With so many Americans self-quarantining to minimize the spread of the coronavirus in the United States, prime-time television is seeing a resurgence. Viewership has surpassed 40 percent, according to a Wednesday report from Deadline.
By March 8, instead of the typical Daylight Saving Time slump the industry endures the week of the time shift, prime-time television experienced growth after the World Health Organized declared COVID-19 is indeed a global pandemic. And with more and more companies allowing professionals to work-from-home along with schools and other social establishments shutting down, people have simply been present for those prime-time TV hours.
Monday night’s episode of “The Voice” spiked 38 percent for its 8 p.m. time slot, which is equivalent to a Nielsen rating of 1.8 from 1.3, which was a week-to-week five-tenths climb among adults between ages 18 and 49, according to Deadline. The show’s audience also increased by 1.1 million for a record 9.67 million.
Tuesday night’s episode of “This Is Us” rose three-tenths among this crucial demographic, according to Deadline. And Wednesday night’s episode of “Ellen’s Game of Games” was another 8 p.m. win for NBC with a 44 percent jump that added 1.6 million viewers, which is the highest the show has received.
CBS’s "Bull" and “Bob Hearts Abishola” posted season highs this week as well.
The levels at which people are viewing prime-time television were up every day the week before, according to Deadline. There were also significant gains on Saturday and Sunday. By Monday, the number of households watching TV was the highest it has been since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January.
Daytime and late-night TV have also received a boost from the coronavirus.
It is not clear how COVID-19 will contribute to TV viewership in the long-term. However, industry experts expect audiences to grow as restrictions and quarantines expand across the country despite the loss of professional sports and similar live programs.