AMC's 'Dead' Dominates Demos, CBS Wins

CBS was back in control of primetime last week, as the return to originals for its early-week entertainment series pushed the season’s No. 1 network past Fox in the young-adult demo.

Although AMC’s “The Walking Dead” was far and away the week’s top-rated program among young adults, the Eye net dominated the adults 18-49 program rankings, with 11 of the top 25 shows — as many as Fox (six), ABC (four) and NBC (one) combined. And that’s without its hit Thursday programs, including “The Big Bang Theory,” which sat out the week due to college basketball.

Fox had won the previous three weeks in the key 18-49 demo but couldn’t keep it going as “American Idol” delivered its lowest-rated sesh of the season.

Overall for the week of March 18-24, CBS averaged a 2.1 rating/6 share in adults 18-49, followed by Fox (1.9/6), ABC (1.8/5), Univision (1.4/4) and NBC (1.2/3). This marked the eighth consecutive week that Univision had out-rated NBC, a streak that figures to come to an end this week now that “The Voice” has returned to the Peacock.

CBS also won in adults 25-54 (2.8/7 to 2.4/6 for ABC and Fox), its sixth victory in eight weeks, and prevailed as usual in total viewers (8.5 million to 7.5 million for ABC).

CBS got a boost from college basketball on both Saturday (where it more than doubled runner-up ABC) and Sunday (a 45-minute overrun averaged a 4.3/13 in 18-49), but action on Thursday and Friday came in under the net’s averages for the season.

The net was all-original early in the week, with good performances from the likes of Monday’s “How I Met Your Mother” (3.0/9 in 18-49, 7.44m), Tuesday’s “NCIS” (3.2/10 in 18-49, 19.79m) and Wednesday’s “Criminal Minds” (3.0/8, 11.58m).

Following “NCIS,” the week’s most-watched program overall, the net also did well with “NCIS: Los Angeles” (2.9/8, 16.84m), which introduced characters for a planned spinoff, “NCIS: Red.” And at 10, rookie “Golden Boy” was on the rise (1.7/5, 9.26m), again winning its hour.

On Sunday, the basketball overrun seemed to provide a lift for “The Amazing Race” (2.4/6, 9.33m) and “The Good Wife” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 9.59m), both of which grew week to week despite starting about 45 minutes late in most of the country.

At Fox, “American Idol” remained in the top 10 but hit season lows on both Wednesday (3.6/10 in 18-49, 12.94m) and Thursday (2.9/9, 11.93m); the Thursday results show marked the first time the show, now in its 12th season, had dipped below a 3 rating in the demo for a regular episode.

On the scripted front, “The Following” (2.5/6, 7.34m) continues to do pretty well and has been an especially big gainer in DVR playback; in the most recent week for which data was available, it even moved ahead of “American Idol” as the net’s No. 1 show in 18-49.

ABC welcomed back “Dancing With the Stars” (3.2/8 in 18-49, 17.06m), which opened better than last fall’s low-rated All-Stars edition and tied fourth for the week in 18-49 and was No. 2 in total viewers. And one night later, diving series “Splash” (2.6/8, 9.02m) gave the net its best 18-49 performance with a regular series in the Tuesday 8 p.m. hour since October 2011 (“Last Man Standing” and “Man Up”).

Opposite basketball and not the CBS dramas on Thursday, ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” (3.0/8, 9.39m) bounced back from its series low of the previous week to edge “American Idol” as the night’s No. 1 show in 18-49, while 10 p.m. drama “Scandal” remained hot (2.7/8, 8.51m).

The net saw gains on Friday for the season finales of “Last Man Standing” (1.6/6, 7.84m) and “Malibu Country” (1.4/5, 7.04m). And struggling  Sunday drama “Red Widow” (1.2/3, 4.55m) was up from its low of the previous week.

NBC’s lone representative in the week’s top 25 was Monday’s season finale of “The Biggest Loser” (2.7/7, 7.39m). It had eight series that drew as little as a 2 or 3 share in 18-49, including “Deception” (1.2/3, 3.41m for its finale), “Smash” (0.7/2, 2.66m) and “Fashion Star” (0.7/2, 2.85m).

Of note at CW was timeslot victories in 18-49 over NBC with both “Arrow” on Wednesday (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.02m) and “The Vampire Diaries” on Thursday (1.3/4, 2.65m). Newcomer “Cult” continues to struggle, though, on Fridays (0.2/1 in 18-49, 0.73m).

In cable, “The Walking Dead” (5.4/13 in 18-49, 10.99m) dipped a bit week to week but delivered an 18-49 audience that was 50% bigger than the next closest thing in primetime last week. The AMC drama wraps this Sunday in what should be an interesting showdown with History’s “The Bible” as well as the premiere of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

The penultimate installment of “The Bible” performed well for History (2.7/7 in 18-49, 10.27m), tying for 12th last week among all primetime programs in adults 18-49. And also holding up well since its premiere earlier this month is the new drama airing after the miniseries on Sundays, “The Vikings” (1.4/4, 4.54m).

ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars” closed out its third season Tuesday with strong numbers (1.2/4 in 18-49, 2.87m), including a 3.9/13 in females 12-34; in that demo for the season, it lags only “The Walking Dead” among all dramas on television. The finale also became the first series episode ever to amass more than 1 million total airtime tweets; and including the hours leading up to and following, it generated nearly 1.6 million tweets.

Bravo’s docu-series “Married to Medicine” (0.9/2, 1.89m) became the net’s most-watched series premiere since “Bethenny Getting Married” in June 2010 and the best ever for a non-spinoff series. Also at Bravo, “The Millionaire Matchmaker” hit season highs on Tuesday (0.7/2, 1.42m).

Animal Planet’s season premiere of “Tanked” drew 1.59 million viewers Friday, up more than 50% from last year’s opener and a series high for the aquarium-themed reality series.

Week 25 Rankings

Top Programs in 18-49 (Network)          Total Viewers in millions
1.  The Walking Dead (AMC)                               5.4/13
2.  American Idol-Wed. (Fox)                               3.6/10
3.  Duck Dynasty (A&E)                                       3.6/10
4.  NCIS (CBS)                                                     3.2/10
4.  Dancing With the Stars (ABC)                        3.2/8
6.  How I Met Your Mother (CBS)                          3.0/9
6.  Criminal Minds (CBS)                                      3.0/8
6.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)                                     3.0/8
9.  American Idol-Thu. (Fox)                                  2.9/9
9.  NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)                                2.9/8
11.  2 Broke Girls (CBS)                                        2.8/7
12.  Scandal (ABC)                                                2.7/8
12.  The Bible: Part 4 (History)                               2.7/7
12.  The Biggest Loser (NBC)                               2.7/7
15.  Survivor (CBS)                                                2.6/8
15.  Splash (ABC)                                                  2.6/8
15.  Family Guy (Fox)                                             2.6/6
18.  The Following (Fox)                                         2.5/6
19.  The Amazing Race (CBS)                              2.4/6
20.  Mike & Molly (CBS)                                          2.4/6

Top Programs in Total Viewers (millions)
1.  NCIS (CBS)                                                      19.79
2.  Dancing With the Stars (ABC)                         17.06
3.  NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)                                16.84
4.  American Idol-Wed. (Fox)                                12.94
5.  American Idol-Thu. (Fox)                                  11.93
6.  Criminal Minds (CBS)                                       11.58
7.  Castle (ABC)                                                     11.26
8.  The Walking Dead (AMC)                                 10.99
9.  CSI (CBS)                                                         10.53
10.  60 Minutes (CBS)                                           10.50
11.  The Bible: Part 4 (History)                              10.27
12.  Survivor (CBS)                                                 9.79
13.  Dancing …. Stars: First Look (ABC)                9.76
14.  The Good Wife (CBS)                                      9.59
15.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)                                     9.39
16.  The Amazing Race (CBS)                               9.33
17.  Golden Boy (CBS)                                            9.26
18.  Splash (ABC)                                                    9.02
19.  Hawaii Five-O (CBS)                                        8.99
20.  Scandal (ABC)                                                  8.51

TOP NETWORKS IN TOTAL VIEWERS
CBS                     8.45 million
ABC                     7.56 million
Fox                       5.93 million
NBC                     4.15 million
Univision              3.57 million
USA                     3.32 million
History                  2.93 million
TBS                      2.42 million
Disney                   2.29 million
TNT                       2.22 million

TOP NETWORKS IN ADULTS 18-49
CBS (2.1/6)         2.70 million
Fox (1.9/6)           2.44 million
ABC (1.8/5)         2.26 million
UNI (1.4/4)           1.82 million
NBC (1.2/3)         1.52 million
TBS                     1.21 million
USA                     1.08 million
History                 1.04 million
A&E                     0.98 million
TNT                      0.98 million

TOP NETWORKS IN ADULTS 25-54
CBS (2.8/7)          3.34 million
ABC (2.4/6)          2.85 million
Fox (2.4/6)           2.83 million
NBC (1.5/4)         1.84 million
UNI (1.5/4)           1.82 million
History                 1.21 million
USA                     1.20 million
TBS                     1.19 million
A&E                     1.05 million
TNT                      1.03 million

Season-to-date (Sept. 24, 2012-March 17, 2013)

TOTAL VIEWERS
ABC                  7.85  (-5%)
CBS                12.22  (+2%)
NBC                  7.15  (-7%)
Fox                    7.14  (-21%)
4-Net               34.36  (-7%)

CW                   1.84   (+5%)
Telemundo        1.30   (+4%)
Univision           3.75   (+4%)

ADULTS 18-49
ABC                  2.3/6  (-8%)
CBS                  3.0/8  (-3%)
NBC                  2.4/7  (-4%)
Fox                    2.6/7  (-21%)
4-Net             10.3/28  (-10%)

CW                   0.7/2   (-13%)
Telemundo        0.6/2   (+20%)
Univision           1.5/4    (Even)

ADULTS 25-54
ABC                  2.8/7  (-10%)
CBS                  4.0/10  (Even)
NBC                  2.9/7  (-6%)
Fox                    2.9/7  (-22%)
4-Net              12.6/31  (-9%)

CW                   0.7/2   (-13%)
Telemundo        0.6/1   (+20%)
Univision           1.5/4    (Even)

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