It’s a Dramatic, Dominant Week for CBS in Primetime

Basketball, golf and scripted hours pace the net to its fourth straight victory in key demos

CBS TV ratings: Basketball, golf help pace to fourth straight victory

CBS slam-dunked the competition last week, riding college basketball’s championship game and television’s top-rated drama slate to its fourth straight victory in key demos.

The hoops action on Monday was easily the frame’s No. 1 program in demos and total viewers, hitting multi-year highs across the board. And sports bookended the net’s week on Sunday, as the end of the Masters golf tourney spilled over into primetime with big numbers.

On the series side, with the CBS comedies airing in repeats, it was time for its hourlongs to enjoy the spotlight as the Eye claimed the week’s top four dramas in the 18-49 demo.

Even in repeat, meanwhile, it was another big week for CBS laffer “The Big Bang Theory.” Its Thursday encore delivered more total viewers than all firstrun scripted skeins on the competition (11.44 million) and beat every original but ABC’s “Modern Family” in 18-49 (3.0/10).

And on Saturday, a six-pack of “Big Bang” repeats on TBS made the cabler the No. 1 non-sports net of the night in 18-49.

Elsewhere of note last week, NBC’s “The Voice” remained hot and was the top-rated series in demos, while the net’s “Hannibal” edged up in its second week.

Overall, according to Nielsen estimates for April 8-14, CBS led in adults 18-49 with a 2.4 rating/7 share, followed by Fox (1.9/6), NBC (1.7/5), Univision (1.5/4) and ABC (1.3/4). This was the lowest average since December and the first fifth-place finish of the season for the Alphabet.

CBS also rolled in adults 25-54 (3.3/8) and total viewers (10.83), averaging 4.8 million viewers more than runner-up Fox (6.05 million). It was so dominant in total viewers among scripted programming, that its least-watched show (including repeats) drew more viewers than any comedy or drama on cable.

For the Eye, the NCAA men’s basketball title game between Louisville and Michigan (pictured above) averaged a strong 8.4/22 in 18-49 and 23.43 million viewers overall — the best championship score in 18-49 and male demos since 2005 and in total viewers since 2010.

Among series, “CSI” dominated its rivals on Wednesday (2.4/7 in 18-49, 11.11m), drawing its best demo score since Feb. 6 and its largest overall viewership since Jan. 23. And Friday’s “Undercover Boss” again led its hour (1.5/6, 7.46m), but “Vegas” fell off sharply from there (0.8/3, 7.20m) and its chances for a second season seem to be slipping away.

On Sunday, with golf funneling in more viewers to the CBS primetime lineup, “Amazing Race” (2.3/6, 9.76m) was above average and won its timeslot in most categories, and “The Good Wife” (1.7/5, 10.14m) drew its largest overall audience in about a year.

Runner-up Fox was led by “American Idol,” which ended its ratings downturn by rising on both Wednesday (3.2/9, 12.23m) and Thursday (3.2/10, 13.19m), with the episodes tying as the week’s No. 6 show among young adults.

The net also saw higher-than-usual scores behind “Idol” on Thursday for “Glee” (2.4/7, 6.67m), with its controversial school shooting storyline. And also cracking the week’s top 25 in 18-49 were comedies “Family Guy” (2.5/6, 5.02m). “New Girl” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 4.09m) and “American Dad” (2.1/5, 4.23m).

NBC matched its best 18-49 average of the past 13 weeks, as “The Voice” dominated in demos on both Monday (5.0/14, 14.03m) and Tuesday (4.4/14, 13.31m) — its highest rated week of the season. It wasn’t a good start in the valuable slot behind “The Voice” on Tuesday, though, for dating show “Ready for Love” (1.5/4, 3.67m).

Rookie drama “Revolution” held steady on Monday (2.2/6, 6.07m), and Thursday newbie “Hannibal” (1.7/5, 4.38m) took advantage of repeats on ABC and CBS to rise a tick from its premiere — the first show to grow from its debut this season. In a good sign, it held steady or grew in its second half-hour in all key categories.

ABC’s best news in the week, a low-rated one without originals of its Thursday or Sunday dramas, was the second-week perf of Wednesday comedy “How to Live With Your Parents” (2.5/7, 7.33m). It declined by 14% from its preem but held a still-solid 66% of its demo lead-in from “Modern Family,” down from 69% in its premiere.

The Alphabet fell flat in its attempt at attracting a Saturday night audience with something family friendly as “Bet on Your Baby” did just a 2 share in 18-49 and drew about 2.3 million total viewers.

CW had a repeat-riddled week and was led by Tuesday’s “Hart of Dixie” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.20m). There was only a bit of a bump, meanwhile, for the season finale of rookie “The Carrie Diaries” on Monday (0.4/1, 1.00m).

Univision’s week was led by the finale of “Amor Bravio” on Friday (2.2/7 in 18-49, 3.31m), standing as television’s top show for the night in 18-49.

A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” (3.6/11 in 18-49, 7.82m) was easily cable’s top program for the week. It was joined in the overall primetime top 25 by HBO’s hot “Game of Thrones” (2.4/6, 4.72m), which hit a series high, and the “MTV Movie Awards” (2.0/5, 3.77m), which was up sharply from its 2012 telecast that aired in June against NBA playoff action.

The week’s top-rated scripted cable programs in 18-49 were History’s “The Vikings” (1.3/3, 3.42m), BET’s “The Game” (1.1/3, 2.12m) and FX’s “Archer” (1.1/3, 1.61m).

HBO’s  “Veep,” boosted by a “Game of Thrones” lead-in, kicked off its season before 1.19 million, (down from last year’s 1.38 million). The fifth-season premiere of Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie” drew 770,000 viewers in its Sunday 9 p.m. slot (up from last year’s 653,000).

Starz said goodbye to the “Spartacus” franchise on Friday with solid numbers, drawing 1.43 million viewers in its premiere telecast and standing as the night’s No. 1 cable entertainment program in men 25-54 (0.9/3); if you add its same-night repeat, “Spartacus: War of the Damned” drew a gross audience of about 2 million.

It was followed by the series premiere of “Da Vinci’s Demons,” which drew 1.04 million at 10 p.m. and 1.3 million for its two airings on Friday. Starz said the show’s gross audience for the weekend (2.14 million) is the best yet for a bow on the premium cabler, edging out the premiere of “Camelot” in 2011 (2.09 million).

OWN’s strategy of lining up reality series on Saturday paid off with 1.4 million tuning in for the season premiere telecast of “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” and 1.2 million staying for the bow of new original series “Life With La Toya” starring La Toya Jackson.

Hispanic cabler mun2 drew 366,000 viewers Sunday for celeb reality series “I Love Jenni,” the largest aud ever for a premiere on the net.


Adults 18-49
1.  NCAA basketball final: Michigan-Louisville (CBS), 8.4/22
2.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 5.0/14
3.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 4.4/14
4.  Modern Family (ABC), 3.8/10
5.  Duck Dynasty (A&E), 3.6/11
6.  American Idol-Thursday (Fox), 3.2/10
6.  American Idol-Wednesday (Fox), 3.2/9
8.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 3.0/10
8.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 3.0/8
10.  NCIS (CBS), 2.7/9
10.  NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), 2.7/07
12.  Survivor (CBS), 2.6/8
13.  How to Live With Your Parents (ABC), 2.5/7
13.  Family Guy (Fox), 2.5/6
15.  CSI (CBS), 2.4/7
15.  Glee (Fox), 2.4/7
15.  Game of Thrones (HBO), 2.4/6
18.  60 Minutes (CBS), 2.3/7
18.  The Amazing Race (CBS), 2.3/6
20.  The Following (Fox), 2.2/6
20.  Revolution (NBC), 2.2/6
20.  New Girl (Fox), 2.2/6

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  NCAA basketball final: Michigan-Louisville (CBS), 23.43
2.  NCIS (CBS), 17.22
3.  NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), 14.10
4.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 14.03
5.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 13.31
6.  American Idol-Thu. (Fox), 13.19
7.  Dancing With the Stars (ABC), 13.15
8.  60 Minutes (CBS), 12.62
9.  American Idol-Wed. (Fox), 12.23
10.  Dancing With the Stars results (ABC), 12.13
11.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 11.47
12.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 11.44
13.  CSI (CBS), 11.11
14.  Blue Bloods (CBS), 10.65
15.  Modern Family (ABC), 10.38
16.  The Good Wife (CBS), 10.14
17.  Person of Interest (CBS), 10.11
18.  The Amazing Race (CBS), 9.76
19.  Survivor (CBS), 9.38
20.  Body of Proof (ABC), 8.98

(in millions)

Total Viewers
CBS   10.83
Fox   6.05
ABC   5.90
NBC   5.07
UNI   3.70
Disney   2.62
USA   2.17
History   1.90
A&E   1.87
TBS   1.81

Adults 18-49
CBS   3.08 (2.4/7)
Fox   2.41 (1.9/6)
NBC   2.14 (1.7/5)
UNI   1.92
ABC   1.68  (1.3/4)
TBS   1.00
A&E   0.92
USA   0.86
History   0.75
TEL   0.77

Adults 25-54
CBS   3.90 (3.3/8)
Fox   2.84 (2.4/6)
NBC   2.46  (2.1/5)
ABC   2.15  (1.8/5)
UNI   1.82
TBS   0.98
A&E   0.96
USA   0.90
History   0.86
TEL   0.76


Total Viewers (in millions)
ABC  7.84 (-5% from last season)
CBS  12.15 (+2%)
NBC  7.04 (-7%)
Fox  7.09 (-21)
4-Nets  34.12 (-7%)

CW  1.81 (+4%)
TEL  1.31 (+6%)
UNI  3.74 (+4%)

Adults 18-49 (Rating/share)
ABC  2.3/6 (-4%)
CBS  3.0/8 (-3%)
NBC  2.4/7 (-8%)
Fox  2.5/7 (-22%)
4-nets  10.2/28 (-10%)

CW  0.7/2 (-13%)
TEL  0.6/2 (+20%)
UNI  1.5/4 (Even)

Adults 25-54
ABC  2.8/7 (-7%)
CBS  3.9/10 (-5%)
NBC  2.9/7 (-3%)
Fox  2.9/7 (-22%)
4-Nets  12.5/31 (-9%)

CW  0.8/2 (Even)
TEL  0.6/1 (+20%)
UNI  1.6/4 (+7%)

Adults 18-34
ABC  1.7/6 (-6%)
CBS  2.0/7 (Even)
NBC  1.9/6 (-10%)
Fox  2.3/8 (-15%)
4-Nets  7.9/27 (-8%)

CW  0.7/2 (-13%)
TEL  0.5/2 (Even)
UNI  1.3/4 (-19%)