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Wednesday February 24th, 2021 1:04PM

After long wait, scripted shows return to network schedules

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — After the coronavirus pandemic sidelined creators and led to a delayed start of the traditional fall television season, scripted shows are beginning to return to network schedules.

Not all of them, not yet. But the return was most apparent the week after the election, and already there are winners and losers.

Dick Wolf's Chicago-based trilogy of dramas is back, and all three shows finished among the Nielsen company's 20 most-watched programs last week.

CBS' “Young Sheldon” led the path for comedies. ABC's “Station 19” and “Grey's Anatomy” were strong performers, along with CBS' “NCIS: Los Angeles.”

But there are signs that viewers aren't immediately returning to old habits. A CBS double-header of “S.W.A.T.” episodes on Wednesday fell flat, with neither episode reaching 3 million viewers.

Similarly, NBC's long-playing “Law & Order: SVU” reached only 3 million people for its season debut.

Former President Barack Obama had drawing power. “60 Minutes” landed as the week's most-watched non-football program as it featured an Obama interview hawking his new book.

NBC was the most popular network, averaging 5.9 million viewers in prime time. ABC had 4.94 million viewers and Fox had 4.89 million. CBS averaged 4.1 million, Univision had 1.2 million and both Ion Television and Telemundo averaged just under 1 million viewers.

Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable channel, averaging 3.36 million viewers for the week. CNN had 2.36 million, MSNBC had 2.15 million, ESPN had 2.04 million and Hallmark had 1.67 million.

ABC's “World News Tonight” led the evening newscasts, averaging 9.9 million viewers. NBC's “Nightly News” had 8.3 million and “CBS Evening News” had 5.9 million.

For the week of Nov. 9-15, the 20 most popular programs, their networks and viewership:

1. NFL Football: Baltimore at New England, NBC, 15.79 million.

2. NFL Football: Indianapolis at Tennessee, Fox, 12.51 million.

3. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 12.38 million.

4. “NFL Pregame,” NBC, 11.82 million.

5. NFL Football: New England at N.Y. Jets, ESPN, 10.22 million.

6. “Football Night in America,” NBC, 9.03 million.

7. “Chicago Med,” NBC, 7.84 million.

8. “The OT,” Fox, 7.73 million.

9. “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 7.64 million.

10. “NFL Pregame,” Fox, 7.55 million.

11. “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 7.41 million.

12. “The Voice” (Monday), NBC, 7.27 million.

13. “Chicago Fire,” NBC, 7.24 million.

14. Country Music Association Awards, ABC, 7.09 million.

15. “This is Us,” NBC, 6.86 million.

16. “Station 19,” ABC, 6.61 million.

17. “Chicago PD,” NBC, 6.43 million.

18. “NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 6.11 million.

19. “The Masked Singer,” Fox, 6.07 million.

20. “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC, 5.97 million.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Entertainment, AP Online TV News, AP Business, AP Sports - NFL
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