Billy Joel Concert Was CBS’ Least-Watched Sunday Primetime Fare But Still Beat Broadcast Competition

Billy Joel drummed up 5.73M viewers on Sunday night for the CBS airing of his concert at Madison Square Garden.

Billy Joel: The 100th – Live at Madison Square Garden won its time period, beginning around 9:30 p.m. ET/PT. However, it was actually the least-watched fare on CBS that night.

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Both 60 Minutes and Tracker drew more than 8M viewers, meaning that about 30% of the network’s audience had checked out before the special began.

Still, it’s a decent audience to hold onto that late on a Sunday night, and it beat out all other broadcast competition by a hefty margin. It also improved the time period over that time slot’s usual CSI: Vegas airing.

CBS is giving the special one more chance to shine, given that the presentation cut out in some parts of the country as the singer was in the middle of his signature hit “Piano Man.” Instead of hearing Joel finish, the broadcast cut away to local news at 11 p.m.

The error prompted quite a bit of backlash from audiences who were unhappy that Joel’s concert was cut short.

After apologizing to fans, the network announced it would re-air Billy Joel: The 100th – Live at Madison Square Garden on April 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

The special will also be available to stream on Paramount+.

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