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NFL Dominates 2018 Primetime TV Ratings 18 of top 26 shows

NFL Dominates 2018 Primetime TV Ratings 18 of top 26 shows

12/31/2018
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Live sports, and in particular NFL broadcasts, dominate the rankings, as they usually do.

The NFL rebounded some in 2018 from its ratings declines of the prior two years, and that's reflected in the list of top primetime telecasts for the year. 

With final ratings yet to come for the last few days of the year, NFL telecasts make up 32 of the 100 most-watched primetime programs of 2018 and 47 of the top 100 shows among adults 18-49 — including 31 of the top 50. Sports broadcasts (including the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics) taken as a whole represent more than two-thirds of the top 100 in viewers and more than 80 percent of the top 100 in the 18-49 demo.

That's just primetime, too. If the lists below included all dayparts, even more NFL broadcasts would crowd out some of the scripted series near the bottom of the lists.

Here are the top 100 primetime programs of 2018 (all numbers are live plus same-day). These lists will be updated when numbers for the final few days of the year are available.

 

Total Viewers

 

 

Rank Show Network Airdate
Total viewers (millions)
1 Super Bowl LII NBC Feb. 4 103.39
2 NFC Championship Fox Jan. 21 42.30
3 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony NBC Feb. 9 27.84
4 College Football Playoff Championship ESPN Jan. 8 27.38
5 This Is Us NBC Feb. 4 26.97
6 NFL Divisional Playoff CBS Jan. 13 26.69
7 The Oscars ABC March 4 26.54
8 Sunday Night Football NBC Nov. 4 23.68
9 NFL Wild Card NBC Jan. 6 22.82
10 Winter Olympics NBC Feb. 11 22.69
11 Sunday Night Football NBC Sept. 9 22.12
12 60 Minutes CBS March 25 22.11
13 NFL Special NBC Nov. 22 21.73
14 Winter Olympics NBC Feb. 10 21.39
  Thursday Night Football Fox Nov. 29 21.39
16 Sunday Night Football NBC Oct. 14 21.11
17 Sunday Night Football NBC Sept. 16 20.66
18 Winter Olympics NBC Feb. 13 20.53
19 Sunday Night Football NBC Nov. 25 20.44
20 Winter Olympics NBC Feb. 12 20.33
21 Sunday Night Football NBC Nov. 11 20.10
22 Grammy Awards CBS Jan. 28 19.80
23 Sunday Night Football NBC Dec. 23 19.57
24 Sunday Night Football NBC Sept. 23 19.46
25 Sunday Night Football NBC Dec. 9 19.39
26 NFL Kickoff Game NBC Sept. 6 19.03
27 Golden Globe Awards NBC Jan. 7 19.01
28 Sunday Night Football NBC Nov. 18 18.84
29 Sunday Night Football NBC Oct. 7 18.59
30 NBA Finals Game 2 ABC June 3 18.47
31 Roseanne ABC March 27 18.45
32 Sunday Night Football NBC Dec. 16 18.12
33 NBA Finals Game 3 ABC June 6 17.94
34 Sunday Night Football NBC Sept. 30 17.92
35 Sunday Night Football NBC Dec. 2 17.83
36 NBA Finals Game 1 ABC May 31 17.67
37 World Series Game 5 Fox Oct. 28 17.63
38 Winter Olympics NBC Feb. 20 17.53
39 Thursday Night Football Fox Dec. 13 17.41
40 Winter Olympics NBC Feb. 14 17.08
41 Thursday Night Football Fox Nov. 15 16.89
42 Monday Night Football ESPN Nov. 19 16.61
43 Winter Olympics NBC Feb. 16 16.59
44 Winter Olympics NBC Feb. 18 16.38
45 Winter Olympics NBC Feb. 19 16.34
46 NBA Finals Game 4 ABC June 8 16.24
47 Winter Olympics NBC Feb. 15 16.22
48 The Big Bang Theory CBS Jan. 4 16.16
49 Sunday Night Football NBC Oct. 21 16.02
50 Winter Olympics NBC Feb. 8 16.00
51 The Big Bang Theory CBS Jan. 11 15.93
52 The Big Bang Theory CBS May 10 15.52
53 Roseanne ABC April 3 15.40
54 Winter Olympics NBC Feb. 22 15.25
55 NCIS CBS May 8 15.09
56 The Big Bang Theory CBS Jan. 18 14.93
57 NBA West Finals Game 7 TNT May 28 14.81
58 Thursday Night Football Fox Nov. 8 14.80
59 Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony NBC Feb. 25 14.78
60 Thursday Night Football Fox Oct. 11 14.76
61 Young Sheldon CBS Jan. 4 14.70
  The Big Bang Theory CBS Feb. 1 14.70
63 60 Minutes CBS Dec. 16 14.55
64 Winter Olympics NBC Feb. 17 14.52
65 Thursday Night Football Fox Sept. 27 14.51
66 NCIS CBS Jan. 9 14.24
67 Young Sheldon CBS Jan. 11 14.17
  Winter Olympics NBC Feb. 21 14.17
69 NCIS CBS Jan. 2 14.11
70 Sunday Night Football NBC Oct. 28 14.09
71 60 Minutes CBS Oct. 21 14.07
72 NCIS CBS Jan. 23 13.97
73 NCIS CBS Feb. 6 13.90
74 The Big Bang Theory CBS March 8 13.88
75 World Series Game 1 Fox Oct. 23 13.81
76 Roseanne ABC April 10 13.77
77 The Big Bang Theory CBS March 1 13.76
78 World Series Game 4 Fox Oct. 27 13.56
79 60 Minutes CBS Sept. 30 13.54
80 World Series Game 2 Fox Oct. 24 13.51
81 Young Sheldon CBS Jan. 18 13.33
82 NBA East Finals Game 7 ESPN May 27 13.31
83 NCAA Men's Championship TBS April 2 13.28
84 NCIS CBS March 13 13.27
85 The Big Bang Theory CBS March 29 13.27
  Roseanne ABC April 17 13.27
  Thursday Night Football Fox Oct. 4 13.27
88 World Series Game 3 Fox Oct. 26 13.25
89 Monday Night Football ESPN Oct. 1 13.21
90 Monday Night Football ESPN Dec. 17 13.01
91 The Big Bang Theory CBS April 5 13.00
  The Big Bang Theory CBS Oct. 25 13.00
93 America's Got Talent NBC Sept. 18 12.99
94 60 Minutes CBS Nov. 25 12.96
95 The Big Bang Theory NBC Oct. 11 12.95
96 The Big Bang Theory CBS May 3 12.93
  The Big Bang Theory CBS Sept. 27 12.93
98 Young Sheldon CBS Feb. 1 12.92
  NCIS CBS March 6 12.92
100 The Big Bang Theory CBS April 19 12.91
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