Thanks to a dominant showing among scripted series, CBS notched its strongest finish of the season last week — leading in all key categories, including a tie in the 18-49 demo with NBC.
The Peacock remains the season’s leader among young adults and is the only broadcaster showing year-to-year growth, but CBS is riding some momentum heading into Thanksgiving.
Last week, CBS claimed 11 of primetime’s top 20 scripted series in adults 18-49 — more than the combined tallies of ABC (four), Fox (two) and NBC, AMC and FX (one apiece). (ABC might have closed the gap but its Sunday dramas were preempted.)
The second full week in November, meanwhile, was a brutal one for Fox. Without any big sports or specials (CBS had the primetime NFL overrun Sunday), Fox finished a distant fourth in 18-49 and for the season is down by more than 20%.
Overall for the Nov. 12-18 frame, according to Nielsen, CBS and NBC tied in 18-49 with a 2.5 rating/7 share, and were followed by ABC (2.2/6), Fox (1.7/5) and Univision (1.6/4). CBS held a 17% advantage in adults 25-54 (3.4/8 to 2.9/7) and won by a hefty margin in total viewers (10.6 million to 8.1 million for runner-up ABC).
CBS was so dominant in total viewers that it finished on top in 24 consecutive half-hours from Tuesday through Friday.
The Eye’s Thursday juggernaut “The Big Bang Theory” established same-night series highs in both adults 25-54 (7.4/12) and total viewers (17.63 million) while its adults 18-49 score (5.7/17) was a season high and repped the highest rating for any scripted broadcast this fall.
Elsewhere for the Eye, “Two and a Half Men” (4.1/12 in 18-49, 13.87m) and “Person of Interest” (3.1/8, 14.57m) followed “Big Bang” with demo season highs of their own.
Wednesday’s “CSI” comfortably led its hour (2.5/7, 11.01m) and closed in on NBC’s Monday drama “Revolution” (2.6/7, 7.10m) as TV’s top-rated 10 p.m. drama in 18-49. And on Friday, “Undercover Boss” led the 8 p.m. hour (1.8/6, 9.01m).
NBC again had the week’s No. 1 show (6.9/17 in 18-49, 18.16m for Steelers-Ravens), and “The Voice” remained potent on both Monday (4.4/11, 11.63m) and Tuesday (3.9/11, 11.15m).
In addition to “Revolution,” NBC also had the No. 1 broadcast program at 10 p.m. in 18-49 on Tuesday with “Parenthood” (1.9/5, 4.82m). And “Grimm” was down some, but was again TV’s top scripted demo draw on Friday (1.6/5, 5.03m).
ABC had a strong weekend with Saturday’s college football game between Stanford and Oregon (2.8/9, 8.35m) and Sunday’s “40th Annual American Music Awards” (3.4/8, 9.52m), though the kudocast posted its lowest-ever scores and tumbled 21% year to year.
The net’s Tuesday is really struggling, with “Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23” (1.1/3, 3.10m) and “Private Practice” (1.1/3, 3.72m) barely registering. And Friday laffers “Last Man Still Standing” (1.4/5, 7.13m) and “Malibu Country” (1.4/5, 6.67m) fell off in their third outings.
Fox was paced by Wednesday’s “The X Factor” (2.9/8, 8.15m), but its only other program to top a 2.5 demo rating was “Family Guy” (2.6/6, 5.14m). Rookies “Mob Doctor” (0.8/2, 3.01m) and “Ben & Kate” (1.1/3, 2.39m) are dragging the net down early in the week.
Univision was boosted by the “13th Annual Latin Grammy Awards” on Thursday (2.1/6, 4.99m) and Sunday’s finale of dancing series “Mira Quien Baila” (1.5/4, 3.94m). Only Fox beat Univision’s kudocast for the night in adults 18-34 (2.0/7).
AMC’s “The Walking Dead” (4.9/12, 9.21m) slipped week to week but stood as TV’s top drama for the week in 18-49.
A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” (2.0/6, 4.42m), MTV’s “Teen Mom” (2.0/5, 3.41m) and TruTV’s “Hardcore Pawn” (1.1/3, 3.08m) were among the seemingly niche cable shows to stack up well to the broadcasters (Daily Variety, Nov. 16).
On Sunday, Disney Junior’s “Sofia the First” animated fairytale drew a big 5.15 million viewers on Disney Channel, including the largest aud of kids 2-5 (1.5 million) for any cable telecast since “SpongeBob Atlantis Pantis” in 2007.
Spike’s premiere of “Eddie Murphy: One Night Only” on Wednesday (1.0/3, 1.91m) became the net’s most-watched special to date.