Most Watched TV Shows in 2019-2020: Winners and Losers
You will be released if you didn’t even notice that the TV season 2019-2020 ended on Wednesday night; With the world closing and the pandemic dramatically changing the look and feel of the times in recent weeks, everything looks a little wrong. But the season ended with an old-fashioned big screening event: the 3rd season finale of the series “The Masked Singer,” a show that almost seemed to end in another era.
“Disguised Singer” began the latest season on Fox’s Super Bowl on February 2; when it ended 18 weeks later, the world looked quite different. However, the “ Disguised Singer ” remained a force: although the post-Super Bowl special group was not involved, the competition series is easily this year’s most prized entertainment series among 18-49 year olds.
Meanwhile, on the spectator side of the audience, when “The Big Bang Theory” retired, another CBS rivet gets back the crown for the most watched entertainment series: “NCIS,” now in its 17th season, is at the top of 15.3 million viewers.
Of course, after all, NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football’ once again dominated in every way – both adults 18-49 (6.0 rating) and prevalence (20 million). Nothing else comes close. That’s why the NFL – and the networks – are so eager to play sports and run in the fall.
As we’ve written before, reviews aren’t just as critical as they were in the past given to the many ways people now use content – and the long tail of this consumption. However, they are still the most common way to compare the linear performance of performances on both Broadcast and cable.
Here’s a final look at some of the hits and failures of 2019-2020, followed by a complete list of the 100 most watched shows of the season, both by adults 18-49 and viewers, using the latest live + 7 reviews (inclusive) of 7 days of DVR and video on demand -for use).
Fox: Not a bad first year now for the independent Fox network. Yes, the Super Bowl has helped a lot, and so has Thursday night football. But that was the thing, right? Fox’s strategy, now detached from 20th-century Fox property, was to rethink what it’s like to be a broadcast network at a time when the broadcast network is hard to be. And thanks to sports and a network-owned and disguised singer, it’s been a solid season. This is Fox’s first 18-49. Ranked over eight years, it is the only major English-language network to have risen year after year in demos and audience views. (Univision is also one of the largest Spanish networks.) According to the network, even programming in Hulu is 32% higher year on year. “Disguised Singer” was so hot that its spin-off of “Disguised Singer: After the Mask” also received a higher set of thanks, which is likely to cost ten times to make.
“90-Day Groom”: Before people talked about “Tiger King,” TLC’s “90-Day Groom” franchise won the crown for TV’s most popular guilt pleasure. Three – yes, three! – Several 90-day groom editions reached the top 100 this year, including 90-Day Groom: Before 90 Days, 90-Day Groom: Another Way and Original Series. And if TLC doesn’t have enough to party yet, another of its guilty joys, “Dr.Pimple Popper,” manages to get through the audience list.
Sports: The NFL, of course, dominates as usual, and Sunday night football, Thursday night football, and Monday night football are all at the top of the 18-49 rankings (and with the exception of the creeping “NCIS” series there, including the frequency list). But look at what made the last-minute jump to number 5 on this year’s 18-49 list: ESPN’s Michael Jordan documentary series The Last Dance. It gave ESPN two sets in the top five, making it an easy-to-dominate cable on the map. Maybe a block for ESPN at this point as it tries to figure out how to program a sports network in a country where there is no sport.
Dick Wolf: Everything comes from Dick Wolf. His “FBI: Most Wanted” is the most-watched new series of the season, covering four of the eight most-watched scripted series at their best. His three “Chicago” shows for NBC and two “FBI” shows for CBS are still enduring franchise programs.
Comedy: It’s hard for cowards. CBS’s young Sheldon is first and foremost a comedy, with 11.4 million viewers in ninth – up from 14.6 million the previous year. There are only five comedies among the top 2 + 50.