday was the week's most-watched cable program, averaging 6.513 million viewers, fourth overall.

Fox News Channel was second, averaging 2.328 million viewers, 4.3% more than its 2.233-million average the previous week when it finished first.

MSNBC was third for the second consecutive week after seven consecutive second-place finishes, averaging 1.579 million viewers, 4.5% less than its 1.654-million average the previous week.

The cable Top 20 consisted of four NCAA tournament games and a 17-minute between-games show on TBS; 10 programs on Fox News Channel; four broadcasts of the MSNBC news and opinion program “The Rachel Maddow Show''; and The History Channel's long-running chronicle of the quest to solve the more than two-century-old treasure mystery on a Canadian island, “The Curse of Oak Island.''

“60 Minutes'' was the most-watched program for the fourth time in the 27-week-old 2020-21 prime-time television season, averaging 9.177 million viewers, 16.3% more than its 7.892-million average the previous week.

The CBS News magazine followed a 14-minute runover of the network's coverage of the Michigan-Florida State NCAA Tournament game that averaged 9.59 million viewers. The runover is not considered a separate program but is included in the weekly average.

“The Equalizer,'' which followed “60 Minutes,'' and “The Voice'' were the week's other prime-time programs to average more than 7 million viewers, averaging 7.404 million viewers and 7.063 million viewers.

CBS finished first in the network race for the 10th consecutive week and 12th time in the season, averaging 4.52 million viewers, despite not airing original episodes of its second and third most-watched entertainment series of the season, “NCIS'' and “FBI.''

ABC was second after back-to-back third-place finishes, averaging 3.64 million viewers. NBC was third after back-to-back second-place finishes, averaging 2.9 million viewers.

Fox was fourth for the ninth consecutive week, averaging 1.96 million viewers for its 15 hours of programming. The CW again was fifth among the five major English-language broadcast networks, averaging 610,000 viewers for its 12 hours.

CBS, NBC and ABC each aired 22 hours of prime-time programming for the week.

The Sunday edition of “American Idol'' was ABC's most-watched program and sixth overall, averaging 6.168 million viewers. Fox's most-watched program for the second consecutive week was “The Masked Singer,'' 15th for the week averaging 5.205 million viewers.

For the third time in the five weeks it has aired, the superhero drama “Superman & Lois'' was The CW's most-watched program, averaging 1.237 million viewers, 101st among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.

For the fifth consecutive week and 11th time in 15 weeks, an episode of the Univision telenovela “Vencer el desamor'' was the most-watched Spanish-language program, with the Wednesday episode averaging 2.05 million viewers, 90th overall.

Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the 69th consecutive week and 71st time in 72 weeks, averaging 1.42 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 930,000 viewers followed by UniMas (620,000), Estrella TV (110,000) and Azteca America (50,000).

ABC's “World News Tonight with David Muir'' was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 69th consecutive week, the 120th time in 121 weeks and the 172nd time in 174 weeks, averaging 8.436 million viewers.

“NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt'' was second, averaging 6.935 million viewers, followed by the “CBS Evening News with Norah O'Donnell,'' which averaged 4.973 million viewers.

The week's 10 most-watched prime-time programs were CBS' “60 Minutes'' and “The Equalizer''; NBC's “The Voice''; TBS' coverage of Sunday's UCLA-Alabama NCAA men's basketball tournament game; CBS' “Blue Bloods''; the Sunday edition of ABC's “American Idol''; TBS' coverage of Saturday's Arkansas-Oral Roberts NCAA men's basketball tournament game; CBS' coverage of the Michigan-LSU game March 22; TBS' 17-minute between games show Saturday; and ABC's “America's Funniest Home Videos.''

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