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‘The Originals,’ ‘Arrow’ Helping CW Move the Ratings Needle

Net more competitive with Big Four in demos; NBC wins week in 18-49, CBS in total viewers

After years of fading into the broadcast background, the CW network is showing signs of a turn-around. The net still has plenty of room for improvement, but the needle at long last appears headed in the right direction.

Last week opened with CW picking up all three of its rookie series — “The Originals,” “Reign” and “The Tomorrow People” — for the rest of the season, and the net proceeded to post some of its most competitive timeslot finishes in years.

About 18 months ago, the only show CW had working was “The Vampire Diaries.” But flash-forward to now, and the net has pockets of strength across the week, including revitalized vet “Supernatural” on Tuesday.

As the youngest-skewing of the English-language broadcast networks, CW also performs very well in online viewing that isn’t included in the Nielsen ratings. The net says total streaming is up 56% vs. last year, and mobile viewing of full episodes alone has grown +194% in one year.

In “most current” Nielsen averages for the season, CW is up 9% in total viewers (to 2.02 million) and 11% in adults 18-49 (0.9/2) while holding steady in adults 18-34 (0.8/3) and women 18-34 (1.0/3).

Overall last week, NBC cruised to victory behind a huge “Sunday Night Football” contest, “The Voice” and “The Blacklist.” The net’s 2.8 rating/8 share was followed by Fox (2.0/6), CBS (1.9/5) and ABC (1.6/5).

NBC also led in adults 25-54 while CBS prevailed as usual in total viewers.

The Peacock’s “Sunday Night Football” was the dominant primetime program of the week, as the much-anticipated matchup of the Denver Broncos and undefeated Kansas City Chiefs did a big 9.9 rating/26 share in adults 18-49 and 26.95 million viewers — the best numbers for a primetime game in November since 1996 (Dallas-Green Bay on ABC).

AMC’s “The Walking Dead” wasn’t even close this week, dipping a bit to a 6.0/15 in 18-49 and 12 million viewers overall. Still, it was television’s No. 1 entertainment series in 18-49, followed by CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” (5.2/17).

Looking at CW’s week, “The Originals” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 2.40m) hit a high in total viewers, combining with “Supernatural” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 2.36m) for the net’s most-watched Tuesday in more than four years. “Originals” finished within a tenth of Fox’s “Dads” in 18-49 at 8 p.m. and pulled ahead in adults 18-34 and some female demos, while “Supernatural rose week-to-week by double-digits nearly across the board.

Wednesday saw second-year drama “Arrow” hit season highs in 18-49 (1.2/3) and total viewers (3.09 millon) while matching its series high in 18-34 (1.1/4), and “Tomorrow People” grew week to week in most categories.

And on Thursday, “The Vampire Diaries” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 2.72m) again beat ABC’s “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” in 18-49, while moving into a tie with Fox’s “The X Factor” and out-rating the music contest for a third straight week, in 18-34. And at 9 p.m., “Reign” grew week to week in 18-49 (to 0.7/2) while rising in total viewers for a third straight week (to 1.69 million).

Elsewhere of note last week, CBS became the first network this season to sweep four consecutive nights in the adults 18-49 and 25-54 demos as well as total viewers. The net did it Tuesday (tied in 18-49 with NBC) through Friday, capping things off with the largest audiences of the season for “Hawaii Five-O” (9.90m) and “Blue Bloods” (11.79m).

NBC had a pretty good week for its dramas, as “Chicago Fire” returned strong from a short break (2.2/6 in 18-49, 7.66m) “Revolution” hit a five-week high (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.17m) and “Law & Order: SVU” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 6.16m) and “Grimm” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 5.81m) had their best demo scores in four weeks.

ABC continues to be weighed down by under-performing shows like “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.73m) and “Betrayal” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 3.39m) as the net is allowing the new series to finish their limited runs on air rather than yanking them from the lineup. Tuesday rookie “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” hit another low too (2.2/6 in 18-49, 6.67m), but lead-out laffer “The Goldbergs” rose week to week (1.7/5 in 18-49, 5.12m) and tied with Fox’s “New Girl” in 18-49.

Fox’s best news came from rookie dramas bookending the week: “Sleepy Hollow” on Monday (2.6/7 in 18-49, 7.03m) and “Almost Human” (3.1/8 in 18-49, 9.18m), which premiered to good numbers following NFL coverage on Sunday. Not so hot was the Friday premiere of comedy “Raising Hope,” which preemed to a 0.8 rating in the 9 o’clock half-hour and dipped to a 0.7 at 9:30.

Univision’s finale of novela “La Tempestad” on Friday drew a 1.8/6 in 18-49 and 4.7 million total viewer, rising about 20% week to week.

In cable, Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” hit season highs Sunday (1.6/4 in 18-49, 3.70m), leading all of television for the 8 p.m. in young femme demos.

Hallmark Channel scored with Saturday telepic “The Christmas Ornament,” which drew 4.31 million viewers — one of the largest audiences for any original movie of the year.


Adults 18-49 (rating/share)

NBC             2.8/8
Fox               2.0/6
CBS              1.9/5
ABC              1.6/5
UNI              1.3/4
CW               0.7/2
TEL              0.5/1

Total Viewers

CBS             9.78 million
NBC            8.80 million
ABC             6.63 million
Fox              6.09 million
UNI             3.51 million
CW              1.79 million
TEL             1.22 million

(Live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49
1.  Sunday Night Football (NBC), 9.9/26
2.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 6.0/15
3.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 5.2/17
4.  Monday Night Football (ESPN), 3.9/10
5.  Modern Family (ABC), 3.8/11
5.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 3.8/10
7.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 3.4/9
8.  How I Met Your Mother (CBS), 3.1/9
8.  Almost Human-Sunday (Fox), 3.1/8
10.  The Blacklist (NBC), 3.0/8
10.  NCIS (CBS), 3.0/8
12.  Scandal (ABC), 2.9/7
13.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 2.7/8
13.  2 Broke Girls (CBS), 2.7/7
15.  The Millers (CBS), 2.6/8
15.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 2.6/7
15.  Sleepy Hollow (Fox), 2.6/7
18.  Survivor (CBS), 2.5/7
19.  The Middle (ABC), 2.4/7
19.  Thursday Night Football (NFLN), 2.4/7
19.  NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), 2.4/6

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  Sunday Night Football (NBC), 21.09
2.  NCIS (CBS), 19.18
3.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 16.89
4.  47th Annual CMA Awards (ABC), 16.76
5.  Monday Night Football (ESPN), 16.10
6.  60 Minutes (CBS), 15.26
7.  NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), 14.76
8.  Dancing With the Stars (ABC), 13.72
9.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 12.20
10.  College football: LSU-Alabama (CBS), 11.90
11.  Person of Interest (CBS), 11.79
12.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 11.75
13.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 11.30
14.  Blue Bloods (CBS), 10.97
15.  Castle (ABC), 10.87
16.  The Millers (CBS), 10.38
17.  The Blacklist (NBC), 10.34
18.  The Good Wife (CBS), 10.26
19.  The Voice special-Thursday (NBC), 9.74
20.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 9.70

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