CMAs, 'Grey's' and 'Once' lead the way; CBS comedies hot

A nice boost from the CMA Awards, the fall finale of “Grey’s Anatomy” and more strong numbers from new drama “Once Upon a Time” carried ABC to its most competitive finish of the season last week.

According to Nielsen, the Alphabet placed a close second to Fox among young adults, racking up its best demo score since premiere week and its largest overall audience for any non-Academy Awards sesh in two years.

Last week was also another good one for the CBS comedies, which took the top five spots in adults 18-49, and for football, as the nets airing primetime pigskin action racked up victories on Monday, Saturday and Sunday.

Overall for the Nov. 7-13 sesh, Fox led in adults 18-49 with a 3.0 rating/8 share, followed by ABC (2.8/7), CBS (2.6/7), NBC (2.4/6), Univision (1.6/4) and top cabler ESPN (1.4/3). ABC and CBS tied for the lead in adults 25-54 (3.5/8), while the Eye still prevailed in total viewers (10.8 million to 10.3 million for ABC).

At ABC, top-rated “Modern Family” was preempted, but the net still racked up its best Wednesday of the season with “The 45th Annual CMA Awards” (4.8/13, 16.40m), which matched a seven-year high in adults 18-34 (4.1/12).

Thursday saw “Grey’s Anatomy” (4.1/10, 11.29m) match its best 18-49 score since early last spring. Net also had a strong weekend with its “Saturday Night Football” game between Oregon and Stanford (3.0/9, 8.73m) and a winning perf Sunday by “Once Upon a Time” (3.8/9, 11.36m), which has stayed at a lofty level after its premiere last month.

Fox was led by “The X Factor” on Wednesday (3.8/10, 10.25m) and “New Girl” on Tuesday (3.5/9, 6.84m), though the latter doesn’t look quite as hot as in its early weeks. The net narrowly led Thursday in 18-49, though both the “X Factor” results show (3.3/9, 10.13m) and “Bones” (2.6/6, 8.64m) declined from their first pairing of the previous week.The net scored on Saturday with its first UFC telecast (3.0/9, 5.67m), which became the league’s most-watched event ever; it was neck-and-neck with ABC’s college football among adults 18-49 in the 9 o’clock hour, and the Fox fight led in men 18-34 (4.3/15 to 3.5/12).

At CBS, “The Big Bang Theory” (5.3/15 in 18-49, 15.89m) “Two and a Half Men” (5.2/12, 14.71m), “2 Broke Girls” (4.6/11, 11.43m), “How I Met Your Mother” (4.4/12, 10.28m) and “Mike and Molly” (4.2/10, 11.93m) were the week’s top scripted series among young adults, with “Broke” standing as the season’s top-rated newcomer in 18-49.

Also for the Eye, “NCIS” (4.1/11, 20.38m) became the first drama to top 20 million viewers this fall.

NBC’s best news was probably the showing of “Whitney” (2.1/5, 4.28m), which held steady even though its lead-in from “The Office” (3.0/8, 5.96m) declined; the 9:30 p.m. comedy also isn’t getting much backend support from 10 p.m. drama “Prime Suspect” (1.3/3, 4.28m).

The Peacock also saw “Harry’s Law” edge up (1.3/3, 7.11m), matching its season high in 18-49 although that still left it well behind the offerings on the other major nets.

“Rock Center” struggled for a second straight week (1.0/3, 3.46m), barely finishing ahead of Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” (3.40m) as Monday’s most-watched primetime news show.

CW, led as usual by “The Vampire Diaries” (1.4/4, 3.17m), also saw some season highs for “90210″ (0.8/2, 1.55m), which did a 1.0/3 in adults 18-34.

In cable, ESPN saw one of its best “Monday Night Football” perfs with its Chicago-Philadelphia matchup (6.9/18, 16.85m). The net also did well with its Veteran’s Day college basketball game between North Carolina and Michigan State on an aircraft carrier in San Diego (1.6/5, 3.86m).

The top original scripted series among young adults remained hot: AMC’s “The Walking Dead” (3.2/8 in 18-49, 6.12m) and FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” (2.0/6, 3.93m) and “American Horror Story” (1.6/4, 2.83m). Following “Walking” on Sunday, AMC newbie “Hell on Wheels” declined in its second week but was still saw a solid number (1.5/4, 3.84m).

And Friday saw nice perfs from Discovery’s “Gold Rush” (1.6/5, 4.15m) and Disney Channel’s movie “Geek Charming” (0.8/2, 4.91m), whose delivery among persons 12-34 (1.7/7) was the best for any English-language primetime program (broadcast or cable) on the night.

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