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Tops of 2016: TV
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Tops of 2016: TV

Television in 2016 was all about court rooms, cat fights and comebacks. There was also an oversupply of sports narratives where the underdogs came out on top. U.S viewers were witnesses to historic comebacks against even more historic odds–from LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers beating the bookmakers to best the Golden State Warriors to the curse-breaking Chicago Cubs defeating the Cleveland Indians to Peyton Manning challenging Father Time himself for a chance to ride off into the sunset with the Lombardi Trophy (in front of one of the largest U.S. TV audiences ever).

While the Super Bowl held the top spot for another year in a row, other sporting events, such as the Olympics and World Series cracked the top 10 after being held out in years past.

Underdogs thrived in hit TV dramas as well, extending the reign of what critics suspect is the second golden age of content. These underdogs crawled from swirling, suffocating masses during the heat of battle in an effort to reclaim a throne. They made names for themselves in legal dramas, both based on fiction and not-so-distant actual events.

In the end, viewing audiences were the real winners, as they were able to enjoy some compelling content and watch what and when they wanted to via time-shifting. While the usual drama heavy weights still benefit greatly from Live+7 viewing, reality TV offerings prove it’s not all zombies and dragons. In fact, the reality genre accounted for almost one-third of the Top 10 list when ranking on the percent lift from time shifted viewing. Last year’s Top 10 time-shifted programs only included one reality show. Additionally, the lift that time-shifting has given the top shows continues to grow. This year, the top time-shifted show gained a 279% lift from seven days of viewing, compared to the 240% that last year’s top time-shifted show gained.

TOP TV PROGRAMS OF 2016 – SINGLE TELECAST

Rank Telecast Originator Date Aired Persons 2+ Rating Average No. of Viewers
1 SUPER BOWL 50 CBS 02/07/2016 37.9 112,576,000
2 SUPER BOWL 50 POST-GAME CBS 02/07/2016 23.7 70,261,000
3 FOX WORLD SERIES GAME 7 FOX 11/02/2016 13.3 40,267,000
4 OSCARS, THE ABC 02/28/2016 12.0 35,609,000
5 SUM OLYM TUE PRIME 1 NBC 08/09/2016 11.8 35,003,000
6 NBC NFL PLAYOFF GAME 1/16 NBC 01/16/2016 11.4 33,954,000
7 SUM OLYM THU PRIME 1 NBC 08/11/2016 11.0 32,665,000
8 AFC WILDCARD PLAYOFF CBS 01/09/2016 10.6 31,371,000
9 AFC DIV-PLF-POST-GAME-SU CBS 01/17/2016 10.5 31,275,000
10 NBA FINALS ON ABC-GM 7 ABC 06/19/2016 10.5 31,271,000
Source: Nielsen NNTV Program Report. All Broadcast and Cable. 1/01/2016 – 11/06/2016. Live+7. Broadcast Prime. P2+. Excludes Breakouts, Duration Read as: The Oscars on ABC averaged 35.6 million viewers who watched live or via time-shifted viewing within seven days.

TOP 10 PRIMETIME TV PROGRAMS OF 2016 – REGULARLY SCHEDULED

Rank Program Originator Persons 2+ Rating Average No. of Viewers
1 BIG BANG THEORY, THE CBS 6.7 19,938,000
2 NCIS CBS 6.7 19,885,000
3 NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL NBC 6.4 19,283,000
4 WALKING DEAD AMC 6.3 18,824,000
5 BULL CBS 5.8 17,645,000
6 NCIS: NEW ORLEANS CBS 5.2 15,618,000
7 SUNDAY NIGHT NFL PRE-KICK NBC 5.0 14,952,000
8 DESIGNATED SURVIVOR ABC 4.9 14,915,000
9 CBS+NFLN THU NT FOOTBALL CBS 4.9 14,785,000
10 BLUE BLOODS CBS 4.8 14,414,000
Source: Nielsen NNTV Program Report. All Broadcast and Cable. 1/01/2016 – 11/06/2016. Live+7. Broadcast Prime. P2+. Excludes Breakouts, Specials, Repeats, Duration Read as: NBC Sunday Night Football averaged 19.3 million viewers who watched live or via time-shifted viewing within seven days.

TOP SPANISH-LANGUAGE PROGRAMS – REGULARLY SCHEDULED

Rank Program Originator Persons 2+ Rating Average No. of Viewers
1 HASTA QUE TE CONOCI TEL 5.3 2,785,000
2 POR SIEMPRE SEBASTIAN WED UNI 4.7 2,421,000
3 PASION Y PODER THU UNI 4.7 2,413,000
4 POR SIEMPRE SEBASTIAN MON UNI 4.7 2,378,000
5 PASION Y PODER MON UNI 4.5 2,322,000
6 PASION Y PODER WED UNI 4.5 2,318,000
7 PASION Y PODER TUE UNI 4.5 2,308,000
8 POR SIEMPRE SEBASTIAN TUE UNI 4.4 2,264,000
9 SENOR DE LOS CIELO IV – M TEL 4.3 2,215,000
10 PASION Y PODER FRI UNI 4.3 2,193,000
Source: Nielsen NNTV Program Report; Hispanic Sample. Spanish-Language Networks. 1/01/2016 – 11/06/2016. Live+7. Ranked on Live+7 Proj(000). Broadcast Prime Span. P2+. Excludes Breakouts, Specials, Repeats, Duration Read as: Hasta Que Te Conoci on Telemundo averaged nearly 2.8 million viewers who watched live or via time-shifted viewing within seven days.

TOP 10 TIME-SHIFTED TV PROGRAMS OF 2016 (RANKED BY % CHANGE IN VIEWERS)

Rank Program Originator % Increase in Viewers from Time-shifted Viewing
1 BETTER CALL SAUL AMC 278.7%
2 AMERICAN HORROR STORY FX 245.5%
3 ACS: PEOPLE V. OJ SIMPSON FX 238.6%
4 SUITS USA NETWORK 233.4%
5 REAL HOUSEWIVES OF OC BRAVO 217.0%
6 PREACHER AMC 206.5%
7 GAME OF THRONES HBO PRIME 192.6%
8 LAST SHIP, THE TURNER NETWORK TELEVISION 188.1%
9 TEEN MOM II SSN7 MTV 186.3%
10 REAL HOUSEWIVES BEV HILLS BRAVO 184.5%
Source: Nielsen NNTV Program Report. All Broadcast and Cable. 1/01/2016 – 11/06/2016. Live & Live+7. Broadcast Prime; Primetime TSV%: Percent increase is based on absolute difference between Live & Live+7 Proj(000). P2+. A program must reach at least a 1.0 Live+7 P2+ rating. Excludes Breakouts, Specials, Repeats, Duration Read as: The TV viewing audience to Better Call Saul on AMC increased nearly 279% from the live audience with time-shifted viewing (within seven days).

TOP 10 TIME-SHIFTED TV PROGRAMS OF 2016 (RANKED BY ABSOLUTE DIFFERENCE)

Rank Program Originator Absolute Difference in Viewership
1 WALKING DEAD AMC 10,435,000
2 BIG BANG THEORY, THE CBS 9,160,000
3 DESIGNATED SURVIVOR ABC 8,980,000
4 GAME OF THRONES HBO PRIME 6,986,000
5 THIS IS US NBC 6,886,000
6 NCIS CBS 6,817,000
7 EMPIRE FOX 6,511,000
8 BULL CBS 6,454,000
9 BLACKLIST NBC 6,396,000
10 X-FILES FOX 6,226,000
Source: Nielsen NNTV Program Report. All Broadcast and Cable. 1/01/2016 – 11/06/2016. Live & Live+7. Broadcast Prime. Rank based on absolute difference beween Live & Live+7 Proj(000). P2+. A program must reach at least a 1.0 Live+7 P2+ rating. Excludes Breakouts, Specials, Repeats, Duration The TV viewing audience of The Walking Dead on AMC increased by about 10.4 million viewers from the live audience with time-shifted viewing (within seven days).