NBC Wins November Sweeps

Peacock tops 18-49 race for second year in row; Eye makes it 13 straight as most popular net

Sunday Night Football,” “The Voice” and the season’s hottest new show — “The Blacklist” — have boosted NBC to its second straight November sweep victory in young adults.

CBS, meanwhile, finished was runner-up in demos and on top in total viewers. ABC was third, and Fox finished fourth.

Sweeps aren’t as closely followed as in years past, but the November ratings period offers a good snapshot of how the nets are faring in the fall.

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day averages through Sunday (25 of 28 nights), NBC led in adults 18-49 with a 2.6 rating, followed by CBS (2.2), ABC (2.0) and Fox (1.7).  NBC was slightly ahead of CBS in adults 25-54 (3.3 to 3.2), while the Eye’s overall audience of 10.3 million put it well ahead of ABC and NBC (both 7.9 million).

Collectively, the Big Four and CW averaged a 9.2 Live+Same Day rating in adults 18-49 — down 11% from last year. That’s not bad, though, considering that DVR playback continues to increase, making it possible that ABC, CBS and NBC could erase their single-digit declines when Live+7 numbers come in.

Also, Fox aired three World Series games in the year ago November sweep (which started earlier than usual), so its 26% year-to-year decline should look better in the L7 numbers.

For NBC, its sweep victory in adults 18-49 marks the first time in 10 years (since 2002 and 2003) that the net has won two straight Novembers. The Peacock was powered by “Sunday Night Football,” which had its two biggest November games ever this year and was the No. 1 broadcast series for the sweep, and “The Voice,” the top-rated unscripted series.

The Peacock also claimed the month’s top new series in the demo, “The Blacklist,” which tied with ABC’s “Scandal” as the No. 1 broadcast drama overall in 18-49. For the season, the James Spader drama is averaging 16.9 million viewers in “most current” averages, becoming the net’s most-watched new series eight episodes into its run since “The Apprentice” in early 2004.

Highlights for CBS included “The Big Bang Theory” ranking as the No. 1 broadcast entertainment series in adults 18-49, while “NCIS” was the most-watched overall. Vets “How I Met Your Mother” and “Criminal Minds” are among other shows that popped in the month, and new comedies “Mom,” “The Millers” and “The Crazy Ones” continue to deliver pretty good numbers.

ABC, the only Big Four network that doesn’t air NFL games, said it will finish the sweep No. 1 in non-sports averages. In those Live+SD numbers, its 2.1 rating/6 share is ahead of CBS (1.9/6), NBC (1.7/5) and Fox (1.6/5).

The net was boosted by traditional sweep kudocasts the CMAs and AMAs, as well as Thursday drama “Scandal,” the fastest-growing series this November vs. last. ABC has also made strides in general during the 10 o’clock hour, outperforming on average the weeknight deliveries of CBS and NBC in key demos, and up vs. last year.

Fox is down even if you factor out the World Series, as “The X Factor,” which comprises nearly 20% of the net’s sked, continuing to sag in the ratings. Monday rookie drama “Sleepy Hollow” has been one of the few bright spots.

CW, which is flat November-to-November in same-day 18-49 ratings and down a smidge in adults 18-34 and total viewers, projects that it will finish the sweep up in several categories when all DVR data is counted. Its “The Originals” has posted some enormous gains in L7 DVR playback, more than doubling its same-night tallies in adults 18-34 and women 18-34.

“The Vampire Diaries,” the show that spun off “Originals,” had a good month, beating ABC and Fox for its Thursday 8 p.m. hour among adults 18-34.

Univision noted that it finished ahead of one of the Big Four networks in 18-49 on 48% of the sweep’s nights (12 of 25). The Spanish-language leader was also the month’s No. 1 for primetime net in both Los Angeles and Houston.

For the week of Nov. 18-24, NBC prevailed in 18-49 and 25-54, closing strong with “Sunday Night Football” (9.8/25 in 18-49, 26.48m), easily the week’s top primetime program. Sunday was especially busy, with “The Walking Dead” (5/614 in 18-49, 11.20m) and the “2013 American Music Awards” (4.5/11 in 18-49, 13.14m) also ranking in the top five for the week in 18-49.

Also of note, ABC was boosted by Tuesday special “David Blaine: Real or Magic” (2.6/7 in 18-49, 7.81m), while rookie “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 6.89m) delivered its first week-over-week gains.

At CBS, its Wednesday lineup of “Survivor” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 10.18m), “Criminal Minds” (2.8/8, 12.40m) and “CSI” (2.1/6, 11.19m) all attracted their largest audiences of the season, as did Friday’s drama duo “Hawaii Five-O” (1.5/5, 9.92m) 5and “Blue Bloods” (1.5/5, 11.90m).

WEEKLY NETWORK AVERAGES

Adults 18-49 (rating/share)

NBC             2.6/7
ABC             2.3/7
Fox               2.0/6
CBS              1.9/5
UNI              1.3/4
CW               0.6/2
TEL              0.6/2

Total Viewers

CBS             9.82 million
ABC            8.50 million
NBC            8.41 million
Fox              5.90 million
UNI             3.60 million
CW              1.49 million
TEL             1.40 million

WEEK’S TOP PROGRAMS
(Live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49
1.  Sunday Night Football (NBC), 9.8/25
2.  Monday Night Football (ESPN), 3.9/10
3.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 5.6/16
4.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 5.2/17
5.  American Music Awards (ABC), 4.5/11
6.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 3.5/9
7.  Modern Family (ABC), 3.4/9
8.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 3.2/9
9.  How I Met Your Mother (CBS), 3.1/9
10.  NCIS (CBS), 3.0/9
10.  The Simpsons (Fox), 3.0/9
12.  Thursday Night Football (NFLN), 2.9/9
12.  Scandal (ABC), 2.9/8
14.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 2.8/8
14.  The Millers (CBS), 2.8/8
16.  2 Broke Girls (CBS), 2.7/7
17.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 2.6/7
17.  David Blaine: Real or Magic (ABC), 2.6/7
19.  NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), 2.5/7
19.  Survivor (CBS), 2.5/7
19.  Sleepy Hollow (Fox), 2.5/6

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  Sunday Night Football (NBC), 26.48
2.  NCIS (CBS), 19.66
3.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 18.94
4.  Monday Night Football (ESPN), 15.77
5.  NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), 14.99
6.  Dancing With the Stars (ABC), 13.80
7.  American Music Awards (ABC), 13.14
8.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 12.40
9.  Person of Interest (CBS), 12.28
10.  Blue Bloods (CBS), 11.90
11.  The Millers (CBS), 11.78
12.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 11.65
13.  60 Minutes (CBS), 11.31
14.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 11.29
15.  CSI (CBS), 11.19
16.  The Mentalist (CBS), 10.94
17.  Castle (ABC), 10.93
18.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 10.84
19.  Modern Family (ABC), 10.19
20.  Survivor (CBS), 10.18

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