UPDATED, 10:59 AM: The near final numbers are in and 60 Minutes‘ election edition looks to have taken down Sunday Night Football, the World Series and pretty much everything else on TV since the Oscars.
With 17 million viewers, the sit-downs with Lesley Stahl and Norah O’Donnell (and one petulant POTUS walk-off) with Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Mike Pence had its best result in more than two years.
The last time the long-running newsmagazine did so well was when when Stormy Daniels shared intimate details of her tryst with Trump on March 25, 2018. In fact, with the exception of sports and cross-network events, more people watched last night’s 60 Minutes than any show on any network since the Academy Awards on February 9. For those keeping score, that hostless affair celebrating cinema’s biggest night had an audience of 23.6 million, an all-time low.
The 2018 60 Minutes Q&A with the witty Daniels pulled in 22.13 million viewers, a huge 5.4 rating in the news demo of adults 25-54 and a 4.0 rating among adults 18-49.
Last night’s 60 Minutes actually started at 7:40 p.m. ET on Sunday due to NFL overruns on CBS; these latest adjusted numbers account for that late start. With one last set of numbers likely to come from Nielsen, the numbers could rise even more, but right now it is looking at a rating of 2.4 among adults 18-49 and 3.4 in adults 25-54.
PREVIOUSLY, 10:35 AM: NBC’s Sunday Night Football matchup last night scored a primetime-leading 3.6 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic and a whopping 12.01 million viewers who watched the Arizona Cardinals edge the Seattle Seahawks 37-34. Those Nielsen Live+Same Day numbers grew eight-tenths in the demo from last week’s Los Angeles Rams-San Francisco 49ers game and dominated all other programming including Game 5 of the World Series.
Fox’s coverage of Game 5 of the World Series (1.7, 7.41M), which saw the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Tamp Bay Rays 4-2 to move one win away from their first title since 1988, matched Game 4 in the demo while getting a small boost in viewership. It was off a tenth from last Sunday’s NLCS Game 7.
Both SNF and World Series numbers will likely be adjusted in the finals.
CBS’ night was impacted by NFL overrun, but fast affiliate numbers show that 60 Minutes (2.4, 15.63M) led the night in non-sports fare, climbing a staggering 1.6 in the demo in the early numbers. Certainly the newsmagazine’s cut-short interview with Donald Trump, one of the leading stories of last week’s news cycle, didn’t hurt tune-in.
To keep with the Halloween spirit, CBS capped its night with Wes Craven’s 1996 slasher pic Scream (0.4, 1.92M), which was down from last week’s presentation of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
ABC kicked off its night with America’s Funniest Home Videos (0.7, 4.67M), up two-tenths from last week’s season premiere. Supermarket Sweep (0.8, 3.55M) fell two-tenths from its debut, while Card Sharks (0.3, 2.24M) also slipped. Meanwhile, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (0.5, 3.44M) held steady.
On the CW, Pandora (0.1, 344,000) held steady.