Thursday, May 24, 2018
  • Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017
Nielsen Week In Review; Lauer's Firing Boosts Ratings For "Today"
This Nov. 8, 2017 photo released by NBC shows Matt Lauer on the set of the "Today" show in New York. (Nathan Congleton/NBC via AP)
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While surely a week NBC wouldn’t want to repeat, Matt Lauer’s firing lured viewers to the “Today” show.

The NBC morning show beat ABC “Good Morning America” last week for the first week in three months, the Nielsen company said. “Today” had more viewers than “GMA” every day last week — the first time that has happened since last December.
NBC fired Lauer following a colleague’s charge of an inappropriate relationship that began in 2014, and since then other women have come forward to charge him with impropriety. Viewers were told of his dismissal at the top of last Wednesday’s show.

“Today” viewership shot up from 4.2 million on Tuesday to 5.7 million on Wednesday, Nielsen said. The show had 5.2 million viewers for Thursday’s show, during which Lauer issued a statement about his behavior.

Oddly enough, the Lauer story appeared to help NBC News in the evening, too. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 10.5 million viewers on Wednesday, when Lauer’s firing was the lead story, and its advantage that night helped NBC beat ABC’s “World News Tonight” for the week.

The Carol Burnett 50th anniversary show was a big winner for CBS on Sunday night, reaching 15.4 million viewers. Only a couple of NFL games exceeded that.

NBC won the week in primetime, averaging 9.3 million viewers. CBS had 7.7 million, Fox had 5.4 million, ABC had 4.8 million, the CW had 1.8 million, Univision had 1.6 million, ION Television had 1.3 million and Telemundo had 1.1 million.

Fox News Channel was the week’s most popular cable network, averaging 2.41 million viewers. Hallmark continued its holiday surge with 2.29 million, ESPN had 2.15 million, MSNBC had 1.91 million and Freeform had 1.5 million.

NBC’s “Nightly News” averaged 9.15 million viewers for the week, ABC’s “World News Tonight” was second with 9.11 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.9 million viewers.

Below are primetime viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Nov. 27-Dec. 3. Listings include the week’s ranking and viewership.

1. NFL Football: Philadelphia at Seattle, NBC, 19.69 million.
2. NFL Football: Washington at Dallas, NBC, 15.6 million.
3. “Carol Burnett 50th Anniversary Special,” CBS, 15.36 million.
4. “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 13.84 million.
5. “Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick,” NBC, 13.82 million.
6. College Football: Ohio St. vs Wisconsin, Fox, 12.92 million.
7. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 12.11 million.
8. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 11.46 million.
9. “This is Us,” NBC, 10.94 million.
10. “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 10.6 million.
11. “The OT,” Fox, 10.19 million.
12. “Football Night in America, Part 3,” NBC, 9.71 million.
13. “The Voice” (Monday), NBC, 9.6 million.
14. “Big 10 Championship Pregame,” Fox, 9.254 million.
15. “The Good Doctor,” ABC, 9.25 million.
16. “Christmas in Rockefeller Center,” NBC, 9.03 million.
17. “Blue Bloods,” CBS, 8.86 million.
18. “Thursday Night NFL Pre-Kick,” NBC, 8.82 million.
19. “Mom,” CBS, 8.6 million.
20. “Hawaii Five-0,” CBS, 8.58 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.