‘Big Bang Theory,’ ‘This Is Us’ are ratings hits
The No. 1 show of the just-ended TV season was canceled, but how did the rest of TV fare?
Nielsen data for the full 2017-18 season, out this week, shows that “Roseanne” was the No. 1 series, with a final average of 20 million viewers, but its nine-episode first revival season was also its last.
The figures include seven-day delayed viewing on DVRs or cable on demand services, though not streaming sites. And they reveal that, for the official broadcast season that ended May 22, other top series had mixed results. “The Big Bang Theory” managed to hold steady in its 11th season, bucking the trend for aging series. And NBC’s “This Is Us,” gaining momentum (and a postSuper Bowl boost), added 2 million viewers from its first season to finish as TV’s top drama, outpacing “NCIS,” with an average of 17.4 million.
Two more freshman series, ABC’s “The Good Doctor” and CBS’ “Big Bang” spin-off “Young Sheldon,” also finished in the 2017-18 season’s top 10, a boost for hit-starved network TV.
Among adults ages 18 to 49, the preferred metric for advertisers, Fox’s “91-1” was a breakout hit, and the network’s “The Gifted” and “The Orville” had solid first seasons. Onetime smash “Empire” continued its freefall, shedding 3 million viewers, or 27 percent of its audience, since last season. And ABC’s “Designated Survivor,” since canceled, plunged 3.7 million, or 31 percent.
AMC’s “The Walking Dead” also kept dropping viewers like zombies, though it remained (by far) the top show on cable, and among young adults still ranked third on TV behind only “Roseanne” and “This Is Us.” Newcomers “The Alienist” (on TNT) and TBS comedy “The Last O.G.” had strong starts.
HBO’s top series was “Westworld,” although its 2.8 million viewers (excluding streaming) pales next to “Game of Thrones,” which did not air during the broadcast season. And FX’s Gianni Versace edition of “American Crime Story” couldn’t come close to matching its 2016 chapter on O.J. Simpson’s murder trial.
Showtime’s top series was “Shameless” (2.8 million), in its eighth season, and “Outlander” was tops on Starz with 2.3 million in its third.
And after 21 seasons, Comedy Central’s “South Park” remains a force, ranking fourth among young adults across all cable series.
CBS narrowly won the broadcast ratings race for the 10th consecutive year, despite NBC’s airing of the Winter Olympics and Super Bowl. But NBC claimed the top prize among youngadult viewers for the second year in a row.
“Roseanne” was the top-rated show, but it’s been canceled.
Iain Armitage as Sheldon on “Young Sheldon.”