It’s crunch time in men’s college basketball, as the NCAA tournament’s “Sweet 16” face off for some dynamic confrontations on the road to the Elite 8, Final Four and ultimate championship game. It’s a time when Cinderella teams find the clock striking midnight, the blue bloods of the sport assert themselves, and premier athletes like Duke’s Zion Williamson take over the big stage.
Thus, it’s no surprise that the NCAA tournament once again topped the ratings demographics for Friday night, winning handily over the competition by posting a 1.6/8 and 6.56 million viewers for the 8 PM show and an even bigger 2.5 and 8.50 million for the 9:30 game.
The huge numbers meant an easy victory for CBS in the overall network race for Friday night, the eye racking up 2.0/10 in demos and 7.53 million in viewership.
The rest of the night was left to struggle for the banquet’s leftover audience that’s not into sports. NBC’s The Blacklist saw a longtime series regular depart during two hour-long episodes, boosting it to a 0.6/3 and 4.33 million audience in the 8 PM segment, and 0.5/3 and 4.03 million in the second hour.
At 8 PM, Fox’s Last Man Standing had a rerun, but still managed a 0.5/3 and 3.23 million audience, finishing in a tie with ABC’s Fresh Off The Boat in demos at 0.5/3, but beating it in total audience. Dynasty did well on The CW, hitting an 0.2/1 and 0.59 million.
The Cool Kids continued its strong run for Fox at 8:30 PM, posting an 0.6/3 and 3.27 million, while Speechless on ABC was up a tick to 0.4/2 and 2.11 million.
At 9 PM, Fox legal drama Proven Innocent held at 0.4/2 and 2 million, while The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend hit 0.1/1 and 0.42 million.
ABC’s two-hour 20/20 news mag topped non-sports programming among 18-49 adults, hitting 0.7/3 in the demo race and an overall 4.22 million.
At 10 PM, NBC’s Dateline rounded out the evening with an 0.4/2 and 3.30 million audience.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.