These are the 10 most popular US TV shows of the year, according to Nielsen ratings

Robert Voets/CBSIain Armitage in ‘Young Sheldon.’
  • The highest-rated TV shows of 2017 consisted mainly of fan favourites such as “NCIS” and “The Big Bang Theory.”
  • Nielsen tracked the average number of viewers tuning in to regularly scheduled programming to determine which shows were most popular.

Many of the most popular series this year were long-standing fan favourites such as “NCIS,” “The Big Bang Theory,” and, of course, “Sunday Night Football,” according to Nielsen data.

Two new series, “Young Sheldon” and “The Good Doctor,” racked up some astonishingly high ratings, though, making them two of the most popular new TV shows of 2017.

To find out which shows were the most popular this year, Nielsen tracked the average number of viewers tuning in to regularly scheduled programming.

Here are the 10 most popular TV shows of 2017, according to Nielsen’s ratings.

10. “Bull” (CBS) — 14.4 million average viewers


The abrasive yet charming Dr. Jason Bull (Michael Weatherly) runs a successful consulting firm in which he and his employees use psychology, human intuition, and high-tech data to analyse legal trials.

9. “America’s Got Talent,” Wednesday broadcast (NBC) — 14.6 million average viewers

NBCUniversalMandy Harvey performing on the ‘America’s Got Talent’ finale.

Celebrities judge a diverse group of performers, singers, acrobats, and everything in between to crown a winner.

8. “The Walking Dead” (AMC) — 14.7 million average viewers

Gene Page/AMC

Survivors of a zombie apocalypse band together to stay alive and destroy any and all zombies that come their way.

7. “America’s Got Talent,” Tuesday broadcast (NBC) — 16 million average viewers

America’s Got Talent/Facebook

This popular talent competition aired twice a week this year and ended up pulling in big ratings both nights.

6. “This is Us” (NBC) — 16.5 million average viewers

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

This NBC drama follows the lives of the Pearson family, in both the past and the present day.

5. “NCIS” (CBS) — 17.7 million average viewers

Patti Perret/CBS

The NCIS team investigates a wide range of crimes, from homicides to terrorism, in this hour-long procedural.

4. “Young Sheldon” (CBS) — 17.7 million average viewers

Robert Voets/CBS‘Young Sheldon’ star Iain Armitage.

“The Big Bang Theory” spinoff series follows a precocious 9-year-old, Sheldon Cooper, as he starts high school and struggles to be understood by both his classmates and his family.

3. “The Good Doctor” (ABC) — 17.9 million average viewers


Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) is a young surgeon with autism who joins a reputable hospital’s surgical unit.

2. “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS) — 18.5 million average viewers

Michael Yarish/Warner Bros.From left: Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, and Kunal Nayyar.

A group of friends, bonded by their love of all things science, go through the ups and downs of their careers and romantic relationships together.

1. “Sunday Night Football” (NBC) — 18.5 million average viewers

Rob Carr/Getty

A weekly broadcast of NFL games.

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