“America’s Got Talent,” Notre Dame Football Top Ratings; Nielsen Week In Review
Notre Dame’s Jafar Armstrong (8) celebrates his 4-yard touchdown run with Brock Wright (89) in the first half of an NCAA football game against Michigan in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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TV viewers are idling away the final weeks of summer the way they started it: with reality programs.

Half of last week’s 20 most-watched programs were unscripted contests, according to Nielsen Co. figures released Wednesday.

The field was topped by NBC’s two episodes of “America’s Got Talent” and the Notre Dame-Michigan football game, helping make the network the most-watched for the ninth consecutive week.

Notre Dame’s prime-time 24-17 victory drew the team’s biggest audience on NBC in 13 years, since a game against University of Southern California in 2005.

Amid a somber week of tributes to the late Sen. John McCain, a rerun of “Saturday Night Live” provided a reminder of the politician’s trademark humor. The episode featuring him as host gave the show its biggest audience in six weeks, NBC said.

NBC won the week in prime-time with an average of 5.1 million viewers. CBS had 3.5 million viewers, ABC had 3.7 million, Fox had 1.7 million, ION Television had 1.4 million, Univision had 1.18 million, Telemundo had 1.17 million and the CW had 780,000.

Fox News Channel led the cable networks with an average of 2.2 million viewers. MSNBC had 1.8 million, USA had 1.36 million, HGTV had 1.3 million, ESPN had 1.2 million, History had 1.06 million and CNN had 1.05 million.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.2 million viewers. The “NBC Nightly News” had 8.1 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.8 million.

Below are primetime viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Aug. 20-26. Listings include the week’s ranking and viewership.

1. “America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday), NBC, 10.78 million.
2. “America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday), NBC, 9.9 million.
3. Notre Dame Football: Michigan at Notre Dame, NBC, 7.1 million.
4. “Sunday Night Kickoff,” ABC, 6.55 million.
5. “American Ninja Warrior,” NBC, 5.86 million.
6. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 5.84 million.
7. “Big Brother” (Wednesday), CBS, 5.78 million.
8. “NCIS,” CBS, 5.74 million.
9. “World of Dance,” NBC, 5.06 million.
10. “Dateline Classic,” NBC, 4.93 million.
11. “Big Brother” (Thursday), CBS, 4.67 million.
12. “Big Brother” (Sunday), CBS, 4.66 million
13. “Bull,” CBS, 4.63 million.
14. “Bachelor in Paradise” (Monday), ABC, 4.62 million.
15. “NCIS: New Orleans,” CBS, 4.55 million.
16. “Saturday Night Football: Louisville vs Alabama,” ABC, 4.54 million.
17. “Bachelor in Paradise (Tuesday),” ABC, 4.16 million.
18. “Mom,” CBS, 3.88 million.
19. “Saturday Night Football Pre-Game,” ABC, 3.79 million
20. “Making It,” NBC, 3.66 million.

ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co.; CBS is a division of CBS Corp.; Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox; NBC is owned by NBC Universal.


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