NCIS ratings up 30 percent for first new episode in two weeks

NCIS ratings soared amongst the key demographic on March 24, with Schooled being the first new NCIS season 17 episode in two weeks.

When NCIS returned Tuesday after a brief break, the NCIS ratings went through the roof in one big category.

“Schooled” was the CBS drama’s first new episode since March 10; it had aired a repeat the week before. And with many more people staying in and watching TV over the last two weeks, it wasn’t a huge surprise to see ratings climb as a result.

The episode reached 13.08 million viewers—an increase of almost three million more people over the prior new episode.

Many of those were in the adults 18-49 demographic that is coveted by TV networks, because of their importance to advertisers. NCIS season 17 jumped from a 1.0 to a 1.3 share in that specific category.

That’s a 30 percent increase episode-to-episode. The only show that pulled in more viewers in the 18-49 group was FBI, which had extra momentum because it was airing a major crossover event on Tuesday.

The Mark Harmon-led series normally wins Tuesday evenings handily, but with this extra upturn, it’s far and away the most popular series on broadcast TV, and likely the most-watched series on any network; 13 million viewers is practically unheard of these days with time-delayed viewing and streaming.

For comparison, FBI had 10.78 million audience members in the 9:00 p.m. hour, and that was the only other series Tuesday to even get into double digits.

The most popular show on another network was the season finale of This Is Us on NBC, and that collected 7.85 million eyeballs. That’s more than five million less people watching, and that was for a finale, compared to just a regular NCIS episode. NCIS ratings have always been excellent, but now the series truly looks unbeatable.

NCIS airs Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.