The Most-Watched TV Shows of 2015: Here Are the Episodes and Telecasts That Had the Most Viewers

Michael Schneider
The Walking Dead Group Costume for Halloween
Gene Page/AMC

Here's how you can sum up 2015 TV in three words: Football, Cookie and zombies.

As always, the Super Bowl was by far the most-watched program of the year in all of TV, with a whopping 115,204,000 viewers. That halo effect also allowed The Blacklist's post-Super Bowl episode to be the most-watched broadcast scripted telecast of the year.

The dominance of AMC's The Walking Dead continues unabated: Among adults 18-49, it boasts the top 10 most-watched scripted episodes of the year among adults 18-49. The only other scripted show to make it into the Top 20? NBC's The Blacklist, at No. 20.

When you split up broadcast and cable into different charts, Fox's Empire dominates the broadcast list. And of course, The Walking Dead takes all 10 of the top cable slots.

In broadcast total viewers, CBS stalwarts NCIS and The Big Bang Theory continue to do quite well. (We're waiting on a final cable total viewers list; when we get it, we will post!)

Here's our ratings roundup of the year's most-watched telecasts, according to different broadcast and cable measurements.

More Ratings Wrap:

MOST-WATCHED PRIMETIME TELECASTS OF 2015, ADULTS 18-49

The top 20 broadcast and cable primetime telecasts (including Live+7 DVR and VOD data) in 2015, overall by 18-49:

RANK

SHOW & NETWORK

LIVE+7
DAYS
DVR/VOD

AIRDATE

1

Super Bowl XLIX: New England vs. Seattle NBC

39.4

(50.1 million)

2/1/2015

2

Super Bowl Post-Game NBC

26.5

(33.7 million)

2/1/2015

3

AFC Championship: Indianapolis vs. New England CBS

 13.9

(17.7 million)

1/18/2015

4

Academy Awards ABC

11.5

(14.5 million)

2/22/2015

5

College Football Championship: Ohio State vs. Oregon ESPN

11.2

(14.2 million)

1/12/2015

6

The Walking Dead AMC

11.1

(14.1 million)

3/29/2015

7

The Walking Dead AMC

11.0

(13.9 million)

2/8/2015

8

The Walking Dead AMC

10.7

(13.6 million)

3/1/2015

9 (tie)

 The Walking Dead AMC

 NFL Playoff: Baltimore vs. New England NBC

10.6

(13.5 million)

10/11/2015

1/10/2015

11 (tie)

NFL Playoff: Carolina vs. Seattle Fox

NFL Thursday Special: Pittsburgh vs. New England (Season opener) NBC

10.4

(13.2 million)

1/10/2015

9/10/2015

13 (tie)

The Walking Dead AMC

The Walking Dead AMC

10.3

(13.1 million)

3/8/2015

3/15/2015

15 (tie)

NFL Sunday Night Football: NY Giants vs. Dallas NBC

The Walking Dead AMC

10.2

(12.9 million)

9/13/2015

2/22/2015

17 (tie)

The Walking Dead AMC

The Walking Dead AMC

The Walking Dead AMC

10.0

(12.7 million)

11/1/2015

3/22/2015

10/25/2015

20

The Blacklist (post-Super Bowl) NBC

9.9

(12.6 million)

2/1/2015

Adults 18-49 rating and Adults 18-49 viewers in millions

MOST-WATCHED BROADCAST NETWORK TELECASTS OF 2015

The top 10 broadcast network telecasts (including Live+7 DVR and VOD data) in 2015, overall by total viewers:

RANK

SHOW & NETWORK

LIVE+7
DAYS
DVR/VOD

AIRDATE

1

Super Bowl XLIX: New England vs. Seattle NBC

115,204,000

2/1/2015

2

Super Bowl Post-Game NBC

73,156,000

2/1/2015

3

AFC Championship: Indianapolis vs. New England CBS

 42,257,000

1/18/2015

4

Academy Awards ABC

38,538,000

2/22/2015

5

NFL Playoffs: Carolina vs. Seattle Fox

31,139,000

1/10/2015

6

The Blacklist (post-Super Bowl) NBC

30,489,000

2/1/2015

7

NCAA Basketball Tournament Championship: Wisconsin vs. Duke CBS

28,426,000

4/6/2015

8

NFL Playoff Game: Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh NBC

28,058,000

1/3/2015

9

Sunday Night Football: Chicago vs. Green Bay (Thanksgiving Special) NBC

27,905,000

11/26/2015

10

Sunday Night Football: Pittsburgh vs. New England (Thursday opener) NBC

27,563,000

9/10/2015

Total viewers; in millions

MOST-WATCHED ENTERTAINMENT (NON-SPORTS) BROADCAST NETWORK TELECASTS OF 2015

The top 10 broadcast network entertainment telecasts (including Live+7 DVR and VOD data) in 2015, overall by total viewers:

RANK

SHOW & NETWORK

LIVE+7
DAYS
DVR/VOD

AIRDATE

1

Academy Awards ABC

38,538,000

2/22/2015

2

The Blacklist (post-Super Bowl) NBC

30,489,000

2/1/2015

3

Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary NBC

 27,331,000

2/15/2015

4

Grammy Awards CBS

26,950,000

2/8/2015

5

Oscars Red Carpet Preview Show ABC

24,016,000

2/22/2015

6

NCIS CBS

23,747,000

1/6/2015

7

The Big Bang Theory CBS

23,726,000

9/21/2015

8

NCIS CBS

23,544,000

1/13/2015

9

The Big Bang Theory CBS

23,441,000

2/19/2015

10

The Big Bang Theory CBS

23,321,000

3/5/2015

Total viewers; in millions

TOP-RATED ENTERTAINMENT BROADCAST TELECASTS (NON-SPORTS) AMONG ADULTS 18-49

The top 10 broadcast network entertainment telecasts (including Live+7 DVR and VOD data) in 2015, overall by adults 18-49:

RANK

SHOW & NETWORK

LIVE+7
DAYS
DVR/VOD

(RATING)

AIRDATE

1

Academy Awards ABC

11.4

2/22/2015

2

The Blacklist (post-Super Bowl) NBC

9.9

2/1/2015

3

Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary NBC

 9.5

2/15/2015

4

Empire Fox

9.4

9/23/2015

5

Empire Fox

9.3

3/18/2015

6

Grammy Awards CBS

9.1

2/8/2015

7

Empire (8 pm special) Fox

8.7

3/18/2015

8

Empire Fox

8.5

3/11/2015

9

Empire Fox

8.3

3/4/2015

10

Empire Fox

8.2

9/30/2015

Adults 18-49

TOP-RATED ENTERTAINMENT CABLE TELECASTS (NON-SPORTS) AMONG ADULTS 18-49

The top 10 cable network entertainment telecasts (including Live+7 DVR and VOD data) in 2015, overall by adults 18-49:

RANK

SHOW & NETWORK

LIVE+7
DAYS
DVR/VOD

(RATING)

AIRDATE

1

The Walking Dead AMC

11.1

3/29/2015

2

The Walking Dead AMC

 11.0

2/8/2015

3

The Walking Dead AMC

10.7

3/1/2015

4

The Walking Dead AMC

10.6

10/11/2015

5

The Walking Dead AMC

The Walking Dead AMC

10.3

10.3

3/8/2015

3/15/2015

7

The Walking Dead AMC

 10.2

2/22/2015

8

The Walking Dead AMC

The Walking Dead AMC

The Walking Dead AMC

10.0

10.0

10.0

11/1/2015

3/22/2015

10/25/2015

Adults 18-49