×
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

  • Grime Star Stormzy Joins Upcoming BBC

    Grime Star Stormzy Joins Roc Nation Exec Produced BBC Drama ‘Noughts & Crosses’

    “Noughts and Crosses” just added another musical heavy hitter with grime supremo Stormzy set to star in the adaptation of the Malorie Blackman novels for the BBC. Jay-Z’s Roc Nation is already on board and will exec produce, as will Participant Media. Stormzy has an on-screen role and will play Kolawale, a newspaper editor and [...]

  • Cineflix Alum Launches New Banner Fugitive,

    Cineflix Alum Launches New Banner Fugitive, Tees Up Alex Gibney, Yolanda Ramke Shows

    Anthony Kimble, formerly of Cineflix, National Geographic, and Viacom’s Channel 5, has launched Fugitive and will develop, finance, and exec produce drama and unscripted TV through the new banner. Its first projects include “Uncanny Valley: The Truth About Thinking Machines,” which comes from producers Topic and Jigsaw. A series about A.I. and the future of [...]

  • Cineflix Rights Scoops Icelandic Political Series

    Cineflix Rights Scoops Icelandic Political Series 'The Minister'

    Cineflix Rights, a leading U.K. content distributor, has acquired “The Minister,” the anticipated political drama series headlined by Icelandic star Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”). Produced by the Icelandic company Sagafilm, “The Minister” centres on Benedikt Ríkhardsson (Ólafsson), a populist politician who becomes Iceland’s Prime Minister. However, Benedikt is suffering from [...]

  • WGA Authorizing Managers, Lawyers to Make

    WGA Authorizing Managers, Lawyers to Make Deals if Agents are Fired

    The Writers Guild of America has authorized managers and lawyers to negotiate deals for writers in place of agents — if the guild tells members to fire their agents on April 7. The guild’s negotiating committee notified members of the plans in a message Wednesday. The WGA and the Association of Talent Agents having made [...]

  • Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna'Jane

    Rachel Bloom on the 'Beautiful Mystery' of the 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' Series Finale

    While four seasons of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” have explored musical genres from boy bands to country, the one type of music series co-creator and star Rachel Bloom admits the show will not explore before the end is Rebecca’s own style. “Basically the idea is that part of the music in her mind is her looking inside [...]

  • Netflix's Lisa Nishimura Named Indie Film,

    Netflix's Lisa Nishimura Named Indie Film, Documentary Features Head

    In the wake of Bela Bajaria’s recent move to lead Netflix’s international non-English original TV series, the online streamer is shuffling its leadership team to more clearly distinguish between development of its English and non-English language content. As a result, Netflix has elevated Lisa Nishimura to vice president of independent film and documentary features, a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content