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CBS, NBC Top Weekly Ratings While ABC Is Resurrected

CBS and NBC drew the most young adults in primetime last week, as the Peacock continues to make big ratings strides.

The first week after the Olympics, with everybody back in originals and with no major sports or awards shows skewing the results, provided a good indicator of each net’s strength — and there was good news for three of the four nets. Fox, though, took a tumble from its first-place perch of a year ago.

NBC went from a deep-fourth place standing at this time a year ago — when it was still going through a very ratings-challenged period between cycles of “The Voice” — to tying with CBS for the lead among adults 18-49. And the Peacock remains on track to win the season in the demo for the first time in the 10 years since “Friends” left the air in 2004.

ABC was up a little in 18-49 from last year, seeing a strong premiere for its Sunday drama “Resurrection,” while CBS was basically flat and remains the season leader in its core 25-54 demo.

Overall, according to Nielsen estimates for the week of March 3-9, CBS and NBC tied in adults 18-49 with a 1.8 rating/5 share, followed by ABC (1.7/5), Fox (1.4/4) and Univision (1.1/3). CBS was the outright leader in 25-54 (2.6 to 2.3 for NBC) while cruising in total viewers (9.3 million to 6.7 million for NBC).

NBC continued to roll on Mondays, last week sweeping the night’s half-hours with “The Voice” (4.5/12 in 18-49, 15.62 million viewers overall) and “The Blacklist” (2.7/8 in 18-49, 11.01m), with the former down just slightly from this cycle’s premiere of the previous week and the latter delivering roughly as many young adults as the combined ABC and CBS dramas in its hour.

“The Voice” also was big on Tuesday (4.1/12 in 18-49, 14.53 million viewers overall), rising from its premiere and affecting the ratings for timeslot rivals “NCIS,” “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” and “Glee” — all of which hit season lows. The music contest, which did its best Tuesday rating since October (when it aired at 9) also served as a good lead-in for 9 p.m. comedy “About a Boy” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 8.36 million viewers overall), which won its half-hour by 3 shares over fellow comedies “The Goldbergs” and “New Girl.”

Another highlight was Friday’s “Grimm” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 5.65 million viewers overall), which matched its best score since early December. “Hannibal,” though, fell off behind it (0.8/3 in 18-49, 2.50 million viewers overall), down 27% (0.3) from its season opener of the previous week.

For the week, NBC’s first-place tie with CBS in 18-49 marked the latest in a season the network has finished on top in any frame since May 2004.

CBS had good showings on Thursday with “The Big Bang Theory” (5.3/17 in 18-49, 18.09 million viewers overall), “The Millers” (2.9/9 in 18-49, 11.58 million viewers overall) and “Two and a Half Men” (2.6/8 in 18-49, 10.38 million viewers overall). “Big Bang” and “Millers” both easily topped Fox’s “American Idol” in demos, while “Men” had its best ratings since its season premiere and moved ahead of an original “Grey’s Anatomy” in 18-49 for the first time this season.

“Big Bang” was the No. 1 broadcast for the week in 18-49 total viewers.

On Wednesday, “Survivor” (2.4/8 in 18-49, 9.58 million viewers overall) and “Criminal Minds” (2.6/7 in 18-49, 11.42 million viewers overall) again closed in on “American Idol” head-to-head in 18-49. “Minds” beat the Fox show in total viewers for a second straight week.

At ABC, “Modern Family” was the top Wednesday series in 18-49 (3.4/10 in 18-49, 9.22m), bouncing back from its low perf of the previous week. And at 9:30 p.m., “Mixology” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 4.64m), which benefited from extra exposure courtesy of a special Monday repeat at the start of last week, was able to hold all of its premiere-week demo rating.

For the first time in a while, “Modern Family” wasn’t ABC’s top-rated series for the week in 18-49, as that honor went to Sunday’s premiere of “Resurrection” (3.8/10 in 18-49, 13.90 million viewers overall), which was the week’s No. 5 program in 18-49 — despite having to go head-to-head with No. 1 on the list, AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”  “Resurrection” matched NBC’s “The Blacklist” as the season’s No. 2-rated drama premiere in 18-49, behind “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.”

In a roller-coaster week for its dramas, ABC also saw the lows on Tuesday with “Mind Games” in its second week (0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.39 million viewers overall) before bouncing back on Thursday with “Grey’s Anatomy” (2.6/7 in 18-49, 8.21 million viewers overall) and “Scandal” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 8.53 million viewers overall), which again led their hours in 18-49 despite falling off from their spring premieres of the previous week.

At Fox, “American Idol” (2.7/8 in 18-49, 10.53 million viewers overall) was the top draw for the net but merely ranked 10th among all primetime programs, while “Almost Human” didn’t see any uptick for its first-season finale (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.63m).

On Sunday, the premiere of “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” did solid numbers in a crowded Sunday-at-9 hour (2.1/5 in 18-49, 5.77 million viewers overall) and drew roughly 8.5 million viewers total for its simulcast across 10 Fox-affiliated networks.

Of note at CW was Thursday’s “Reign” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.75 million viewers overall), which shot up 33% week-to-week in total viewers, its largest audience since mid-December, and matched its series high in women 18-34 (1.0/3).

Among the week’s cable highlights were another monster rating for AMC’s “The Walking Dead” (6.3/16 in 18-49, 12.65 million viewers overall) and series highs for HBO’s “True Detective” (1.6/4 in adults 18-49, 3.52 million viewers overall) as it wrapped its first season.

Joining “Walking Dead” among cable series in the week’s top 20 was A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” (2.5/7 in 18-49, 6.10 million viewers overall), which easily won out in 18-49 over the broadcast dramas in its Wednesday 10 o’clock hour.

Of note on a smaller scall, CNN’s original series “Death Row Stories” premiered to 719,000 viewers Sunday and easily beat news rivals Fox News and MSNBC in the key adults 25-54 demo for its 9 o’clock hour.

And CNBC’s “The Profit” hit more highs on Tuesday (441,000 viewers, including 260 adults 25-54) to become the network’s top-rated original series of all time.

WEEKLY NETWORK AVERAGES

Adults 18-49 (rating/share)

CBS             1.8/5
NBC            1.8/5
ABC             1.7/5
Fox              1.4/4
UNI             1.1/3
CW              0.6/2
TEL             0.4/1

Total Viewers

CBS             9.32 million
NBC            6.67 million
NBC            5.93 million
Fox              4.73 million
UNI             2.72 million
CW              1.50 million
TEL             1.07 million

WEEK’S TOP PRIMETIME PROGRAMS
(Live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49
1.   The Walking Dead (AMC), 6.3/16
2.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 5.3/17
3.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 4.5/12
4.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 4.1/12
5.  Resurrection (ABC), 3.8/10
6.  Modern Family (ABC), 3.4/10
7.  How I Met Your Mother (CBS), 3.3/10
8.  The Millers (CBS), 2.9/9
9.  Scandal (ABC), 2.8/8
10.  The Blacklist (NBC), 2.7/8
10.  American Idol-Wednesday (Fox), 2.7/8
12.  Two and a Half Men (CBS), 2.6/8
12.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 2.6/7
12.  2 Broke Girls (CBS), 2.6/7
12.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 2.6/7
16.  NCIS (CBS), 2.5/7
16.  About a Boy (NBC), 2.5/7
16.  Duck Dynasty (AMC), 2.5/7
19.  Survivor (CBS), 2.4/8
19.  Once Upon a Time (ABC), 2.4/7

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 18.09
2.  NCIS (CBS), 17.85
3.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 15.62
4.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 14.53
5.  NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), 14.37
6.  Resurrection (NBC), 13.90
7.  The Walking Dead (AMC), 12.65
8.  Blue Bloods (CBS), 12.03
9.  The Millers (CBS), 11.58
10.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 11.42
11.  The Blacklist (NBC), 11.01
12.  60 Minutes (CBS), 10.73
13.  Person of Interest (CBS), 10.64
14.  American Idol-Wednesday (Fox), 10.53
15.  Two and a Half Men (CBS), 10.38
16.  Hawaii Five-0 (CBS), 10.35
17.  The Mentalist (CBS), 9.95
18.  American Idol-Thursday (Fox), 9.76
19.  Survivor (CBS), 9.58
20.  CSI (CBS), 9.29

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