NEW YORK, N.Y. – Thanksgiving week left NBC with, well, a lot to be thankful for.
Behind two sizzling football games, the network won the Nielsen company’s weekly prime-time crown for the first time this television season. NBC frequently won during the summer, but the last time it won during the traditional TV season came on Super Bowl week last winter, Nielsen said.
The Thanksgiving night game between Chicago and Green Bay drew 27.8 million viewers, the biggest audience for a night game on the holiday in the decade NBC has been showing them.
With Denver toppling previously unbeaten New England on Sunday night, the game was seen by more than 25 million people, Nielsen said.
Nielsen does not immediately have an estimate of how many people watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC Thanksgiving. But based on the overnight estimate in big cities, NBC said the parade was likely seen by more people than any prime-time entertainment show this season.
NBC averaged 10.9 million viewers in prime time. CBS was second with 9.1 million, ABC had 6 million, Fox had 3.8 million, Univision had 1.8 million, Telemundo had 1.4 million, the CW had 1.31 million and ION Television had 1.26 million.
ESPN was the most popular cable network, averaging 3.3 million viewers in prime time. Hallmark had 2.53 million, AMC had 2 million, the Disney Channel had 1.72 million and USA had 1.61 million.
NBC’s “Nightly News” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.9 million viewers. ABC’s “World News Tonight” had 9.7 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 8 million.
For the week of Nov. 23-29, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Football: Chicago at Green Bay, NBC, 27.75 million; NFL Football: New England at Denver, NBC, 25.19 million; “Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick,” NBC, 17.86 million; “Thanksgiving Night NFL Pre-Kick,” NBC, 17.38 million; “NCIS,” CBS, 16.19 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 14.33 million; NFL Football: Buffalo at New England, ESPN, 14.26 million; “The Walking Dead,” AMC, 13.98 million; “Dancing With the Stars” (Tuesday), ABC, 13.49 million; “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC, 13.29 million.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.