The numbers are in for the most watched television shows of 2018, and a reboot tops the list. Nielsen ratings have been compiled and the top 10 TV shows come from all the major cable networks. Original series from Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime won’t show up on the list, as streaming numbers are always kept extremely tight-lipped. According to Nielsen, the top 10 TV shows are ranked based upon their average number of viewers per episode.
Topping the list was none other than the reboot of Roseanne on ABC. The show averaged 19.9 million viewers per episode, making it the most watched television program of the year. After being off the air for 21 years, Roseanne made one heck of a comeback when it returned for Season 10 on March 27. The show was so successful that it was renewed for Season 11 just a few days after its premiere. However, after star Roseanne Barr sent out a racist tweet, the show was ultimately canceled in May.
Landing at number two for the year is Sunday Night Football on NBC. The program always lands a spot each year on the top 10 list as football reigns supreme in the United States. SNF brought in an average of 19.5 million viewers, not too far behind Roseanne.
— Screen Rant (@screenrant) December 30, 2018
The third most popular TV show of the year went to CBS’s most successful comedy, the Big Bang Theory. Currently in the middle of Season 12, Big Bang averaged 18.3 million viewers per episode this year. The show is set to conclude in January of next year, likely pulling in one of the biggest single viewerships in all of 2019.
NCIS was the most-watched drama on the list and most successful drama for CBS overall, landing at number four. Season 16 saw an average of 16.7 million viewers per episode and shows no sign of stopping.
NBC’s This is Us was the highest scripted series for the network on the list, coming in at number five. The Mandy Moore drama earned an average of 16.5 million viewers, and had one of the most watched single telecasts of the year, following the Superbowl on February 4. The episode following the infamous crock pot death brought in over 33 million viewers.
Young Sheldon landed at number six on the most-watched TV shows list of 2018, averaging 15.6 million viewers per episode. It is the only spin-off to make the list this year.
Number seven went to NBC newcomer Manifest, which left an average of 14.6 million viewers confused each week. The mystery drama is one of NBC’s newest successes, revolving around a plane of passengers that went missing for five years before returning.
ABC’s the Good Doctor landed at number eight with an average of 14.5 million viewers. Currently in the middle of its second season, the Good Doctor will have a long journey on the network as one of its biggest successes.
The only competition and talent show on the list went to America’s Got Talent which took the number nine spot with an average of 14.2 million viewers. The popular reality series is the most successful competition program, beating out big timers like American Idol and the Voice.
Rounding out the top 10 was CBS’s Bull starring former NCIS star Michael Weatherly. The courtroom drama brought in an average of 13.5 million viewers per episode in 2018.