Mueller Report Falls Short In Ratings; Nielsen Week In Review
Without taking questions from reporters about the Mueller report, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk to board Marine One for the short trip to Joint Base Andrews then on to his estate in Palm Beach, Fla., at the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 18, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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Given all the attention it has received over the past two years, the actual release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report wasn’t exactly appointment television viewing.

The ABC, CBS and NBC broadcast networks and the cable’s CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC collectively averaged 12.7 million viewers last Thursday when the redacted report on Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election was put out, the Nielsen company said. Nielsen measured the three cable networks between 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. EDT, and the two separate special reports aired on each of the broadcast networks within that period.

To put that in some perspective, the ABC, CBS and NBC nightly newscasts collectively reached 20.2 million viewers that night — and that was less than the shows averaged for the full week.

When Attorney General William Barr gave his verbal summary of the Mueller report starting at 9:30, viewership on ABC and CBS was lower than typical daytime programming in that hour, Nielsen said.

For the coverage overall until 1 p.m., Fox News Channel led the way with an average of 2.78 million viewers. CBS, whose second special report was shorter than its rivals, averaged 2.52 million. NBC had 2.19 million, ABC had 2.06 million, MSNBC had 2.01 million and CNN had 1.17 million, Nielsen said.

CBS easily won the week in primetime, averaging 6 million viewers. ABC had 4.4 million viewers, NBC had 3.6 million, Fox had 2.5 million, ION Television has 1.3 million, Telemundo had 1.25 million, Univision had 1.17 million and the CW had 840,000.

Fox News Channel was the week’s most popular cable network, averaging 2.41 million viewers in prime time. TNT had 2.2 million, MSNBC had 1.72 million, HGTV had 1.17 million and USA had 1.12 million.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.1 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 7.7 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.7 million.

Below are primetime viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for April 15-21. Listings include the week’s ranking and viewership.

1. “NCIS,” CBS, 11.89 million.
2. “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 11.45 million.
3. “Game of Thrones,” HBO, 10.29 million.
4. “FBI,” CBS, 8.77 million.
5. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 8.47 million.
6. “Survivor,” CBS, 7.9 million.
7. “The Voice” (Monday), NBC, 7.66 million.
8. “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 7.18 million.
9. “American Idol” (Sunday), ABC, 7.114 million.
10. “America Idol” (Monday), ABC, 7.106 million.
11. “Motown 60: A Grammy Celebration,” CBS, 6.86 million.
12. “Life in Pieces,” CBS, 6.74 million.
13. “Bull,” CBS, 6.66 million.
14. “NCIS: New Orleans,” CBS, 6.54 million.
15. “Mom,” CBS
16. “Grey’s Anatomy,” ABC, 6.25 million.
17. “The Neighborhood,” CBS, 5.75 million.
18. “Amazing Race,” CBS, 5.74 million.
19. “911,’ Fox, 5.65 million.
20. “Blue Bloods,” CBS, 5.28 million.

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


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