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May 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

NBC and CBS are squabbling over which show was the most watched during the past season — Sunday Night Football or NCIS. In today’s (Thursday) Washington Post, TV columnist Lisa de Moraes explained that while CBS’s crime drama, with an average of 21.3 million viewers, was the most-watched program during the official season that began on Sept. 24 and ended on May 22, the Nielsen ratings service allows networks to track ratings for the season from the series premiere, and in SNF’s case, there were four telecasts that aired before the start of the season (including one that didn’t even air on a Sunday). With those telecasts factored in, SNF was the most-watched with 21.5 million. De Moraes goes on to point out that those extra telecasts are not counted in NBC’s overall season average. Moreover, she notes the unfairness of scripted series having to compete with those that never have to air reruns, which nearly always draw lower ratings that original shows. “If you take all the rerun episodes out of NCIS’s season,” she notes, “NCIS wins with 22.46 million.”