Fox’s drama Accused got off to a strong start — with a big assist from the NFL — on Sunday, and HBO’s The Last of Us grew substantially with its second episode. Football nonetheless ruled the weekend, as usual.
Accused premiered to 8.71 million viewers and a 2.08 rating among adults 18-49 following Fox’s telecast of the NFC divisional playoff game between the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys. Both figures are the best same-day Nielsen ratings for a series premiere this season, topping Night Court’s 7.55 million viewers and 0.98 18-49 rating earlier in the week on NBC.
Accused also had a huge lead-in: The 49ers-Cowboys game averaged 45.65 million viewers for Fox, and almost 24 million of those people stuck around for the 11-minute postgame show. The drama moves into its regular home Tuesday following the season premiere of 911: Lone Star. Two other Fox shows, Monarch and Alert: Missing Persons Unit, also debuted following (regular season) NFL games this year and lost more than half of their post-football audiences in their next outing.
The other NFL divisional games also racked up big audiences. NBC’s Kansas City Chiefs-Jacksonville Jaguars broadcast on Saturday afternoon averaged 34.3 million cross-platform viewers, including streaming on Peacock, NBC Sports and NFL digital properties. The network telecast had about 94 percent of that total with 32.31 million.
Fox’s primetime Saturday game between the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants brought in 28.64 million viewers, the lowest tally of the weekend, and CBS got 39.32 million for its Sunday afternoon telecast of the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills. NBC’s game and the two Sunday contests were all up a little vs. the same windows year to year, but the Eagles-Giants telecast was off by more than 20 percent, leading to a slight downtick in viewers (less than 2 percent) compared to a year ago.
As for The Last of Us, HBO says Sunday’s episode drew 5.7 million viewers across all platforms, up from 4.7 million for its premiere. The 22 percent week to week growth is the biggest week two jump ever for an HBO original series.
- TV Ratings: ‘Accused’ Starts Well on Fox After Huge NFL Lead-In
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