NEW YORK — The CBS crime series “Instinct” finished first last week in what seems like a race to the bottom.
It was the 20th most-watched program on the Nielsen company’s weekly list, and the only comedy or drama scripted series to make the Top 20. There were no scripted series that were among the 40 most popular cable programs last week, either.
That’s a reflection of the time of year and changing viewing habits. Broadcast networks rarely bother with scripted series when viewership is down over the summer. Cable doesn’t have much, either, and with streaming services getting people in the habit of choosing to watch TV on their own time, there are few series on that people rush to watch when it first airs.
CBS used to thrive on reruns in the summer. But only two reruns last week, “Blue Bloods” and “Bull,” were seen by more than three million people.
Without scripted series, Nielsen’s Top 20 last week was crowded with game shows and, in the wake of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony before the House, five of Fox News Channel’s prime time programs.
NBC won the week in prime time, averaging 3.4 million viewers. ABC had 3.1 million, CBS had 2.8 million, Fox had 1.6 million, ION Television had 1.5 million, Telemundo had 1.2 million, Univision had 1 million and the CW had 600,000.
Fox News Channel was the week’s most popular cable network, averaging 2.73 million viewers. MSNBC had 1.54 million, HGTV had 1.27 million, Hallmark had 1.26 million and USA had 1.2 million.
ABC’s “World News Tonight” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” was second with 7 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 4.7 million.
For the week of July 22-28, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: “America’s Got Talent,” NBC, 10.13 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 6.81 million; “The Bachelorette,” ABC, 6.62 million; “Celebrity Family Feud,” ABC, 5.62 million; “The $100,000 Pyramid,” ABC, 4.81 million; “Hannity” (Wednesday), Fox News, 4.77 million; “American Ninja Warrior,” NBC, 4.74 million; “Bring the Funny,” NBC, 4.33 million; “Big Brother” (Sunday), CBS, 4.302 million; “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Wednesday), Fox News, 4.3 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.
David Bauder, The Associated Press