Special Report

Most Watched Prime Time TV Shows Last Month

Viewers of primetime television made some of the medium’s oldest shows must-see TV last month. 

To determine the 10 most watched primetime TV shows for the week of May 23, 2022, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on streaming activity from Nielsen, ranking shows by viewers. As an indication of how critics and audiences have viewed these shows, we’ve included audience scores from Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, current as of mid-May, and aggregate scores from IMDb, an online movie and TV database owned by Amazon. Data on networks came from Nielsen and show air dates came from IMDb.

Six of the top 10 most-watched programs were on CBS, with the other four split evenly between ABC and NBC. Four of the top-10 shows have been on the air since 2003. (These are the longest-running prime time TV shows in history.)

Click here to see the most watched prime time TV shows last month

The top-10 show with the longest legs remains “60 Minutes,” the venerable news magazine on CBS, which has been on since 1968, when Lyndon Johnson was president. “Survivor,” television’s oldest reality show (since 2000), landed in the top 10, too. Its format of castaways vying for a $1 million prize by trying to outwit each other has proved to have staying power. The singing contest “American Idol,” which has been on the air for most of the years since 2002, continues to draw an audience as well.  

Crime shows such as “NCIS” and “FBI” found favor in May, as did Chicago-themed programs focusing on first responders. (See if these are among the 100 best TV dramas of all time.)

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