Fox’s Last Man Standing usually wins the Friday night primetime demo ratings. This week, another type of last man standing, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, took over the top slot.
The annual hoops tournament, which matches the best 68 teams in men’s college basketball in single-elimination games leading up to the April 8th championship in Minneapolis, is the one chance for smaller schools like Wofford and Murray State to grab national attention. Not to mention that gambling plays a big role, with everything from office brackets to high-rollers at sports books combining to wager an estimated $8.5 billion on the outcomes.
Friday saw CBS take over the ratings race from 7 PM to 9:30 PM. The big attraction was the North Dakota State Bison playing the Duke Blue Devils, the latter featuring super-athletic star forward Zion Williamson as must-see TV.
The game generated a 1.8/9 in 18-49 demos and 6.20 million total audience to take the night’s top honors. Duke didn’t disappoint either (well, maybe to North Dakota fans), winning 85-62, as Williamson scored 25 points.
The CBS 9:30 PM game saw the UCF Knights against the VCU Rams, and while it didn’t have Duke’s star power, it still pulled in a 1.1 in demos.
Overall, CBS won the network race handily, sporting a 1.5/7 and 4.88 million audience.
Beyond sports, Fox’s Last Man Standing was at 0.9/5 and 4.94 million, the night’s highest scripted performance and holding steady with last week’s performance by the show. Following sitcom The Cool Kids held its 0.7 from last week, and legal drama Proven Innocent also held last week’s 0.4.
At ABC, Fresh Off The Boat scored a 0.6, while Speechless held on to its 0.5 from last week, 20/20 had yet another good week, as the newsmag rose up to 0.9, again crushing its competition.
NBC’s Blindspot slipped to 0.4, down a tick from last week, but The Blacklist was up to 0.6. Dateline held steady at 0.5.
The CW saw Dynasty tick upward to 0.2, with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend holding on at 0.1.