Bereft of scripted shows, opening week ratings down for TV | Business

NEW YORK (AP) — The surest sign of how the coronavirus shutdown has devastated the television industry is the fourth-place finish of CBS in what was nominally the first week of a new fall season.

The network’s viewership was down a whopping 61% from the premiere week last year, the Nielsen company said.

CBS has essentially been America’s favorite television network for two decades. But that success was built primarily on its scripted dramas and comedies, particularly crime procedurals like “NCIS.” The shutdown in TV production because of the pandemic means CBS is struggling to cobble together a competitive schedule each week.

ABC, NBC and Fox were all down from last year, too. But between pro football and the return of some popular unscripted shows like “The Masked Singer” and “Dancing With the Stars,” they weren’t hurt as much as CBS. Fox’s animated series, including the ageless “The Simpsons,” are

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