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TV By the Numbers: Thanksgiving Parade Floats Near Impressions, Watch-Time Leads

Dancers pose for a picture ahead of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, New York on Nov. 25, 2021. - This year marks the 95th annual parade.
(Image credit: Yuki Iwamura/AFP via Getty Images)

Below is a snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of Nov. 22-28, showcasing the most-watched shows and networks using glass-level data from Vizio’s Inscape, and network and show TV ad impressions insights via iSpot.tv.

Most-Watched Shows and Networks

Via Inscape, Vizio’s TV data product with glass-level 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).

The Thanksgiving spotlight on National Football League action drove minutes watched up to 8.64% during the week of Nov. 22-28, an increase from 5.99% the previous week. 

Beyond the NFL’s notable bump, some additional insights about the top programming on TV:

  • NBC’s telecast of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade captured 0.99% of total TV watch-time for the week (fourth place in our ranking) as the event returned with in-person spectators after a year away due to the pandemic.
  • Boosted by three days of games (Thursday through Saturday), college football vaults to second place with 5.35% of minutes watched in its final full week of the season, up from 3.57% of watch-time the previous week.
  • Paramount Network’s Yellowstone climbs to No. 5 after not appearing among the 50 most-watched programs from Nov. 15-21.
  • College basketball’s early-season tournaments drove the sport all the way up to No. 3 by watch-time on the week, with 1.14% of minutes watched.

Also: Holiday 2021 TV Premiere Dates

Most-watched shows on TV by percent share duration Nov. 22-28

Fox maintains its place atop the list of most-watched networks on the week, with 8.41% of watch-time, buoyed in part by the NFL’s early Thanksgiving game between the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions (won by a last-second field goal by the Bears).

More insights around the most-watched networks from Nov. 22-28:

  • While Fox remains the most-watched TV network, the rest of the big four broadcast networks reshuffle, with CBS moving from No. 3 to No. 2, NBC shifting from No. 4 to No. 3, and ABC migrating from No. 2 to No. 4 week-over-week.
  • Fueled by Yellowstone, Paramount Network rockets up from No. 19 to No. 8 by minutes watched, with 1.70% from Nov. 22-28.
  • Lifetime (from No. 29 to No. 20) and Freeform (from No. 27 to No. 24) are the lone week-over-week newcomers in our most-watched network rankings.
  • TBS jumps from No. 17 to No. 13 by watch-time on the strength of The Match between golfers Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau… and airings of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

Also: Fox Is Selling 2023 Super Bowl Spots as Sports Ad Market Heats Up

Most-watched networks on TV by percent share duration Nov. 22-28

Top Shows and Networks by TV Ad Impressions

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

The NFL hoards TV ad impressions once more, with over 10.9 billion from Nov. 22-28 (an increase of about 3 billion compared to the previous week).

More data about the top programs by TV ad impressions during the week:

  • Between two separate airings of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (on NBC and CBS), the event delivered more TV ad impressions on the week than all but the NFL and college football.
  • NBC’s National Dog Show broadcast served up the 12th-most impressions of any show from Nov. 22-28.
  • Hallmark Channel’s An Unexpected Christmas chimes in at No. 24 in our shows-by-ad-impressions ranking.
  • Early-season marquee college basketball matchups led to a No. 5 ranking for the sport over the course of the week.

Top shows by TV ad impressions Nov. 22-28

Between the NFL, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the final weekend of the college football season (including a four-overtime Iron Bowl matchup between Alabama and Auburn), CBS once again sits atop the week’s ad-impressions-by-network ranking for Nov. 22-28.

Additional insights around the top networks by impressions from the week:

  • The NFL, college football and related coverage of the weekend’s games powered Fox to the No. 2 spot, with over 8.7 billion impressions.
  • Hallmark Channel tacked on about a billion impressions week-over-week as audiences continued to lean all the way into the holiday season (following along with the network’s programming).
  • With a slew of tentpole events on the big four broadcast networks, ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC combined for over 55% of all ad impressions for new-airing programs from Nov. 22-28.

Top TV networks by ad impressions Nov. 22-28