×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

ABC Gets Chance to Shine, Tying for Sweep’s Demo Lead

It posts best May finish since 2000; NBC is only net up, has most competitive showing since 2004

The major broadcasters were nothing if not tightly bunched in the May sweep, with all four separated by about 125,000 viewers in the adults 18-49 demo.

The close finish shows that, at least in a month when none of its rivals gets a big boost from sports, ABC can be pretty competitive. The net may have finished the season that ended Wednesday night in fourth place, but it tied CBS and Fox for the 18-49 lead in preliminary Nielsen estimates for the April 25-May 22 period — the first time in 13 years that the Alphabet finished first for the sweep.

Of course, the tight finish for the sweep also shows how the networks have fallen: As the numbers drift lower and lower, it’s only natural that we would see closer races.

NBC, which placed fourth in May (1.7 rating) but just one tenth behind ABC, CBS and Fox (all at 1.8), was the only Big Four network to improve upon its May sweep performance of last year, as 17 original hours of “The Voice” contributed to a6% year-over-year gain. NBC trailed Fox by 0.8 last year and by 1.3 in 2011; it hadn’t finished closer than 0.8 prior to this year since 2004.

CBS was off 10% from last year, ABC by 14% and Fox slid by 25%.

ABC won the final full week of the May sweep (May 13-19) in adults 18-49, behind “Modern Family” (3.7), the “Billboard Music Awards” (3.6), “Scandal” (3.2) and “Grey’s Anatomy” (3.1). This marked the first time that Fox had not won the week in which it aired the “American Idol” finale.

Boosted by an improved “Scandal,” ABC was also the only network up weeknights in the 10 o’clock hour vs. last year, and stood No. 1 in both 18-49 and 25-54.

For the month, the top series in same-night 18-49 averages were: CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” (4.8), NBC’s “The Voice” on Monday (3.9) and Tuesday (3.7), “Modern Family” (3.5) and CBS’ “NCIS” and “Two and a Half Men” (both 3.2).

In total viewers, the leaders were: “NCIS” (CBS), 18.5 million; “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS), 15.8 million; “Dancing With the Stars” (ABC), 13.7 million; “NCIS: Los Angeles” (CBS), 13.3 million; and “Person of Interest” (CBS), 13.1 million.

For the sweep, CBS won in total viewers with 8.7 million (down 8% from last year), followed by ABC (7.8 million, down 8%), NBC (5.5 million, up 2%) and Fox (5.4 million, down 27%).

More TV

  • A.P. BIO -- "Melvin" Episode 208

    'AP Bio' Canceled After Two Seasons at NBC

    “AP Bio” has been canceled at NBC. Series creator Mike O’Brien shared the news with fans on Twitter, writing that “This has been my favorite project of my life.” In the single-camera comedy, Glenn Howerton portrayed a disgraced Harvard philosophy scholar who lost out on his dream job and was forced to return to Toledo, [...]

  • James Holzhauer $2 million

    'Jeopardy!' Champion James Holzhauer Hits $2 Million Winnings Milestone

    This current “Jeopardy!” player has just won over $2 million on the popular game show. Who is James Holzhauer? The 34 year old professional sports gambler from Las Vegas has hit a “Jeopardy!” milestone by becoming only the second person in the show’s history to win over $2 million in regular season play. Holzhauer won [...]

  • Kanye West Shares a Memory of

    Kanye West Shares a Touching Memory of His Mother in Letterman Interview

    In a preview of David Letterman’s interview with Kanye West, which begins streaming next Friday, May 31, the musician’s wife Kim Kardashian West, tweeted a clip of him sharing a touching memory of his mother, Donda, who died in 2007 after a surgical procedure. While his wife looks on smiling, West answers Letterman’s question about [...]

  • CNN Lays Off Some Health Journalism

    CNN Lays Off Some Health Journalism Staffers

    CNN has laid off a handful of staffers from its health-journalism unit after deciding to place its health, climate and Southeastern newsgathering operations under a single aegis. ” As part of the normal course of business, our newsgathering team made a small restructure earlier this week that ultimately impacts 6-7 employees within CNN’s Health Unit,” [...]

  • Henry Ian Cusick

    'Lost' Star Henry Ian Cusick Signs With Buchwald (EXCLUSIVE)

    Henry Ian Cusick, best known for playing Desmond on the hit ABC series “Lost,” is signing with talent agency Buchwald for representation. Cusick also starred in the CW sci-fi/drama “The 100” and was most recently seen in the Fox series “The Passage.” His other notable television credits include “Scandal,” “24,” “Fringe,” “The Mentalist,” “Body of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content