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Compare The Most Watched TV Shows Over The Past 20 Years

By / 12.19.13

seinfeld

There are at least 21.8 million people out there who watch NCIS on a weekly basis, and they all live in Wyoming? Florida? Some state between North and South Dakota? Seriously, who are these people? I’ve never met one (note: I never met my grandparents). I asked Yahoo! Answers, “Why is NCIS so popular?” and received an unsatisfactory response: “I’ve never seen it.” And yet, the most JAG of CBS’ current programming is the only series on TV more popular than Sunday Night Football, finishing at the top of the 10 most-watched shows of the fall.

1. NCIS (CBS), 21.8
2. Sunday Night Football (NBC), 21.4
3. The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 21.2
4. NCIS: LA (CBS), 16.8 16835
5. The Blacklist (NBC), 16.5
6. Person of Interest (CBS), 15.9
7. NFL Sunday Night Football Kickoff (NBC), 15.5
8. Dancing with the Stars (ABC), 15
9. The OT (Fox), 14.8
10. The Voice (NBC), 14.8

NCIS truly is our Seinfeld. Anyway, out of curiosity, I rounded up the 10 most popular TV shows for every season since 1993-1994, because we don’t talk about the cultural clusterf*ck that was Joe Millionaire nearly enough.

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1993-1994 (screenshot via)

1993-1994

1994-1995

1994-1995

1995-1996

1995 1996

1996-1997

1996 1997

1997-1998

1997 1998

1998-1999

1998 1999

1999-2000

1. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (Tuesday)
2. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (Thursday)
3. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (Sunday)
4. ER
5. Friends
6. Monday Night Football
7. Frasier
8. 60 Minutes
9. The Practice
10. Touched by an Angel

2000-2001

1. Survivor
2. ER
3. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (Wednesday)
4. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (Tuesday)
5. Friends
6. Monday Night Football
7. Law and Order
8. Everybody Loves Raymond
9. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (Sunday)
10. The Practice

2001-2002

1. Friends
2. CSI
3. E.R.
4. Everybody Loves Raymond
5. Law and Order
6. Survivor
7. The West Wing
8. Monday Night Football
9. Will and Grace
10. Leap of Faith

2002-2003

1. CSI
2. Joe Millionaire
3. American Idol (Wednesday)
4. Friends
5. American Idol (Tuesday)
6. Survivor: Thailand
7. E.R.
8. Survivor: Amazon
9. Everybody Loves Raymond
10. Law and Order

2003-2004

1.American Idol
2. CSI
3. Survivor
4. The Apprentice
5. Friends
6. Monday Night Football
7. My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé
8. CSI: Miami
9. ER
10. Everybody Loves Raymond

2004-2005

1. American Idol
2. CSI
3. Survivor
4. Desperate Housewives
5. CSI: Miami
6. Dancing with the Stars
7. Monday Night Football
8. Without a Trace
9. Everybody Loves Raymond
10. Two and a Half Men

2005-2006

1. American Idol
2. CSI
3. Survivor
4. Desperate Housewives
5. Dancing with the Stars
6. CSI: Miami
7. Without a Trace
8. Monday Night Football
9. Grey’s Anatomy
10. House, M.D.

2006-2007

1. American Idol
2. Dancing with the Stars
3. CSI
4. Sunday Night Football
5. Survivor
6. Grey’s Anatomy
7. Lost
8. House, M.D.
9. Without a Trace
10. CSI: Miami

2007-2008

1. American Idol
2. Dancing with the Stars
3. Sunday Night Football
4. Survivor
5. CSI
6. Lost
7. House, M.D.
8. Heroes
9. NCIS
10. America’s Got Talent

2008-2009

1. American Idol (Wednesday)
2. American Idol (Tuesday)
3. Dancing With the Stars
4. CSI
5. NCIS
6. The Mentalist
7. Dancing With the Stars (Results)
8. Sunday Night Football
9. Desperate Housewives
10. Two and a Half Men

2009-2010

1. American Idol (Tuesday)
2. American Idol (Wednesday)
3. Dancing with the Stars
4. Sunday Night Football
5. NCIS
6. Undercover Boss
7. The Mentalist
8. CSI
9. NCIS: LA
10. Dancing with the Stars (Results)

2010-2011

1. American Idol (Wednesday)
2. American Idol (Thursday)
3. Dancing with the Stars
4. Sunday Night Football
5. NCIS
6. Dancing with the Stars (Results)
7. NCIS: Los Angeles
8. The Mentalist
9. Criminal Minds
10. CSI

2011-2012

1. Sunday Night Football
2. American Idol (Wednesday)
3. NCIS
4. American Idol (Thursday)
5. Dancing with the Stars
6. Dancing with the Stars (Results)
7. NCIS: Los Angeles
8. The Big Bang Theory
9. The Voice
10. Two and a Half Men

(2012-2013 ratings via EW, all others via Frank Bibler)


TAGSNCISNIELSEN RATINGSSeinfeld

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