Wednesday, March 21, 2018
  • Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016
Presidential Debate, Football Lead Weekly Nielsen Derby
In this Sept. 26, 2016 file photo, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump shake hands during the presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. (Joe Raedle/Pool via AP, File)
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NFL football topped the ratings last week, while the first presidential debate won lots of viewers across multiple channels.

But “Bull” held the fifth-place spot that its debut airing won the week before. The legal drama, which stars Michael Weatherly as a trial consultant in a story loosely based on Dr. Phil McGraw’s life, logged 13.6 million viewers to remain the most-watched freshman series thus far in this young season.

Other high achievers among the freshman class remained CBS’ comedy “Kevin Can Wait,” starring Kevin James, which ranked 16th; CBS’ “MacGyver” reboot, at 25th place; and NBC’s drama “This Is Us,” at 28th place.

Among the networks benefiting from the first presidential faceoff between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, NBC scored a 6th place showing with its post-debate analysis, while Fox News Channel’s coverage of the debate drew more than 11 million viewers to round out the Top 10.

Overall in prime time for the week, CBS averaged 8.5 million viewers, while runner-up NBC had 8.0 million. ABC had 6.3 million, Fox had 4.8 million, Univision had 1.8 million, Telemundo had 1.7 million, ION Television had 1.2 million and the CW had 990,000.

Fox News Channel was the week’s most popular cable network, averaging 3.1 million viewers in prime time. ESPN had 2.2 million, CNN had 1.9 million, and MSNBC had 1.6 million.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” topped the evening newscasts for a second week in a row — the first time in 17 years it has won the first two weeks of the season, the network said. It logged an average of 8.3 million viewers versus NBC’s “Nightly News” with 7.9 million, while the “CBS Evening News” had 6.6 million.

Below are primetime viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Sept. 26-Oct. 2. Listings include the week’s ranking and viewership.

1. NFL Football: Kansas City at Pittsburgh, NBC, 18.06 million.

2. “NCIS,” CBS, 15.52 million.

3. “Sunday Night NFL Pre-kick,” NBC, 15.36 million.

4. “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 14.24 million.

5. “Bull,” CBS, 13.62 million.

6. “Decision ‘16” Presidential Debate Analysis, NBC, 12.76 million.

7. “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 12.09 million.

8. “The Voice” (Monday), NBC, 11.75 million.

9. “The OT,” Fox, 11.56 million.

10. Presidential Debate, Fox News Channel, 11.43 million.

11. “NCIS: Los Angeles,” CBS, 11.39 million.

12. “Football Night in America,” NBC, 10.91 million.

13. “Dancing with the Stars,” ABC, 10.83 million.

14. “NCIS: New Orleans,” CBS, 10.76 million.

15. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 10.70 million.

16. “Kevin Can Wait,” CBS, 10.63 million.

17. “Blue Bloods,” CBS, 10.56 million.

18. Presidential Debate Analysis, Fox News Channel, 9.98 million.

19. Presidential Debate, CNN, 9.96 million.

20. “Hawaii Five-O,” CBS, 9.73 million.