NEW YORK (AP) — There’s only one television show that can stand atop the weekly ratings and say it did the same thing more than 40 years ago.
That’s CBS’ venerable newsmagazine “60 Minutes,” which was the week’s most popular show with an episode that led with Dr. Jon LaPook talking about the coronavirus outbreak, the Nielsen company said. It was the show’s first time in the top spot this television season.
“60 Minutes” would have to dust off the history books to find the first week it was ever television’s top-rated show. The newsmagazine finished as the top show for the entire TV season in 1979-80, back in its heyday with Mike Wallace and Morley Safer.
The vast majority of people recover from the new virus, but for some, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.
The Nielsen ratings were delayed for a day due to some unexpected problems checking the accuracy of data, Nielsen said.
CBS won the week in prime time, averaging 5 million viewers. ABC had 4.4 million viewers, NBC had 4.1 million, Fox had 2.8 million, Univision had 1.4 million, ION Television had 1.3 million, Telemundo had 1.1 million and the CW had 600,000.
News was dominant in cable again last week, claiming 38 of the 40 most-watched programs. “Curse of Oak Island” on History and an episode of “90 Day Fiancee” on TLC were the only exceptions.
Fox News Channel led all cable networks with an average of 3.18 million viewers in prime time, MSNBC had 2.05 million viewers, CNN had 1.33 million, HGTV had 1.15 million and Discovery had 1.12 million.
ABC’s “World News Tonight” won the evening news ratings race, averaging 9.1 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 8 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 6 million.
Nielsen’s top 20 shows last week, their network and viewerships: