NBC Wins Premiere Week Ratings by Largest Margin in History

On a percentage basis, at least — and the same can be said about its total-viewer victory

NBC/Getty/NBC

NBC didn’t just win Fall TV Premiere Week (Sept. 20-26, 2021) in ratings and in total viewers — it obliterated the competition.

With a 57% advantage in the key demo (adults 18-49) ratings over No. 2 and a 49% margin in total viewers, NBC just set a new record for the widest gaps between any first and any second place broadcast network in measurement history. (Here, 1988 is excluded due to the Winter Olympics.)

“This is an incredible coup, particularly on the heels of NBC’s recent victory in the 52-week season, and we are excited to continue this momentum as we look toward holiday programming, midseason and beyond,” NBCUniversal Chairman Frances Berwick and its television and streaming entertainment content Chairman Susan Rovner said in a joint statement on Tuesday. “With these accolades coming almost exactly a year after the company’s restructure, these wins are a testament to the hard work, commitment and ingenuity of the entire entertainment team as well as all of our creative partners.”

Adults 18-49:
NBC: 1.3
FOX: 0.8
ABC: 0.6
Fox: 0.6

Total Viewers:
NBC: 6.6 million
CBS: 4.4 million
Fox: 3.5 million
ABC: 3.0 million

Don’t make the mistake of hanging all of this on “Sunday Night Football,” which is TV’s top show. NBC would still win Premiere Week 2021 outright excluding sports — the first time that’s happened in 20 years. The total-viewerclaim is what normally alludes NBC, which just topped the 18-49 demo in entertainment-only programming for the 10th straight fall premiere week.

NBC had the Top 4 dramas of the week in the main demo: “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Chicago Med” and “Law & Order: SVU.” It also enjoyed some not-immaterial help from two Season 21 premiere nights of hit singing competition “The Voice.”

OK, now we can talk about “Sunday Night Football.” The network’s Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers game drew a whopping 5.6 rating among adults 18-49 and 19.7 million total viewers (people 2 and older).

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