HOLLYWOOD (CNS) - The premiere of the CBS drama “CSI: Cyber” won its time slot, averaging more viewers than the “Criminal Minds” episode it followed, while “American Crime” also won its time slot and drew the largest audience for a Thursday ABC midseason drama premiere in nearly three years.
“CSI: Cyber” averaged 10.46 million viewers, winning its Wednesday 10-11 p.m. time slot and finishing 12th among the prime-time broadcast and cable programs airing between March 2 and Sunday, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen today.
“CSI: Cyber” had the week’s second-largest audience among 10 p.m. dramas, behind CBS’ “Blue Bloods.” The premiere accomplished the rare feat of averaging more viewers than the program preceding it, “Criminal Minds,” which finished 13th for the week with 10.37 million viewers.
“American Crime” won its Thursday 10-11 p.m. slot and was 26th for the week, averaging 8.37 million viewers, the most for the premiere of an ABC Thursday midseason drama premiere since March 2012, when “Missing” averaged 10.6 million viewers.
“American Crime” retained 87.5 percent of the audience of “Scandal,” which averaged 9.57 million viewers. The number of viewers a program retains from the preceding program is among the factors network executives consider when deciding whether to renew a series.
“American Crime” drew the week’s second-largest audience of viewers ages 18-49 for a 10 p.m. program on broadcast television, behind NBC’s
“Chicago Fire.” The group is targeted by ABC, Fox and NBC and coveted by advertisers because it watches less television and is harder to reach.
CBS was the most-watched network for the 18th time in the prime-time television season’s 24 weeks, averaging 8.59 million viewers, followed by NBC (7.03 million), ABC (6.18 million) and Fox (4.78 million).
CBS had 12 of the week’s 16 most-watched programs, topped by `The Big Bang Theory,” which averaged a season-high 18.17 million viewers to become the first comedy series episode this season to top the weekly ratings.
“Empire” became the first scripted series to increase viewership for each of its first eight episodes following its premiere. The Fox hip-hop drama averaged 14.33 million viewers, finishing fifth for the week.
NBC finished first among viewers ages 18-49. “Empire” was the most-watched broadcast program among the group for the second consecutive week, followed by “The Big Bang Theory,” the Tuesday and Monday episodes of the NBC singing competition “The Voice,” and the ABC comedy “Modern Family.”
Figures for cable programs were not available.
The AMC horror drama “The Walking Dead” was the most-watched cable program for the fifth consecutive week, averaging 14.53 million viewers, putting it fourth overall. The AMC talk show “The Talking Dead” averaged 5.73 million, the week’s only other cable program to average more than 5 million viewers.
Fox News Channel was the week’s most-watched cable network, averaging 1.882 million viewers, followed by TBS (1.824 million), USA (1.785 million), AMC (1.775 million) and Disney Channel (1.773 million).
The week’s most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program was the Monday episode of the Unvision telenovela “Mi Corazon Es Tuyo,” which averaged 3.79 million viewers, 73rd overall.
As usual, Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network, averaging 3.02 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 1.23 million, followed by UniMas (540,000), Estrella TV (240,000), MundoFox (200,000) and Azteca America (140,000).
NBC had the most-watched network nightly newscast, averaging 9.74 million viewers, followed by ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” (9.25 million) and the “CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley” (7.65 million).
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory”; the Tuesday and Monday episodes of NBC’s “The Voice”; AMC’s “The Walking Dead”; Fox’s “Empire”; and CBS’ “The Odd Couple,” “BlueBloods,” “Madam Secretary,” “NCIS” and the 9 p.m. Thursday rerun of “The Big Bang Theory.”