Breaking Records: NCIS Dominates 2023 as Most-Watched Primetime Show!

Network television is far from dead, especially with popular shows like “NCIS” and football games dominating primetime telecasts. According to Variety’s list of the 100 most-watched primetime telecasts of 2023, the Super Bowl claimed the top spot, while football games dominated 26 of the top 30 slots. Among scripted series, “NCIS” stood out, with 10 episodes making it onto the top 100 list, accumulating a total of 100,391,000 viewers.

The highest-ranking episode of “NCIS” Season 20 on the list was Episode 10, titled “Too Many Cooks,” which secured the 55th spot with 11.25 million viewers. This episode was part of a significant crossover event with “NCIS: Los Angeles” and “NCIS: Hawai’i,” likely attracting additional viewers eager to stay connected with the “NCIS” universe.

Other notable “NCIS” Season 20 episodes on the list include “Big Rig,” “Butterfly Effect,” “Evil Eye,” and “Unusual Suspects.” Despite the departure of series lead Mark Harmon (Special Agent Gibbs) after Season 19, the show’s continued success in 2023 indicates sustained viewer interest in the franchise.

CBS emerged as a dominant force, securing 39 entries on the list, mainly from scripted shows. Apart from “NCIS,” other CBS programs such as “Fire Country,” “FBI,” “Young Sheldon,” and “Blue Bloods” earned spots. Notably, CBS benefited from strategically placing shows after high-profile football games, with “Fire Country” gaining over 12 million viewers for the episode “Two Pink Lines” following the AFC championship game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals.

“Blue Bloods,” entering its final season, also made a strong showing, with five episodes ranking in the top 100. The enduring popularity of “NCIS” and the continued success of CBS programs suggest that network television remains a formidable force, drawing in audiences even after the conclusion of major sporting events. As “Blue Bloods” concludes its run, and with the likelihood of “NCIS” staying a TV staple, CBS seems poised for ongoing success in the future.

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