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Mar 21, 6:19 PM EDT

'This is Us' finale gets highest viewership of season



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NEW YORK (AP) -- Those who believe it's impossible for a broadcast network to make new hits anymore probably isn't a fan of "This is Us."

The heartwarming NBC series was second only to CBS' "NCIS" for the most popular show of the week for its debut season finale last week. The show's viewership reached its highest this season with 12.8 million viewers on the night it first aired, with the audience swelling to 16.9 million when people who watched via time delay over three days is added in, the Nielsen company said.

The vast majority of new television series' fail, but "This is Us" also proved that there's still no matching broadcast television when it comes to finding the best chance of reaching the biggest audience.

Add in two editions of "The Voice," and NBC had three of last week's four most popular programs.

CBS still won the week in prime time, averaging 7.2 million viewers. NBC had 6.4 million, ABC had 4.6 million, Fox had 2.6 million, Univision had 1.6 million, Telemundo had 1.33 million, ION Television had 1.29 million and the CW had 1.1 million.

Fox News Channel was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 2.48 million viewers in prime time. Bolstered by March Madness, TNT was second with 2.42 million, TBS had 1.98 million, MSNBC had 1.72 million and USA had 1.71 million.

ABC's "World News Tonight" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.43 million viewers. NBC's "Nightly News" was second with 8.36 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.8 million viewers.

For the week of March 13-19, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "NCIS," CBS, 14.16 million; "This is Us," NBC, 12.84 million; "The Voice" (Monday), NBC, 12.18 million; "The Voice" (Tuesday), NBC, 11.71 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 10.85 million; "NCIS: New Orleans," CBS, 10.43 million; "The Walking Dead," AMC, 10.32 million; "Little Big Shots," NBC, 9.58 million; "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 9.1 million; "The Bachelor," ABC, 8.41 million.

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ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.

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Online:

http://www.nielsen.com

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