NFL, Capitol Insurrection Lead 3-Day Ratings for Week 16

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Live events dominate Nielsen's three-day ratings for the week of Jan. 4-10, with a pair of NFL playoff games and news coverage of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol capturing the top spots.

Even though sports and news telecasts don't typically benefit much from delayed viewing, the NFL contests and news coverage, especially on Wednesday, drew such large initial audiences that they outdistanced most entertainment programs.

NBC's broadcast of the NFL wild card game between the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers tops the primetime charts in both adults 18-49 (7.37 rating) and total viewers (25.01 million). A Saturday game (Tampa Bay-Washington) finished second in both measures (6.0 in 18-49, 21.62 million viewers).

News coverage of the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 occupied six spots in the top 20. CNN's Cuomo Prime Time had the highest 18-49 rating (2.17) that night, while Anderson Cooper 36 (8.87 million viewers) drew the largest total audience.

NBC's This Is Us had the highest demo rating of any entertainment show at 1.76. CBS' Blue Bloods scored the largest viewership for entertainment programming at just under 10 million. The two shows also posted the biggest three-day gains in those two measures.

The top 20 primetime shows (including ties) in Nielsen's three-day ratings for Jan. 4-10 are below.

Adults 18-49

Show Network Live +3
18-49 rating
Change vs.
live + SD
% change vs. live + SD
NFL Wild Card - Sun. NBC 7.37 0.01 --
NFL Wild Card - Sat. NBC 6.0 0.01 --
60 Minutes CBS 2.22 0.11 5%
Cuomo Prime Time - Weds. CNN 2.17 0.0 --
Anderson Cooper 360 - Weds. CNN 2.14 0.0 --
CNN Tonight - Weds. CNN 1.98 0.0 --
This Is us NBC 1.77 0.76 80%
The Bachelor ABC 1.66 0.31 31%
Special Coverage - Weds. MSNBC 1.34 0.01 --
Celebrity Wheel of Fortune ABC 1.3 0.15 8%
The Rachel Maddow Show - Weds. MSNBC 1.21 0.01 --
Law & Order: SVU NBC 1.19 0.53 71%
The Chase ABC 1.1 0.15 22%
Last Word w/Lawrence O'Donnell - Weds. MSNBC 1.1 0.0 --
Anderson Cooper 360 - Thurs. CNN 1.05 0.0 --
Call Me Kat FOX 1.03 0.34 43%
Shark Tank ABC 1.02 0.21 25%
Hell's Kitchen FOX 1.01 0.24 25%
The Masked Dancer - Sat. FOX 0.99 0.0 --
The Neighborhood CBS 0.99 0.2 25%
Cuomo Prime Time - Thurs. CNN 0.99 0.0 --

Total Viewers

Show Network Live +3
viewers (000s)
Change vs.
live + SD
% change vs. live + SD
NFL Wild Card - Sun. NBC 25,012 122 0%
NFL Wild Card - Sat. NBC 21,615 135 1%
60 Minutes CBS 15,579 758 5%
Blue Bloods CBS 9,560 2,991 46%
Anderson Cooper 360 - Weds. CNN 8,871 4 --
Cuomo Prime Time - Weds. CNN 8,819 34 --
Celebrity Wheel of Fortune ABC 8,734 585 7%
Special Coverage - Weds. MSNBC 8,505 18 --
Bull CBS 8,448 2,820 50%
This Is Us NBC 8,075 2,869 55%
The Rachel Maddow Show - Weds. MSNBC 7,827 57 1%
CNN Tonight - Weds. CNN 7,819 18 --
NCIS: Los Angeles CBS 7,536 1,637 28%
Magnum P.I. CBS 7,493 1,621 28%
The Chase ABC 7,254 769 12%
The Neighborhood CBS 7,179 970 16%
Last Word w/Lawrence O'Donnell - Weds. MSNBC 6,797 8 --
NCIS: New Orleans CBS 6,605 1,931 41%
Bob Hearts Abishola CBS 6,552 922 16%
Mr. Mayor - 8 p.m. NBC 6,352 1,306 26%