Awards show is top entertainment draw of week in demos

The Country Music Assn. Awards on ABC may be past its best ratings days, but don’t feel too sorry for the kudocast.

In fact, it logged an historic achievement — ranking as the week’s No. 1 entertainment telecast in adults 18-49 for the first time.

Such is the state of today’s same-night viewing trends, which favor live events like sports, reality shows and kudocasts. During the primetime hours, auds often opt for these programs over their scripted faves, which they are increasingly watching via DVR playback in the days following their broadcast premiere.

Looking at the same-night numbers, Wednesday’s telecast of the 44th annual “CMA Awards” on ABC averaged a 4.7 rating/13 share in adults 18-49 and 16.49 million viewers overall, according to Nielsen. The demo score was off 11% from last year (and believed to be an all-time low) while the total-viewer count was off just 4% year to year and the second largest in five years.

Despite the demo decline, the CMAs edged out Fox’s “Glee” (4.6/13) to stand as the week’s No. 1 entertainment show in same-night viewing. The only programs to fare better in 18-49 for the frame were NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” (8.1/20 in 18-49, 21.18m) and ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” (6.1/16, 15.02m).

Of course, when all DVR playback is included, “Glee” was expected to attract more young-adult viewers than the awards show — as are other top 10 shows such as CBS’ “Two and a Half Men” and ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Through six weeks of the season, the series posting the biggest gains in same-week DVR playback vs. the originally reported same-night numbers are ABC’s “Modern Family” and “Grey’s Anatomy” — both growing by a full 1.5 ratings points in adults 18-49. NBC’s “The Office” and Fox’s “House” have added 1.2 ratings points on average, while Fox’s “Glee” and CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0″ and “The Big Bang Theory” tack on 1.1 points on average.

In total viewers, CBS dramas “Hawaii Five-0″ and “The Mentalist” add a little more than 3 million per episode, while ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Modern Family” grow by slightly less than 3 million.

Overall for the week of Nov. 8-14, a football-fueled Fox prevailed in adults 18-49 with a 2.8 rating/8 share, followed by ABC (2.6/8), CBS (2.5/7), NBC (2.4/7), Univision (1.6/5) and ESPN (1.5/4). ABC and CBS tied for the lead among adults 25-54 (3.4/9), and the Eye held a slim advantage over the Alphabet in total viewers (10.7 million to 10.1 million).

Aside from “Glee,” Fox was paced by “House” (3.7/10 in 18-49, 9.63m), Sunday laffers “The Simpsons” (3.9/10, 8.83m) and “Family Guy” (3.4/8, 7.06m), and solid midweek entries “Hell’s Kitchen” (2.8/8, 5.93m) and “Bones” (2.6/7, 9.20m).

The net’s 15-hour sked also benefitted considerably from Sunday’s 52-minute NFL overrun, which averaged a 10.1/29 in 18-49 and 28.2 million viewers overall.

At ABC, top series perfs came from “Grey’s Anatomy” (4.0/11, 11.13m), “Dancing With the Stars” (4.0/10, 19.95m) and “Desperate Housewives” (3.8/9, 11.92m); “Dancing” was primetime’s most-watched entertainment skein for the week.

On Friday, “Primetime: What Would You Do?” gave ABC its best numbers in the 9 o’clock hour since March (1.9/6, 6.34m) and stood as the night’s top show in 18-49.

CBS had the week’s top two half-hours in demos in Monday’s “Two and a Half Men” (4.3/11, 13.63m) and Thursday’s “The Big Bang Theory” (4.2/12, 13.11m) and the No. 1 drama in Tuesday vet “NCIS” (4.0/11, 19.87m) — TV’s No. 1 entertainment series for the week in 25-54 (5.5/14).

Sagging some were Sunday reality show “Undercover Boss” (2.7/6, 10.42m) and Friday rookie “Blue Bloods” (1.6/5, 10.57m), though the latter still led its hour in 25-54 (2.4/7) and total viewers.

NBC’s best series results came Thursday, where “The Office” remains potent (3.6/10, 7.15m), and opening-hour laffers “Community” (2.0/6, 4.53m) and “30 Rock” (2.4/7, 5.09m) had their best showings in about a month. At 9:30, “Outsourced” (2.6/7, 5.47m) retained an improved 72% of its “Office” lead-in among the 18-49 crowd.

Univision was paced by the Latin Grammy Awards on Thursday (2.6/7 in 18-49, 6.21m), trailing only CBS on the night in adults 18-49.

At CW, “Smallville” perked up on Friday (1.3/4 in 18-49, 2.90m) and led its hour among adults 18-34 (1.1/4).

On cable, TBS’ premiere week of 11 p.m. skein “Conan” averaged 2.16 million adults 18-49 and 2.93 million viewers overall, standing as the week’s top-rated latenight talkshow among young adults. Monday’s preem averaged a whopping 2.45 million adults 18-34 to top all primetime cable programs for the week in the demo.

Elsewhere, AMC’s “Walking Dead” remained strong Sunday (2.6/6 in 18-49, 5.07m), beating competing ABC and CBS dramas in the 10 p.m. hour among adults 18-49.

FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” continues to perform well in its third season, with Tuesday’s episode (1.6/5, 3.18m) edging out TBS’ second night of “Conan” as cable’s top-rated program of the night in 18-49.

And Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants” was cable’s most-watched entertainment telecast for the week with Thursday’s half-hour special “Mystery With a Twistery” (6.10m viewers).

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