CBS and NBC continued to head in opposite directions last week, with the Eye padding its leads for the season thanks to the Grammy Awards while the Peacock produced some historic lows as it counts the days till spring.
NBC endured a fifth-place finish in the key adults 18-49 demo for the third time in the last four weeks — its 1.2 rating was the lowest on record for any network in a sweeps month. It cancelled drama “Do No Harm” after a weak second airing last week and pulled comedy “1600 Penn” off its Thursday sked for the rest of the February sweep.
The Peacock is enduring a tougher-than-expected post-football stretch but will improve its fortunes in late March with the return of top entertainment series “The Voice” and Revolution.”
CBS wasn’t without its own stumble, as new Friday reality show “The Job” was dismissed. But the Eye saw strong perfs across the week and then capped things with the second most watched Grammys in 20 years.
The other big ratings story of the week was the return of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” which set more cable records and finished behind only CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” among all series in 18-49.
Overall, according to Nielsen estimates for the week of Feb. 4-10, CBS dominated in 18-49 with a 3.4 rating/9 share, followed by Fox (2.2/6), ABC (1.9/5), Univision (1.5/4), NBC (1.2/3) and top cabler AMC (0.9/2). CBS also rolled in adults 25-54 (4.3/11) and total viewers (13.2 million).
The Eye was so dominant in total viewers that it won 36 (or 82%) of the week’s 44 half-hours, including sweeping Sunday with “60 Minutes” and the Grammys (10.1/25, 28.37m), with the kudocast locking up its second best 18-49 score in the last nine years.
Among series, “Big Bang Theory” (6.2/18 in 18-49, 18.98m), “Two and a Half Men” (4.1/11, 14.12m), “How I Met Your Mother” (4.0/11, 10.30m), “NCIS” (3.7/11, 21.79m) and “2 Broke Girls” (3.7/10, 11.36m) all ranked in the top 10, with Monday anchor “Mother” hitting a one-year high in 18-49.
Friday’s “The Job” may have struggled (0.9/3, 4.01m) but CBS did well the rest of the night with “CSI: NY” (1.6/5, 9.57m) and “Blue Bloods” (1.5/5, 11.24m).
NBC was kept out of the top 30 for the week in 18-49, with its best scores coming from “The Biggest Loser” (2.1/5, 5.80m) and “The Office” (2.1/6, 4.15m).
It welcomed back “Community” to decent numbers Thursday (1.9/6 in 18-49, 3.88m), up 12% from its bow of last season, and “Parks and Recreation” (2.0/5, 3.76m) hit a 15-month high. But the night’s second half was a disaster with “1600 Penn” (1.1/3, 2.60m) and “Do No Harm” (0.7/2, 2.21m).
Another disappointment was the second-season preem of “Smash” (1.2/3, 4.48m), which flew without a “Voice” lead-in for the first time; the show did gain nicely in L3 DVR playback to a 1.7 demo rating.
Fox saw declines for “American Idol,” but its segs on Wednesday (4.6/13, 14.27m) and Thursday (4.1/12, 13.28m) both placed in the top five for the week. Newcomer “The Following” (2.9/7, 9.01m) dipped in its third outing and then further to kick off the current week (2.4/6, 7.79m).
And it was rough going for the return of drama “Touch” on Friday (1.1/3, 3.94m).
ABC’s best news came Thursday for the combo of “Grey’s Anatomy” (3.1/8, 8.91m) and “Scandal” (2.8/8, 8.14m), with the latter matching its series high.
“Modern Family” hit a season low (3.7/10, 9.83m), though it continues to be a leader in DVR playback. And on Sunday, the combo of “Once Upon a Time” (2.2/5, 7.08m) and “Revenge” (1.4/3, 5.20m) fell to lows opposite the Grammys.
At CW, “The Carrie Diaries” (0.7/2, 1.51m) and “Nikita” (0.5/1, 1.34m) were on the high side, with the former hitting highs in some categories.
On cable, “The Walking Dead” (6.1/14, 28.37m) rose about 50% over its year-ago winter preem. It’s so big right now that a repeat of the fall finale, airing in the hour preceding the show’s return, ranked 20th for the week in 18-49 (2.6/6).
On the other end of the spectrum was the puny preem for David E. Kelley medical drama “Monday Mornings” on TNT (0.3/1, 1.34m).
FX’s “The Americans” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 1.97m) fell off more than 30% in its second episode, though that loss was reduced to about 25% with L3 data counted; pending final DVR playback, the show’s first episode is tracking to become the most-watched series debut in net history.