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TV By the Numbers: Viewers Feast on ‘Yellowstone,’ Christmas Movies

Kevin Costner as John Dutton in Paramount Network's "Yellowstone"
Paramount Network's 'Yellowstone' broke into the top 10 most-watched shows this week. (Image credit: Paramount Network)

This is a quick snapshot of TV by the numbers for the week of Nov. 16-22, 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 iSpot.tv.

Most-Watched Shows and Networks 

Via Vizio’s Inscape, the TV data company with insights from a panel of more than 16 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).

NFL reclaimed first place for watch-time with 6.99% share duration, while college football came second (2.49%), followed by Good Morning America (0.86%). Notably, Paramount’s Yellowstone broke into the top 10 most-watched shows (0.58%), thanks to the network’s “Every Episode Feast” weekend marathon. Oxygen’s true-crime series Snapped (0.46%) made the ranking for the second week in a row, while the 2020 American Music Awards were No. 18 with 0.44% share duration.

Most-watched shows on TV by percent share from Nov. 16-22

On the network side of things, NBC took first place with 8.70% of the minutes watched, followed by Fox (7.87%) and ABC (6.70%). Thanks in part to Christmas movies, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and Lifetime both rose up the ranking (Hallmark itself stayed steady), while Paramount Network, fueled by its Yellowstone weekend marathon, made an appearance at No. 22 (1.03%).

Most-watched networks by percent share from Nov. 16-22

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. 

Commercials during NFL games generated over 8 billion TV ad impressions, a 13.63% week-over-week increase. College football had a nearly identical week-over-week increase as NFL games (13.64%); its 3.2 billion impressions put it solidly in second place. One notable new addition to the ranking is the new season of CBS’ The Price Is Right, which racked up 535.2 million TV ad impressions to secure ninth place. It’s also worth pointing out that the holiday advertising season is officially in full force: At least one of the most-seen spots for many of the top programs were Black Friday or holiday-related.

Most-watched shows by ad impressions from Nov. 16-22

Thanks to NFL games, broadcast networks led the ranking once again. Fox took first place this time with over 6.5 billion impressions, up from 5.7 billion the previous week. The bulk (4.4 billion) came from NFL games — but college football, The OT and The Masked Singer also delivered top impression-counts for the network. New entrants to the ranking include ESPNU, with its 316.1 million impressions propelled by college football, and USA Network (302.9 million), which generated impressions thanks to WWE and broadcasts of The Twilight Saga movie series.

Most-watched networks by ad impressions from Nov. 16-22