×

CBS has biggest week of fall

Net closes in on NBC for season lead in 18-49

CBS is ending fall with a pretty big bang.

While NBC remains the lone growth generator among the Big Four nets this fall, the ascending Eye has trimmed its year-to-year losses by winning in key demos for the third time in the last five weeks. And as the most balanced of the broadcasters, CBS is poised to overtake surprise season leader NBC in the adults 18-49 demo soon after the Peacock’s hugely popular “Sunday Night Football” wraps its run.

The Eye dominated the program rankings last week, claiming 13 of the top 16 non-sports series in adults 18-49 — including No. 1 comedy “The Big Bang Theory” (5.4 rating/17 share in adults 18-49, 16.74 million viewers overall) and No. 1 drama “Criminal Minds” (3.1/8 in 18-49, 12.01m). It also was tops among the Big Four in the demo on five of seven nights.

Overall for the Dec. 10-16 frame, CBS won in adults 18-49 with a season-high 3.1 rating/9 share, well ahead of NBC (2.3/7), with Fox (1.6/4), ABC (1.5/4) and Univision (1.3/4) barely appearing in the Eye’s rear-view mirror.

CBS also claimed the largest margins of victory for any net during any week this fall in both adults 25-54 (4.0 rating to a 2.8 for runner-up NBC) and total viewers (11.9 million to 7.3 million for NBC).

And at the roughly one-third mark of the season, CBS is within two-tenths of NBC in adults 18-49 (2.9 to 3.1) and has moved into sole possession of leadership in adults 25-54 (3.8 to 3.7). The Eye also padded its lead in total viewers last week and is now about 3 million ahead of both ABC and NBC.

CBS continues to click on Thursday, where “The Big Bang Theory” dominated its slot and “Two and a Half Men” (4.1/12, 13.34m) again retained a good chunk of that lead-in. On Wednesday, “Criminal Minds” (3.1/8, 12.01m) has been fall’s most consistent drama performer, and was tops among all hours in 18-49 for the week for the first time this season.

CBS was also strong over the weekend with holiday programming winning on Friday and Saturday and a huge football overrun on Sunday (10.4/29 in 18-49, 32.00m for the final 55 minutes of Steelers-Cowboys) that helped propel “60 Minutes” (4.9/12, 19.63m) to season highs. And behind it, the finale of “Survivor” did well (3.2/8, 11.46m) opposite the big football game and was up 10% over the conclusion of last spring’s edition.

NBC fared well early with “The Voice” (3.8/10 in 18-49, 12.33m on Monday) and closing the frame with “Sunday Night Football” (8.7/22, 23.23m for 49ers-Patriots), with the latter logging its best numbers since the opening Sunday of the football season.

Another highlight was Tuesday drama “Parenthood” (2.0/6, 5.73m), which led its hour in demos. But it was mostly slow going for stripped Howie Mandel gameshow “Take It All,” which opened decently Monday (2.2/5, 7.12m) behind “The Voice,” but dipped to a 3 share on nights when it didn’t have that strong lead-in.

Fox and ABC had quiet weeks, with the former led by “The X Factor” on Wednesday (2.7/8, 7.79m) and the latter by “Modern Family” on the same night (4.2/11, 10.94m). The Alphabet’s “Scandal” (2.4/7, 7.14m) delivered good scores for its fall finale Thursday despite a preemption in Philadelphia for Eagles football.

In cable, ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” (5.5/15, 14.48m) led the way even with a lopsided result in what was expected to be a competitive showdown between the Patriots and Texans.

Discovery had a big Tuesday, beating ABC and Fox in adults 18-49 and ruling as TV’s No. 1 network in men 18-49 (2.4/7) behind “American Chopper” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 3.91m) and “Amish Mafia” (1.7/5, 3.41m). And one night later, its combo of “Amish Mafia” (1.6/4 in 18-39, 3.64m) and “Moonshiners” (1.6/5, 3.43m) led all of cable in 18-49.

The week’s top scripted original series on cable was FX’s “American Horror Story” in 18-49 (1.3/4) and TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles” in total viewers (3.79 million).

But in demos, repeats of TBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” beat all scripted originals. In fact, Tuesday’s 9:30 p.m. telecast pulled a 1.5 rating in 18-49 — matching an original seg of Fox’s “The Mindy Project” and handily beating ABC’s original “Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23” (1.0).

Also of note, Showtime saw strong season finales Sunday for “Dexter” (1.4/3 in 18-49, 2.75m) and “Homeland” (0.9/2, 2.29m), with both hitting all-time highs.

More TV

  • Megyn Kelly

    Tucker Carlson Plans Megyn Kelly Interview on Fox News Channel

    Megyn Kelly is returning to Fox News Channel – briefly. Tucker Carlson has scheduled an interview Wednesday with the former Fox News and NBC News anchor, who will make her first appearance on her former employer’s programming since leaving in early 2017. The segment would also mark Kelly’s first appearance on a TV-news outlet since [...]

  • Picture shows: Gemma Foster (SURANNE JONES)

    India's Hotstar to Remake BBC Thriller 'Doctor Foster'

    Hit BBC thriller “Doctor Foster” is to be remade in India following the sale of the scripted format to streaming platform Hotstar Specials. Disney-owned Hotstar has collaborated with BBC Studios to adapt the series for Indian audiences. Indian filmmakers Tigmanshu Dhulia and Aijza Khan are directing the show, which is yet to be titled and [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Watch Signs Content Pact With France's M6, Unveils European Short-Form Slate

    Facebook Watch has inked a content pact with French channel M6 and unveiled a slate of short-form content from European digital publishers for the platform. The deal with M6 will see the French broadcaster place spinoff programming from some of its hit shows on Facebook Watch. M6 will run pre- and after-show clips, interviews, and [...]

  • TV News Roundup: Amazon Drops ‘Marvelous

    TV News Roundup: Amazon Releases ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Season 3 Trailer

    In today TV’s news roundup, Amazon Prime Video releases the Season 3 trailer for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and Showtime announces Celeste Barber’s standup special premiere date.  DATES Showtime’s forthcoming comedy special “Celeste Barber: Challenge Accepted” will air Nov. 1.  This marks Barber’s televised standup debut. She is best-known for her viral Instagram hashtag #celestechallengedaccepted. [...]

  • Tom Succession

    'Succession': Matthew Macfadyen on the Status of 'Tomelette' After Season 2 Finale

    Matthew Macfadyen hasn’t even seen the second season finale of “Succession” yet, but says he wasn’t surprised by how it ended when he read the script. Over the course of the series, Macfadyen’s character Tom has suffered at the expense of the Roy family on personal and professional levels. Will he turn a new leaf [...]

  • Jason Sudeikis Apple

    Jason Sudeikis Sets Ted Lasso Comedy Series at Apple

    Jason Sudeikis is bringing his Ted Lasso character to Apple’s upcoming streaming service. Variety has learned that Apple TV Plus has given a series order to “Ted Lasso,” on which Sudeikis will star in addition to writing and executive producing. In the series, Sudeikis plays Lasso, an idealistic all-American football coach hired to manage an [...]

  • CENTRAL PARK FIVE

    Netflix and Ava DuVernay Sued by Police Interrogation Firm

    The company behind a controversial police interrogation technique filed a federal lawsuit on Monday against Netflix and director Ava DuVernay, claiming that it was defamed in DuVernay’s miniseries on the Central Park jogger case. John E. Reid and Associates developed the Reid Technique in the late 1940s, and it has continued to offer training materials [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content