60 Minutes’ Season 52 Premiere Draws 11.8 Million Viewers, No. 6 Across Broadcast Television for the Week

By A.J. Katz 

60 Minutes kicked off its 52nd season on CBS with a report from Scott Pelley on the impeachment inquiry of Pres. Trump. Pelley’s reporting on this current news story included interviews with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (separately, of course), and among others.

The broadcast drew 11.8 million total viewers, the largest audience for a non-sports program on Sunday, according to live-plus-same-day data from Nielsen.

In total viewers, last Sunday’s edition 60 Minutes was the No. 6 program for premiere week. Among adults 25-54, the iconic newsmagazine finished No. 7.

How does this compare with last season’s premiere broadcast?

The Season 51 premiere (Sept. 30, 2018), which featured a Scott Pelley report on the Supreme Court confirmation process of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, drew 13.5 million total viewers. That means the Season 52 premiere was -13% in total viewers vs. the Season 51 premiere.

Both broadcasts had NFL on CBS lead-ins.

In addition to Pelley’s reporting on the breaking news story regarding impeachment, the season premiere featured CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell’s interview with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and a look at the proliferation of great white sharks by 60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whitaker.