NCIS: LA ratings for Oct. 13: Sunday Night Football takes a bite

NCIS: LA ratings dropped slightly this week thanks to strong competition from NFL Sunday Night Football. Check out the latest NCIS: Los Angeles numbers.

NCIS: Los Angeles ratings took a hit from the National Football League this week, but the Oct. 13 episode of the CBS drama still finished strong despite the NFL challenge.

Sunday’s episode “Hail Mary” featured Gerald McRaney (This Is Us, Agent X) as a retired Admiral needing protection from the team, but threats to him weren’t all the show was playing defense against.

The episode pulled in 6.37 million live viewers, which was down from the previous week’s 6.56 million. It was a drop of 0.19, or roughly 190,000 people.

NCIS: LA ranked seventh in total viewers amongst the 21 broadcast TV options on Sunday night, putting it within the top third of shows—albeit on the lower end. That’s down one spot from last week.

Amongst the adults 18-49 demographic that is most important to networks and advertisers, the show had a 0.8 share, which tied it for eighth place with FOX‘s The Simpsons.

That was actually a great rise; last Sunday’s episode had a 0.7 share, but that 0.1 uptick lifted the series four spots! It had previously been tied for 12th place.

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What do all these numbers mean? While NCIS: Los Angeles lost total viewers, more of the people who did watch were in that coveted group of people between the ages of 18-49.

Fans also have to consider the effects that NFL football had on “Hail Mary.” The episode started a half-hour later than usual, at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT, because CBS also broadcasts football games on Sunday—and so there was overrun that delayed the start of the network’s normal programming.

On top of that, everything was clearly thumped by NBC‘s broadcast of Sunday Night Football. That network dominated Sunday’s ratings, with the Los Angeles Chargers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers contest having a live audience of 12.53 million people. So nothing was going to overcome that.

When you keep that in mind, the NCIS: LA ratings aren’t anything to worry about. A slight loss of viewers happens week to week on many shows, and the show is still one of the top-rated scripted shows on Sundays.

If you remove football from the equation entirely, there’s only one show that had better ratings than NCIS: LA this week. That was its lead-in, the sophomore comedy-drama God Friended Me, which brought in 6.97 million live viewers.

That’s 0.60, or 600,000, more—a sizeable gap but not massive, and not anything that the NCIS team couldn’t catch up with necessarily.

So while this wasn’t the best week for NCIS: Los Angeles, it also wasn’t a terrible week either, considering the various outside factors that affect the Oct. 13 episode. For a show in its 11th season, an audience over six million is still pretty good.

NCIS: Los Angeles season 11 continues next Sunday, Oct. 20 in the show’s regular 9 p.m. time slot. We’ll have to see if the return to form has any impact on the ratings next week!