Two St. Peter’s NCAA games land in Nielsen’s top 20

Mar 22, 2022, 4:18 AM | Updated: 4:19 pm
St. Peter's guard Jaylen Murray (32) drives past Kentucky guard Sahvir Wheeler, right, during the f...

St. Peter's guard Jaylen Murray (32) drives past Kentucky guard Sahvir Wheeler, right, during the first half of a college basketball game in the first round of the NCAA tournament, Thursday, March 17, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

NEW YORK (AP) — Here’s a safe bet: Two men’s basketball games featuring St. Peter’s University landed among the 20 most-watched television programs in prime time last week for the first time ever.

The NCAA tournament’s underdog darlings hit the big time with their victories over Kentucky and Murray State, the Nielsen company said.

Fans are obviously intrigued by their story, since the Jersey City school’s second game against Murray State had more viewers than the game with Kentucky, one of the NCAA’s blue bloods.

The CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” has a winning streak that has now reached four straight weeks as the most popular program.

The opening round of the men’s NCAA tourney led CBS to a dominant win in the ratings, as the network averaged 5.5 million viewers in prime time. ABC had 3.2 million, NBC had 3.1 million, Fox had 2 million, Univision had 1.5 million, Ion Television had 1 million and Telemundo had 930,000.

Fox News Channel was the most popular cable network, averaging 2.54 million viewers in prime time. TBS had 1.79 million, TNT had 1.63 million, Tru TV had 1.12 million and HGTV had 1.09 million.

ABC’s “World News Tonight” won the evening news ratings race with an average of 7.9 million viewers. The “NBC Nightly News” had 6.7 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.3 million.

For the week of March 14-20, the 20 most-watched programs, their networks and viewerships:

1. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 9.07 million.

2. “NCIS,” CBS, 7.55 million.

3. “The Equalizer,” CBS, 7.08 million.

4. “NCAA Basketball Pregame” (Saturday), CBS, 6.79 million.

5. NCAA Basketball Tournament: St. Peter’s vs. Murray St., CBS, 6.69 million.

6. “Chicago Fire,” NBC, 6.66 million.

7. “Chicago Med,” NBC, 6.35 million.

8. “The Neighborhood,” CBS, 5.8 million.

9. “Bob Hearts Abishola,” CBS, 5.71 million.

10. “NCIS: Los Angeles,” CBS, 5.6 million.

11. NCAA Basketball Tournament: St. Peter’s vs. Kentucky, CBS, 5.46 million.

12. “American Idol,” ABC, 5.4 million.

13. “Chicago PD,” NBC, 5.33 million.

14. “NCIS: Hawai’i,” CBS, 5.1 million.

15. “Survivor,” CBS, 5.06 million.

16. NCAA Basketball Tournament: Davidson vs. Michigan St., CBS, 4.96 million.

17. “The Bachelor,” ABC, 4.73 million.

18. “Law & Order: SVU,” NBC, 4.72 million.

19. “FBI,” CBS, 4.65 million.

20. “911: Lone Star,” Fox, 4.64 million.

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Two St. Peter’s NCAA games land in Nielsen’s top 20