100 Most-Watched TV Series of 2022-23: This Season’s Winners and Losers

These are indeed the waning days of the scripted basic cable juggernaut. That may be a strange thing to point out when once again, the most-watched entertainment show of the just-completed 2022-2023 TV season was “Yellowstone,” the modern western that airs on Paramount Network. But “Yellowstone” is wrapping up sometime in the next year, and the only other scripted series from a basic cabler to consistently be ranked among TV’s top shows, AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” has already ended its run.

“The Walking Dead,” of course, dominated the season-ender charts for years — even beating football in the 2014-2015 TV season with a whopping 13.2 rating among adults 18-49. But as basic cable is almost completely out of the original scripted series business now (unscripted hits like “Vanderpump Rules” still abound, of course), those brief halcyon days are coming to an end.

For now, Taylor Sheridan can enjoy his moment at the top of the heap. “Yellowstone” ended the season as the only non-sports show to average over 10 million viewers a week — at 11.6 million. (CBS’ “NCIS,” next in line, is just shy of that, at 9.8 million). And it continues to be the only entertainment series to average a 2.0 rating or better among adults 18-49 — the next closest shows are half that. Even sneak linear previews of his new entries “1923” and “Tulsa King” made it on the top 100 of this season’s top series. (They’re not in our charts, however, since only two episodes of each were aired before moving to their Paramount+ streaming home.)

As the TV season ends, CBS took the overall crown for total viewers, averaging 5.9 million (down 5% from last year), while Fox was tops among adults 18-49 with a 1.1 rating. According to CBS, this marks its 15th consecutive win in viewers, a streak that ties its dominance from 1955 to 1970. And Fox, aided this year by the Super Bowl, notes that its +22% margin of victory in the demo is largest for any network since it last broadcast the big game in 2020.

Football, of course, remains the dominant story in broadcast and cable. The most-watched program in primetime continues to be NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” averaging 18 million viewers. Here’s a look at this TV season’s final stats.

WINNERS

“Fire Country”: The year’s hottest new show is appropriately about an elite group of firefighters and the prison release program that assists in extinguishing massive wildfires in Northern California. Max Thieriot stars in the show, from Jerry Bruckheimer, and created it with Tony Phelan and Joan Rater. The CBS drama is the season’s No. 1 new drama in total viewers (8.3 million) and adults 18-49 (0.8).

Amazon: In a first, this year’s series ranker includes one program found on streaming: Amazon Prime Video’s “Thursday Night Football,” which is the No. 6 show of the year in total viewers, and No. 2 in adults 18-49. That’s due to a deal Amazon struck with Nielsen to measure “Thursday Night Football,” which is part of the same panel measurement that is used for all national TV ratings. The “TNF” number includes Prime Video viewing, as well as local over-the-air stations in the markets of the teams playing.

Broadcast sitcoms: Wait, this can still happen? There are shows actually improving on their year-to-year ratings? In the 2020s? It’s true — and in this case, they’re comedies! The year’s most-watched half-hour is “Young Sheldon,” which averaged 9.3 million viewers (up from 9.2 million last year). And breakout hit “Ghosts” continues to spook up stellar ratings, with 9.1 million viewers, a leap from 8.4 million last year. Other comedies on the rise include ABC’s “The Conners” (5 million from 4.8 million) and “Abbott Elementary” (3.9 million, from 3.8 million).

LOSERS

“East New York”: It’s the tough truth of being on CBS: Even its canceled dramas do better than many of its rivals’ best shows. And so went “East New York,” axed by the Eye net this May despite averaging 6.8 million viewers and a 0.6 rating. Despite ending the season in a solid No. 24 slot, CBS said “fuggedaboutit” to “East New York” after one season.

Anything premium not “House of the Dragon”: Pay networks are available in a fraction of U.S. TV homes — and these days, most of those shows are probably watched on streaming anyway. That’s why it’s impressive that HBO’s “House of the Dragon” made the full season ranker, averaging 2.7 million viewers in linear alone. But it was also the only premium cable series to make the grade.

TOP 100 SHOWS OF 2022-23, TOTAL VIEWERS

America’s most-watched series of the 2022-2023 season are …

Rank Title (Network) VIEWERS (000)
1. NFL Sunday Night Football (NBC) 18,136
2. Yellowstone (Paramount Network) 11,550
3. NFL Monday Night Football (ESPN) 10,138
4. NCIS (CBS) 9,833
5. FBI (CBS) 9,524
6. NFL Thursday Night Football (Amazon) 9,446
7. Young Sheldon (CBS) 9,287
8. Chicago Fire (NBC) 9,253
9. Blue Bloods (CBS) 9,242
10. Ghosts (CBS) 9,085
11. 60 Minutes (CBS) 8,805
12. Chicago Med (NBC) 8,486
13. The Equalizer (CBS) 8,286
14. Chicago PD (NBC) 8,272
15. Fire Country (CBS) 8,252
16. FBI: Most Wanted (CBS) 8,006
17. FBI: International (CBS) 7,726
18. NCIS: Hawai’i (CBS) 7,507
19. The Voice — Monday (NBC) 7,306
20. The Voice —Tuesday (NBC) 7,213
21. 9-1-1 (Fox) 7,092
22. Law & Order: SVU (NBC) 6,873
23. American Idol (ABC) 6,798
24. East New York (CBS) 6,791
25. Survivor (CBS) 6,714
26. S.W.A.T. (CBS) 6,681
27. The Rookie (ABC) 6,484
28. The Neighborhood (CBS) 6,456
29. So Help Me Todd (CBS) 6,378
30. Jeopardy! Masters (ABC) 6,359
31. The Good Doctor (ABC) 6,236
32. NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) 6,152
33. Bob Hearts Abishola (CBS) 6,107
34. American Idol — Monday (ABC) 6,063
35. NBA Playoffs: Conference Semis (ESPN) 6,014
36. Will Trent (ABC) 5,989
37. Law & Order (NBC) 5,867
38. 9-1-1: Lone Star (Fox) 5,646
39. CSI: Vegas (CBS) 5,640
40. AGT All Stars (NBC) 5,499
41. Law & Order: Organized Crime (NBC) 5,390
42. NBA Playoffs: Round 2 (TNT) 5,309
43. Station 19 (ABC) 5,215
44. Night Court  (NBC) 5,209
45. The Masked Singer (Fox) 5,142
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) 5,142
47. New Amsterdam (NBC) 5,118
48. The Price is Right at Night (CBS) 4,966
49. The Conners (ABC) 4,964
50. Big Sky (ABC) 4,818
51. La Brea (NBC) 4,758
52. The Amazing Race (CBS) 4,647
53. America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC) 4,619
54. The Resident (Fox) 4,396
55. The Rookie: Feds (ABC) 4,310
56. Celebrity Jeopardy! (ABC) 4,304
57. Shark Tank (ABC) 4,275
58. Saturday Night Football (ABC) 4,020
59. Abbott Elementary (ABC) 3,947
60. Accused (Fox) 3,936
61. Celebrity Wheel of Fortune (ABC) 3,921
62. Quantum Leap (NBC) 3,892
63. 20/20 (ABC) 3,873
64. Alert: MPU (Fox) 3,787
The Bachelor (ABC) 3,787
66. Next Level Chef (Fox) 3,699
67. A Million Little Things (ABC) 3,671
68. Dateline-Friday (NBC) 3,600
69. NBA Playoffs Round 1 (TNT) 3,597
70. The Cleaning Lady (Fox) 3,494
71. Not Dead Yet (ABC) 3,352
72. College Football Pac12 Prime (Fox) 3,228
73. That’s My Jam (NBC) 3,225
74. MLB NL Division Series L (FS1) 3,207
75. The Goldbergs (ABC) 3,115
76. Bachelor in Paradise — Tuesday (ABC) 3,045
77. Hell’s Kitchen (Fox) 2,948
78. Bachelor in Paradise — Monday (ABC) 2,942
79. Home Economics (ABC) 2,923
80. NBA Saturday Primetime (ABC) 2,847
81. House of the Dragon (HBO) 2,717
82. Special Forces (Fox) 2,692
83. WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Fox) 2,594
84. Sister Wives (TLC) 2,575
85. The Walking Dead (AMC) 2,493
86. 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After: Tell All: No Limits (TLC) 2,394
87. Lego Masters (Fox) 2,246
88. College Football Prime L (ESPN) 2,177
89. 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After (TLC) 2,171
90. The Simpsons (Fox) 2,089
91. WWE Monday Night Raw (USA) 2,059
92. Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (Bravo) 1,975
93. Below Deck (Bravo) 1,779
94. Vanderpump Rules (Bravo) 1,727
95. Family Guy (Fox) 1,653
96. Monday Night Football — Manningcast (ESPN2) 1,477
97. NHL Conference Semi-Finals L (ESPN) 1,457
98. NHL Playoffs Quarter Finals (TNT) 1,438
99. NBA Basketball (TNT) 1,409
100. Bob’s Burgers (Fox) 1,402
Source: Nielsen. 09-19-2022 – 05-14-2023. Preliminary Live+7 Days, Prime (after 7 p.m.), Original telecasts only, three episodes or more. Top 100 shown based on total viewers. Excludes: Spanish-language programming, children’s networks, specials and movies.

THE 100 TOP-RATED SERIES OF 2022-23 (ADULTS 18-49)

Rank PROGRAM (NETWORK) RATING /SHARE 18-49 VIEWERS (000)
1. NFL Sunday Night Football (NBC) 4.9/36 6,342
2. NFL Thursday Night Football (Amazon) 3.5/29 4,595
3. NFL Monday Night Football (ESPN) 3.0/24 3,899
4. Yellowstone (Paramount Network) 2.1/15 2,763
NBA Playoffs – Conference Semis L (ESPN) 2.1/23 2,712
6. NBA Playoffs – Round 2 L (TNT) 1.9/19 2,424
7. NBA Playoffs – Round 1 L(TNT) 1.3/14 1,701
  NBA Playoffs – 1st Round L(ESPN) 1.3/15 1,645
9. Survivor (CBS) 1.0/10 1,365
  Chicago PD (NBC) 1.0/10 1,316
Chicago Fire (NBC) 1.0/9 1,301
  9-1-1 (Fox) 1.0/8 1,298
13.  Ghosts (CBS) 0.9/8 1,230
  Saturday Night Football (ABC) 0.9/9 1,225
Law & Order: SVU (NBC) 0.9/8 1,224
  The Masked Singer (Fox) 0.9/8 1,200
  American Idol (ABC) 0.9/8 1,170
  Next Level Chef (Fox) 0.9/8 1,153
MLB NL Division Series L (FS1) 0.9/9 1,153
  Young Sheldon (CBS) 0.9/8 1,133
  60 Minutes (CBS) 0.9/7 1,132
  Chicago Med (NBC) 0.9/8 1,110
 23. College Football: Pac-12 Prime (Fox) 0.8/8 1,088
  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) 0.8/7 1,075
  The Voice – Monday (NBC) 0.8/7 1,057
  Fire Country (CBS) 0.8/8 1,040
  Abbott Elementary (ABC) 0.8/7 1,037
  The Voice – Tuesday (NBC) 0.8/7 1,028
  The Bachelor (ABC) 0.8/7 1,025
  The Bachelor in Paradise – Tuesday (ABC) 0.8/7 1,018
FBI (CBS) 0.8/7 1,014
32. The Bachelor in Paradise – Monday (ABC) 0.7/6 965
  Law & Order: Organized Crime (NBC) 0.7/7 965
  NBA Saturday Primetime (ABC) 0.7/8 959
  9-1-1: Lone Star (Fox) 0.7/7 957
American Idol – Monday (ABC) 0.7/6 950
  The Amazing Race (CBS) 0.7/7 944
  The Rookie (ABC) 0.7/6 936
  The Conners (ABC) 0.7/7 931
  Night Court (NBC) 0.7/7 920
  The Equalizer (CBS) 0.7/6 915
  Station 19 (ABC) 0.7/6 906
  NCIS (CBS) 0.7/5 893
  The Neighborhood (CBS) 0.7/6 878
  WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Fox) 0.7/7 876
  Law & Order (NBC) 0.7/6 862
  FBI: Most Wanted (CBS) 0.7/7 855
  S.W.A.T. (CBS) 0.7/7 854
  Vanderpump Rules (Bravo) 0.7/6 849
50. Blue Bloods (CBS) 0.6/7 843
The Simpsons (Fox) 0.6/5 840
  Jeopardy! Masters (ABC) 0.6/6 829
  Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (Bravo) 0.6/6 808
  The Good Doctor (ABC) 0.6/6 808
  The Walking Dead (AMC) 0.6/4 799
  Hell’s Kitchen (Fox) 0.6/5 788
  AGT All-Stars (NBC) 0.6/5 786
  WWE Monday Night Raw (USA) 0.6/5 781
  Family Guy (Fox) 0.6/5 775
  FBI: International (CBS) 0.6/5 774
  Shark Tank (ABC) 0.6/6 773
  House of the Dragon (HBO) 0.6/4 766
  College Football Prime L (ESPN) 0.6/6 766
  Accused (Fox) 0.6/5 766
  Will Trent (ABC) 0.6/6 756
  Lego Masters (Fox) 0.6/5 755
The Price is Right at Night (CBS) 0.6/5 755
  Quantum Leap (NBC) 0.6/5 743
  New Amsterdam (NBC) 0.6/6 730
  NCIS Hawai’i (CBS) 0.6/5 723
  East New York (CBS) 0.6/4 719
 72. So Help Me Todd (CBS) 0.5/5 708
  The Resident (Fox) 0.5/5 707
  Celebrity Jeopardy! (ABC) 0.5/4 705
  La Brea (NBC) 0.5/5 703
  Home Economics (ABC) 0.5/5 700
  Special Forces (Fox) 0.5/5 698
  NFL Monday Night Football: Manningcast (ESPN2) 0.5/4 697
  CSI: Vegas (CBS) 0.5/5 688
  America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC) 0.5/5 687
  Bob Hearts Abishola (CBS) 0.5/4 687
  Sister Wives (TLC) 0.5/4 685
  90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After: Tell All: No Limits (TLC) 0.5/4 681
  NHL Playoffs – Quarter Finals L (TNT) 0.5/6 669
  Alert: MPU (Bravo) 0.5/4 668
  20/20 (ABC) 0.5/5 667
  The Rookie: Feds (ABC) 0.5/5 661
  NHL Conference Semifinals (ESPN) 0.5/5 657
90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After (TLC) 0.5/4 655
  Big Sky (ABC) 0.5/4 708
  NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) 0.5/5 653
  The Challenge: Ride or Dies (MTV) 0.5/4 651
  That’s My Jam (NBC) 0.5/5 647
  A Million Little Things (ABC) 0.5/5 646
  NBA Basketball (TNT) 0.5/5 636
  Bob’s Burgers (Fox) 0.5/4 624
  Celebrity Wheel of Fortune (ABC) 0.5/4 623
  Dateline Friday (NBC) 0.5/5 622
  NBA Regular Season (ESPN) 0.5/5 614
  The Cleaning Lady (Fox) 0.5/3 597
  Below Deck (Bravo) 0.5/4 595
  Not Dead Yet (ABC) 0.5/4 593
Source: Nielsen. 09-19-2022 – 05-14-2023. Preliminary Live+7 Days, Prime (after 7 p.m.), Original telecasts only, three episodes or more. Top 100 shown based on A18-49. Excludes: Spanish-language programming, children’s networks, specials and movies.

THE MOST-WATCHED NETWORKS OF 2022-23 (BY TOTAL VIEWERS)

Network (Total viewer number; Year-to-year comparison)

  1. CBS (5,888,000; down 5%)
  2. NBC (5,218,000; down 13%)
  3. Fox (4,419,000; down 1%)
  4. ABC (4,111,000; down 1%)
  5. ESPN (2,186,000; up 2%)
  6. Fox News (2,109,000; down 15%)
  7. Univision (1,279,000; down 14%)
  8. MSNBC (1,185,000; up 2%)
  9. TNT (1,073,000; down 9%)
  10. Hallmark (1,012,000; down 13%)
  11. Ion (964,000; down 6%)
  12. HGTV (959,000; down 16%)
  13. Telemundo (936,000; down 6%)
  14. TBS (881,000; down 19%)
  15. History (814,000; down 5%)
  16. TLC (791,000; down 23%)
  17. Discovery (721,000; down 17%)
  18. Food Network (720,000; down 15%)
  19. INSP (708,000; down 14%)
  20. USA Network (672,000; down 13%)
  21. Me TV (638,000; down 10%)
  22. CNN (605,000; down 19%)
  23. Bravo (551,000; down 16%)
  24. The CW (543,000; down 16%)
  25. ID (537,000; down 11%)

THE TOP-RATED NETWORKS OF 2022-23 (BY ADULTS 18-49)

Network — 18-49 rating/share (18-49 viewer number; Year-to-year comparison)

1. Fox — 1.01/9 (1,316,000; down 2%)
2. NBC — 0.83/8 (1,089,000; down 25%)
3. CBS — 0.66/6 (858,000; down 17%)
4. ESPN — 0.64/6 (839,000; up 3%)
5. ABC — 0.64/6 (834,000; down 11%)
6. Univision — 0.36/3 (476,000; down 21%)
7. TNT — 0.34/3 (448,000; down 10%)
8. Telemundo — 0.26/2 (345,000; down 9%)
9. TBS — 0.23/2 (279,000; down 22%)
10. USA — 0.17/2 (218,000; down 8%)

A DECADE OF CHARTS:

2012-2013 TV season

2013-2014 TV season

2014-2015 TV season

2015-2016 TV season

2016-2017 TV season

2017-2018 TV season

2018-2019 TV season

2019-2020 TV season

2020-2021 TV season

2021-2022 TV season

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