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Television audiences surge to 12-month highs as coronavirus keeps Americans home

14 Comments
By Jill Serjeant

From family drama "This Is Us" to crime series "NCIS," audiences are flocking to television shows in numbers unseen for up to a year as coronavirus shutdowns and social distancing keeps millions of Americans at home.

Police action series "NCIS" scored its biggest audience since February 2019 on Tuesday night, attracting some 13.08 million viewers - a 22% increase over its last original broadcast on March 10, CBS said on Wednesday.

The Tuesday night season finale of heart-tugging NBC series "This Is Us" was the most-watched episode since September 2019 and saw a 21% increase in viewers aged 18-49 over the previous week, NBC said.

Audiences for the big four U.S. television networks - ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC - have been declining in recent years due to fierce competition from streaming, esports and social media.

U.S. movie theaters and Broadway theaters have been shut down for almost two weeks, and multiple U.S. states have ordered the closure of restaurants, bars, theme parks and concert venues in a bid to contain the coronavirus epidemic. There are now more than 60,000 cases in the United States and more than 880 deaths.

Streaming service Netflix Inc was also expected to be a major beneficiary of the stay at home directives. Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos told CNN on Sunday that viewing was up but gave no details. Netflix on Wednesday declined to comment on recent viewership.

However multiple shows on traditional television, including"The Good Doctor" on ABC, "The Masked Singer" on Fox and "Survivor" on CBS are also seeing a surge in viewers, according to ratings data.

Data analytics company Nielsen said in a report last week that Americans are expected to watch as much as 60% more television across all platforms as increasingly restrictive shutdowns are implemented across the United States.

The increases are not just for escapist fare. Sunday's topical news show "60 Minutes" reached 10.9 million viewers, its largest audience since December 2019, CBS said.

Cable channel HBO is seeing increases for shows like sci-fi series "Westworld" and for older fare like teen series"Euphoria."

Time spent on the HBO Now streaming service since March 14 was up over 40% from a month prior, while daily binge viewing increased 65% compared with the prior four-week period, according to WarnerMedia.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

14 Comments
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'57 channels and nothing on' - Bruce Springsteen

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh man.... makes one lose hope in humanity.

Yeah, how dare people like a TV show that you don't approve of. Humanity is doomed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Police action series "NCIS" scored its biggest audience since February 2019

Oh man.... makes one lose hope in humanity.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Television?? I hope they find something better to watch.

On the plus side, there will be a baby boom in 9 months.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There many good TV series and movies available on the internet.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Police action series "NCIS" scored its biggest audience since February 2019 

hahaha That many people actually watch that crap? My god people are dumber than I thought.

invalid CSRF

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Out of all the great programs on the TV

What would those be, then?

Invalid CSRF

0 ( +0 / -0 )

NCIS? Out of all the great programs on the TV and that’s it?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nothing else better to do than watch the box?

(Sigh)

Yeah, it's a bit pathetic, innit. If I were "stuck' at home (and unable to work), there's loads of stuff that takes precedence over couch potatoing and watching third-rate telly programmes.

Get stuck in with the spring cleaning.

Sort out those old papers and receipts that need chucking.

Sow seeds for summer veggies.

Plant a few flowers.

Read those books you've been meaning to read but never had the time.

Try out one of those recipes that look so tasty but too time-consuming for an ordinary weekday dinner.

Make three different kinds of bread, and a cake or two.

Teach the dogs a few new tricks.

Hand-sew a few face masks - floral for Me, striped or denim for Him.

Then, when you're good and tired, have a nice long soak in the bath, enjoy that time-consuming meal you made, pour a glass of Something Nice, and settle down for a film/drama/video game for an hour or so before bed. Or even - really?? - have a nice conversation with your other half.

The days aren't long enough.

Invalid CSRF

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Good Lord! Nothing else better to do than watch the box?

(Sigh)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good, now they can bring back Fresh of the Boat and Brooklyn Nine Nine?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If this continues for 12 months, there will be an average weight increase of 12 kg and a 12 point decline in IQ.

Invalid CSRF

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Come December / January, I wonder if the birth rate will reach a record high

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Too bad the quality hasn't gone up...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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