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Weekly Ratings: NBC, CBS Extend Early-Season Winning Streaks

NBC and CBS lengthened their season-long winning streaks last week, with the former finishing on top in demos behind “Sunday Night Football” and “The Voice” and the latter crusing in total viewers with “Thursday Night Football” and “The Big Bang Theory.”

This is the first time the Peacock has won each of the first five weeks of the television season since 2001, and the network’s overall winning streak of 16 weeks dating back to summer is also its longest since 2001. (The streak figures to come to an end in the current frame, which will see Fox airing at least four World Series games.)

In addition to “Sunday Night Football,” whose Philadelphia-Carolina contest stood as the week’s No. 1 program (7.6/22 in 18-49, 20.61 million viewers overall), NBC also had another good week for its 10 p.m. dramas. “Blindspot” (2.1/7), “Chicago Fire” (1.6/5) and “Chicago PD” (1.4/5) all were the broadcast 18-49 leaders in their respective hours.

CBS, which placed second to NBC in adults 18-49 and 25-54, won in total viewers for a fifth straight frame to start the season. The network had 10 of the week’s 20 most-watched broadcast programs, including the top three scripted series: “NCIS,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “NCIS: New Orleans.”

An 18-49 uptick by “Life in Pieces” — up 0.3 from the prior episode for its best demo rating since its premiere — allowed the rookie comedy to tie with “Blindspot” as the week’s highest-rated new series. New Wednesday drama “Code Black” also is hanging in there, holding at a 1.2 for a third straight week.

ABC was again the leader in non-sports averages, claiming nine of the week’s top 20 entertainment series telecasts. Among the shows on the upswing were “Dancing With the Stars” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 12.50 million viewers overall) and Thursday dramas “Grey’s Anatomy” (2.4/8 in 18-49, 8.96 million viewers overall for its 250th episode), “Scandal” (2.5/8 in 18-49, 8.28 million viewers overall) and “How to Get Away With Murder” (2.1/7 in 18-49, 6.95 million viewers overall).

At Fox, Wednesday dramas “Rosewood” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 5.27 million viewers overall) and “Empire” (4.8/15 in 18-49, 12.28 million viewers overall) edged up in their final week before taking a week off for the World Series; this was the first uptick of the season for the latter, which was the week’s No. 1 broadcast entertainment series in 18-49. And closing the week, the net’s Sunday comedy block hit a season high thanks in large part to the annual Treehouse of Horror episode of “The Simpsons” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 6.75 million viewers overall).

CW continues to be paced by “The Flash,” which was half a point higher in 18-49 (1.4) and more than 1 million total viewers (3.47 million) ahead of any other show on the network. Newcomer “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” remains very low (0.3), meanwhile, and it isn’t helping “Jane the Virgin” (0.4).

Of note in cable, AMC’s “The Walking Dead” (6.7 in 18-49, 13.14 million viewers overall) was up 8% week to week with a controversial episode that resulted in the apparent death of a popular character. Post-show “Talking Dead” soared to season highs (3.1 in 18-49, 6.20 million viewers overall) as well as its top scores ever for an edition that didn’t follow a season premiere or finale.

Fox Business Network, which will be televising its first ever presidential debate on Nov. 10, celebrated its most-watched month ever in total viewers during October. Led by “Varney & Company,” “Cavuto: Coast to Coast” and “The Intelligence Report w/Trish Regan,” its Business Day pulled in 102,000 total viewers (up 92% from October 2014) and 16,000 adults 25-54 (up 60%).

BET’s two-hour season premiere of “Being Mary Jane” on Tuesday stood as the week’s No. 3-rated scripted cable original in adults 18-49 (0.95 rating), and rose nearly 50% in “live plus-3” (1.4). In total viewers, it drew 2.2 million same-day viewers and 3.2 million in L+3, marking a slight improvement over last year.

Wednesday (aka Back to the Future Day) marked Discovery Family’s highest-rated night to date, as it aired the three “Back to the Future” movies starting at 7 that night. Part 1 and Part 2 broke DFC/The Hub records in adults 18-49 (385,000 for the first and 269,000 for the second) and lifted the net to a No. 12 finish among all ad-supported cable networks in adults 18-49 and 25-54.

At National Geographic Channel, the provocatively titled special “Brain Surgery Live” managed to draw just 445,000 viewers on Sunday — a bit below the net’s overall average for the week.

 

WEEK’S TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS
(Oct. 19-25, 2015; live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49
1.  Sunday Night Football: Philadelphia-Carolina (NBC), 7.6/22
2.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 6.7/18
3.  Thursday Night Football: Seattle-San Francisco (CBS/NFLN), 5.9/20
4.  Monday Night Football: NY Giants-Philadelphia (ESPN), 5.2/17
5.  Empire (Fox), 4.8/15
6.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 3.9/13
7.  Talking Dead (AMC), 3.1/9
8.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 3.0/9
9.  The Simpsons (Fox), 2.8/8
10.  NLCS: Game 3-Tuesday (TBS), 2.7/9

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  Sunday Night Football: Philadelphia-Carolina (NBC), 20.61
2.  NCIS (CBS), 17.21
3.  Thursday Night Football: Seattle-San Francisco (CBS/NFLN), 17.12
4.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 14.68
5.  Monday Night Football: NY Giants-Philadelphia (ESPN), 13.90
6.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 13.14
7.  NCIS: New Orleans (CBS), 12.99
8.  Dancing With the Stars (ABC), 12.50
9.  Empire (Fox), 12.28
10.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 11.40

 

WEEK’S TOP PRIMETIME NETWORKS
(Oct. 19-25, 2015; live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49 (rating)
NBC ………………………  2.3
CBS ………………………  1.9
Fox ……………………….  1.7
ABC ………………………  1.6
ESPN ……………………   1.0
TBS ………………………  0.9
AMC ……………………..  0.8
UNI ………………………  0.8
TEL ………………………  0.6
CW ……………………….  0.5

Total Viewers (in millions)
CBS ………………………  9.78
NBC ………………………  8.16
ABC ………………………  6.36
Fox ……………………….  4.90
TBS ………………………  2.90
ESPN …………………….  2.87
UNI ……………………….  2.21
FNC ………………………  1.75
TEL ………………………  1.49
CW ……………………….  1.41

Source: Nielsen

 

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