From CBS’s “NCIS” to Fox’s Duncanville, here are the top 10 TV shows and the 10 lowest aired TV shows this season.
Despite what you may have heard, linear TV isn’t dead yet — and we’ve got 10 radio shows that proved it over the course of the September-May final TV season. Then again, we also have 10 for sure suggest the opposite.
Once again, CBS juggernaut”NCISIt was the most watched show in broadcast (when including all viewers aged 2 years and over, accounting for one week of late viewing), according to Nielsen statistics. (NCIS used to be the best show on all line TV; that is, until Yellowstone was placed “The Paramount Network affiliate in these parts here.) CBS procedurals have been the best in broadcasting for four consecutive years and 12 of the most recent 13 seasons (NBC’s This Is Us triumphed in 2017-18). CBS”FBIIt was the only other entertainment show on broadcast television averaging 10 million viewers per episode this season.
For the purposes of this story, we have removed sports and news programming; Otherwise, the majority of the top ten list would be football. The only potential victim of news programming here is “60 Minutes,” a long-running CBS news magazine series that could go either way in genre. We’re not giving CBS the short end of the stick, though: The most-watched broadcast channel occupies 70% of our top 10, and was the only network for the so-called Big 4 (CBS, NBC, Foxand ABC) which had no shows in the bottom 10.
One final warning about regulation. We declined to include The CW in this story. If we had, the list of least viewed would have read like a prime-time broadcaster’s rating card. It wouldn’t be any fun, or anything fair (for them, at least; Fox certainly wouldn’t think).
Focusing on total viewers is good in some ways and less good in others. It disproportionately rewards channels and appears to cater to older viewers (read: CBS and Actions). Ideally, the only three non-CBS series in the top ten this season were the three Dick Wolf shows on NBC’s “Chicago.” Across the net, superproducer Wolfe is half of the series on this list: the entirety of the “Chicago” universe and the eligible “FBI” series.
Find the top ten below, including eight dramas and two comedies. The first, “Ghosts” on CBS, is a junior show. As you might imagine, each of these ten offerings has been renewed.
Most watched broadcast series, season 2021-22
1. “NCIS” (CBS): 10.974 million viewers
2. “FBI” (CBS): 10.354 million viewers
3. “Chicago Fire” (NBC): 9.917 million viewers
4. “Blue Bloods” (CBS): 9.608 million viewers
5. “The Equalizer” (CBS): 9.301 million viewers
6. “Chicago PD” (NBC): 9.254 million viewers
7. “Young Sheldon” (CBS): 9.222 million viewers
8. “Chicago Med” (NBC): 9.203 million viewers
9- “FBI: Most Wanted” (CBS): 8.846 million viewers
10. “Ghosts” (CBS): 8.409 million viewers
Michael Greenberg / CBS © 2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. all rights are save.
While NBC executives would be thrilled to see “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago PD,” and “Chicago Med” on our list, they might not be thrilled that we’re launching September-May “TV season” in 2022. Traditionally, Nielsen’s class is out for the summer. — and still, in many ways — because the warm-weather months were nothing but a replay.
These days, networks are programmed a mixture of original and iterative. Nobody does it better than NBC, which favors a September-to-September approach to scaling throughout the season. A good performance from the usual top summer show “America’s Got Talent” will likely knock “Ghosts” off this list (and possibly lower a few other series). “AGT” averaged 8.7 million viewers each Tuesday last summer, 9.0 million in summer 2020, and 11.9 million in the summer before the Covid pandemic stole much of the magic of the performance competition series.
We really know why you are here. Without further laughs, below is the season’s least-watched broadcast series. To avoid one-time oddities, we’ve only included shows that aired at least two episodes in the given time slot.
Least Watched Broadcast Series, Season 2021-22
10. “Queens” (ABC): 1.855 million viewers
9. “Pivoting” (Fox): 1.848 million viewers
8. “Grand Crew” (NBC): 1.810 million viewers
7. “Kinan – 8:30” (8:30, NBC): 1.725 million viewers
6. “Bob’s Burgers” (Fox): 1.606 million viewers
5. “Home Sweet Home” (NBC): 1.461 million viewers
4. “The Great North” (Fox): 1.337 million viewers
3. “Welcome to Flash” (Fox): 1.068 million viewers
2. “Engagement” (NBC): 919 thousand viewers
1. “Duncanville(Fox): 536,000 viewers
Shawn Gleeson/USA Network
As you can see, half of the bottom ten shows have aired on Fox. Three of them are animated series, youngsters leaning towards viewing on digital platforms – not all are measured by Nielsen (and even less so it takes place within seven days of the episode’s premiere). For example, according to Fox’s own internal data, an average “Bob’s Burgers” episode reaches nearly 7 million viewers when counting all platforms and all days after the premiere so far. Either way, don’t feel bad about “Duncanville,” “Bob’s Burgers,” and “The Great North” – they’ve all been renovated by Fox. At the time of this writing, the fate of the “pivots” and “the flash” is still to be decided later.
There’s an argument to be made that ‘Kenan’ got an unfair place here: The five episodes that aired at 8:30 p.m. performed poorly enough to make our list, but the lion’s share of season two episodes on regular 8 o’ didn’t slot Clock time no. Anyway, this The series has been cancelledAs did his fellow bottom 10 unscripted NBC series “Home Sweet Home” and “The Courtship”. (In fact, not only were they both canceled—they were unceremoniously taken off the NBC schedule early on.)
Our last two shows, Fox’s “Duncanville” and NBC’s “Bridgerton,” didn’t attract a million viewers per episode.
Despite its own struggle to find an audience, “Grand Crew” was renewed on NBC for a second try. “Queens” on ABC were not. But we’ll always have this Queens-approved sausage, courtesy of Swizz Beatz (and Yas, the Queens):