Ten Most-Watched Entertainment TV Shows in 2014

Eye Network Dominates List With More Than Half of Most-Popular Prime-Time Series

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It seems like no matter how many "NCIS" iterations CBS airs, the franchise is a guaranteed hit. The original "NCIS" was the most-watched TV show in 2014, with newcomer "NCIS: New Orleans" and "NCIS: Los Angeles" also placing in the top four.

In fact, all of TV's top four most-popular prime-time series aired on the Eye Network, and the channel had six shows in total on the top 10 list.

The below chart ranks the most-watched entertainment shows by total viewers, according to Nielsen figures supplied by Carat. The chart compiles live plus same-day ratings for all original episodes of entertainment shows that aired in prime time during the year. Sports and news programming are excluded.

'The Big Bang Theory'
'The Big Bang Theory' Credit: CBS

It's worth noting that the chart looks across two different seasons, the end of the 2013-14 seasons and start of the 2014-15 season.

Given that, some series, like CBS' "NCIS: New Orleans" and "Madam Secretary" aired only during the second-half of the year, premiering this fall. And some shows, like CBS' "The Big Bang Theory," aired in multiple different time slots through the two seasons.

In the case of "Big Bang," which aired Thursday night's last season and on Monday night in two time slots and on Thursday nights this fall, we took the weighted average of all original episodes during all time periods.

Only one cable series, AMC's "The Walking Dead," appeared on the chart, coming in at No. 5.

'The Walking Dead'
'The Walking Dead' Credit: AMC

Two reality competition shows, ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" and both the performance episode and results show of NBC's "The Voice," made the top 10.

No Fox show appeared on the list.

Of course, over the past year there's been continued growth in delayed viewing. The chart does not take into account the viewing of shows that happen on a delayed basis, instead serving as a barometer for the programming viewers are compelled to watch live.

Here's a look at the highest-rated TV shows of the year.

Most Watched Broadcast Entertainment Shows of 2014
Series Network Total Viewers (in millions)
*The Big Bang Theory CBS 16.9
NCIS: New Orleans CBS 16
NCIS: Los Angeles CBS 14.8
The Walking Dead AMC 14.1
Dancing With the Stars ABC 13.8
Madam Secretary CBS 12.7
The Voice (Monday) NBC 12.3
The Voice (Tuesday) NBC 12
Blue Bloods CBS 11.6
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