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TV By the Numbers: Basketball Scores, Many Shows Rise Up the Rankings

Aaron Henry #0 of the Michigan State Spartans in action against Caleb McConnell #22 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during an NCAA college basketball game at Rutgers Athletic Center on Jan. 28, 2021 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
(Image credit: Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

This is a quick snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of Jan. 25-31, revealing the most-watched shows and networks using glass-level data from Vizio’s Inscape, and the top shows and networks by TV ad impressions with insights via

Most-Watched Shows and Networks

Via Vizio’s Inscape, the TV data company with insights from a panel of more than 17 million active and opted-in smart TVs. Data is linear, live TV only and includes all episode types (new and reruns). Rankings are by percent share duration (i.e., time spent watching).

With no NFL games until the Super Bowl next Sunday, first place on the show ranking went to college basketball last week, capturing 1.12% of watch-time, followed by NBA basketball (1.01%). Notably, aside from Good Morning America and SportsCenter, every single program on the ranking moved up at least one spot compared to its position the previous week. Among the biggest leaps: NCIS: New Orleans, The First 48, The Price Is Right and Gunsmoke.

Most-watched shows on TV by percent share duration Jan. 25-31, 2021

CBS kept its hold on first place, capturing 6.63% of minutes watched last week, followed by ABC (6.54%) and NBC (6.30%). MSNBC, Hallmark Channel, Univision, Nickelodeon and Discovery Channel held steady, while Lifetime continued its rise, moving into No. 21, with help from Rizzoli & Isles reruns and the premiere of Wendy Williams: The Movie.

Most-watched networks on TV by percent share duration Jan. 25-31, 2021

Top Shows and Networks by TV Ad Impressions

Via, the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company. Rankings are by TV ad impressions, for new episodes only. 

The only TV programming to snag more than a billion impressions last week was NBA basketball, with 1.2 billion. College basketball took second place (981.8 million impressions) followed by Today (734.7 million), Good Morning America (703.8 million) and SportsCenter (639.3 million). The Price Is Right jumped into sixth place with 543.2 million impressions, a 14.03% increase from the previous week. The Bachelor also saw a week-over-week increase in impressions, up 6.87% to 357.6 million. One new addition to the ranking was ¡Despierta América!, coming in at No. 25 with 277 million TV ad impressions.

Top shows by TV ad impressions Jan. 25-31, 2021

Although CBS had a 38.24% week-over-week decrease in TV ad impressions, it still held on to first place, with The Price Is Right as its top impressions-generating show during the week. ABC jumped into second place with 4.9 billion impressions, a 25% increase from the previous week. History Channel saw a 53% week-over-week increase in TV ad impressions, propelling it up to No. 20 from No. 27 the previous week. Top impressions-generating shows on the network included The Curse of Oak Island, American Pickers and Swamp People: Blood and Guts.

Top networks by TV ad impressions for Jan. 25-Jan. 31, 2021.