'This is Us' gets big boost from Super Bowl slot

In this image released by NBC, Milo Ventimiglia appears in a scene from "This Is Us." Super Bowl ratings may have been slightly down for NBC, but the network's entertainment division was buoyed by the showing of "This is Us" after the game. The second-year drama scored just under 27 million people. (Ron Batzdorff/NBC via AP)

Ron Batzdorff

NEW YORK (AP) — Super Bowl ratings may have been slightly down for NBC, but the network's entertainment division was buoyed by the showing of "This is Us" after the game.

The second-year drama scored with an episode that explains how the character of Jack Pearson, played by Milo Ventimiglia, died in the aftermath of a fire. The show was seen by just under 27 million people, its largest audience ever and the highest for any show with the coveted post-Super Bowl time slot in six years.

NBC's habit is generally to give its hottest entertainment show that slot when it is telecast the game. Three years ago, it was "The Blacklist," and six years ago it was "The Voice."

The Super Bowl itself was seen by 103.4 million people, down 7 percent from the 2017 game. It will still wind up the most-watched television program for the year.

With the help of the game, NBC averaged 23.1 million viewers in prime time. CBS had 6.1 million viewers, ABC had 3.8 million, Fox had 2.9 million, Univision and the CW tied with 1.42 million, ION Television had 1.3 million and Telemundo had 1.1 million.

Fox News Channel was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 3.75 million viewers in prime time. MSNBC had 1.86 million, USA had 1.459 million, HGTV had 1.455 million and History had 1.28 million.

ABC's "World News Tonight" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.3 million viewers, NBC's "Nightly News" and the "CBS Evening News" had 6.9 million.

For the week of Jan. 29-Feb. 4, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: Super Bowl: Philadelphia vs. New England, NBC, 103.39 million; "Super Bowl Post-Game," NBC, 73.45 million; "This is Us," NBC, 26.97 million. "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 14.7 million; "Young Sheldon," CBS, 12.92 million; "State of the Union," Fox News, 11.72 million; "State of the Union Analysis," Fox News, 10.51 million; "State of the Union Preview," Fox News, 9.95 million; "Blue Bloods," CBS, 9.32 million; "Mom," CBS, 9.11 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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Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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