In a week that customarily has little original scripted programming, the fall season’s final two episodes of “The Voice” were the only entertainment programs to average more than 8 million viewers.
The two-hour concluding portion of the two-part season finale of the NBC singing competition Dec. 18 averaged 9.897 million viewers, sixth among the prime-time broadcast and cable programs airing between Dec. 17 and Sunday, according to live-plus-same day figures released Thursday by Nielsen.
The two-hour first part of the finale averaged 9.49 million, seventh for the week.
Viewership for the finale was down 9.3 percent from the 10.907 million average for the 2017 fall season finale while viewership for the next-to- last episode was down 13.9 percent from the 11.022 million average for the similar episode a year ago.
Viewership for most forms of programming has decreased in recent years, in part because of competition from streaming programs, including streams of the same programs shown on traditional television.
The Seattle Seahawks playoff-clinching 38-31 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” was the week’s most-watched program, averaging 19.567 million viewers, a 28 percent increase over the 15.287 million average for the comparable game last season, the Minnesota Vikings 16-0 victory over the Green Bay Packers which aired on a Saturday.
(There was no prime-time game on the Sunday of the comparable week last year because Christmas Eve fell on a Sunday.)
The New Orleans Saints 12-9 victory over the Carolina Panthers on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” was second for the week, averaging 13.261 million viewers, a 40.2 percent increase over the 9.456 million average for the Week 16 Monday night game in 2017, the Atlanta Falcons 24-21 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The CBS news magazine “60 Minutes” was the most-watched non-NFL program for the second consecutive week, averaging 12.012 million viewers, fourth overall.
Viewership for “60 Minutes” was bolstered in the Eastern and Central time zones by a 57-minute runover of CBS’ afternoon NFL coverage that extended into prime time. The runover averaged 28.8 million viewers.
The runover is not considered a separate program, but is included in the weekly average.
A rerun of the CBS action drama “NCIS,” was the most-watched scripted program, averaging 7.133 million viewers to finish 12th for the week.
NBC was the most-watched network after three consecutive second-place finishes, averaging 6.68 million viewers for its sixth victory in the 13-week- old 2018-19 prime-time television season.
CBS was second after back-to-back first-place finishes, averaging 6.68 million viewers.
ABC was third, averaging 2.98 million viewers. Its most-watched program was “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” which originally aired in 1965 on CBS. It was 22nd for the week, averaging 5.189 million viewers.
With no “Thursday Night Football” game, Fox dropped to fourth among the broadcast networks, averaging 1.72 million viewers for its 16 hours of prime-time programming, trailing four cable networks.
Outside of a five-minute NFL postgame show, its most-watched program was a rerun of “Last Man Standing,” 46th overall, averaging 3.308 million viewers.
NBC broadcast 21 1/2 hours of prime-time programming for ratings purposes, CBS and ABC 22 each.
ESPN was the most-watched cable network, averaging 2.806 million viewers. Hallmark Channel was second, averaging 2.031 million, and MSNBC third, averaging 1.906 million.
The most-watched Spanish-language prime-time program was the Dec. 17 episode of the Univision drama anthology “La Rosa de Guadalupe” which averaged 1.692 million viewers to finish 75th among broadcast programs. Its overall rank was not available.
Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network for the eighth consecutive week, averaging 1.18 million viewers. Telemundo finished second, averaging 1.01 million viewers, followed by Estrella TV, which averaged 260,000, UniMas, which averaged 240,000, and Azteca America, which averaged 90,000.
ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the fourth consecutive week and 55th time in the past 56 weeks, averaging 8.672 million viewers.
The “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” was second, averaging 8.43 million.
The “CBS Evening News” averaged 6.15 million viewers. It has finished third each week since the week of Sept. 25-29, 2006.
The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC’s “Sunday Night Football”; ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”; NBC’s nine-minute “Sunday Night Football” pregame show; CBS’ “60 Minutes”; Fox’s five-minute NFL postgame show; the Tuesday and Monday episodes of NBC’s “The Voice”; the NFL Network’s coverage of the Los Angeles Chargers-Baltimore Ravens game; the 25- minute third segment of NBC’s “Football Night in America”; and CBS’ “Survivor.”