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Weekly Ratings: CBS Wins Easily, Closes in on NBC for Season’s Demo Lead

CBS, airing both the week’s biggest series (“The Big Bang Theory”) and special (“50th Annual ACM Awards”), scored an easy primetime ratings victory in key demos last week as the broadcast networks head into the final month of the season.

The Eye has pulled to within a tenth of NBC for the season lead in the adults 18-49 demo, though it’s still unlikely to catch the Peacock, which benefited from airing the Super Bowl this season. Due to a sluggish performance this spring, NBC no longer has a shot at a 2.6 and seems locked into a 2.5, while CBS should be able to hold its 2.4. ABC is likely to finish at 2.2, and Fox is headed for a fourth-place finish at 2.0.

CBS has zoomed past NBC in adults 25-54 and will win the season, and the Eye will also prevail in total viewers for the 12th time in 13 seasons.

Fox News Channel, meanwhile, led all of cable in primetime viewership for the third time this year as the network got a bump in a week that saw some high-profile presidential bid announcements. With “The O’Reilly Factor” accounting for three of cable’s top 20 programs for the week, the net’s weekly average of 1.69 million put it ahead of USA and Disney Channel, the runner-ups with 1.57 million.

Looking at the week’s entertainment programming, the “50th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards” averaged a strong 3.6 rating/11 share in adults 18-49, ranking second to “The Big Bang Theory” (3.9/15). The kudocast ranked No. 1 overall in total viewers (15.98 million), edging out the Eye’s “NCIS” (15.84 million), with geekcom “Big Bang” third (14.82 million).

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” remained strong, averaging 6.81 million viewers in its second week of the season to lead all of cable. In adults 18-49, its 3.6 rating would have tied with the ACM Awards as No. 2 among all primetime programs for the week.

Among first-year series, ABC saw week-to-week gains for “Fresh Off the Boat” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 4.76 million), “Secrets & Lies” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.13 million viewers overall) and “American Crime” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 4.38 million), while Friday comedy “Cristela” held steady (0.9/4 in 18-49, 4.77 million viewers overall) as it wrapped its rookie campaign. “Secrets” matched its season high, pulling ahead of NBC’s “A.D. The Bible Continues” in 18-49 (1.5 vs. 1.2) one week after losing in their initial matchup (1.7 vs. 1.3).

At CBS, “NCIS: New Orleans” was on the low side (1.8/6 in 18-49, 14.40 million viewers overall) but retained a strong 90% of its “NCIS” lead-in; Wednesday drama “CSI: Cyber” was on the rise (1.5/5 in 18-49, 8.12 million viewers overall); and Thursday comedy “The Odd Couple” (2.1/8 in 18-49, 9.62 million viewers overall) edged up behind a rising “Big Bang Theory,” though its retention of the juggernaut remained modest (54% in 18-49). Sophomore comedy “Mom” looked good as it moved to 9 p.m. on Thursday (2.2/7 in 18-49, 9.60 million viewers overall), rising 10% week to week and actually building in 18-49 on its “The Odd Couple” lead-in.

At NBC, Sunday drama “Odyssey” dropped to a mere 0.5 rating in 18-49 (3.11 million viewers overall) as it was clearly affected by the lower lead-in for “A.D. The Bible Continues.”  Tuesday comedy “One Big Happy” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.57 million viewers overall) is doing OK, though it lost more of its lead-in from “Undateable” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 5.10 million viewers overall) this week.

Fox saw more low scores for its rookies “Weird Loners” on Tuesday (0.6/2 in 18-49, 1.39 million viewers overall) and “Backstrom” on Thursday (0.8/2 in 18-49, 3.39 million viewers overall). Faring better are “Gotham” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 4.50 million viewers overall), though it sagged to a fourth-place finish last week, and Sunday’s “The Last Man on Earth” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.41 million viewers overall).

At CW, “iZombie” continues to look pretty good on Tuesday (0.8/2 in 18-49, 1.85 million viewers overall) behind the net’s top show “The Flash” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 3.67 million viewers overall). The newcomer hit a series high in adults 18-34 (0.7/3) and posted best-since-premiere scores in other categories.

WEEK’S TOP PRIMETIME NETWORKS
(Live plus same-day for April 13-19, 2015)

Adults 18-49 (rating/share)
CBS                 1.8/6
ABC                1.4/5
NBC                1.1/4
Fox                 1.1/4
Univision      0.9/2
CW                 0.6/2
TBS                0.6/2
Discovery      0.5/2
USA               0.5/2
ESPN             0.5/2
TNT               0.5/2

Total Viewers (in millions)
CBS                9.63
ABC                6.09
NBC               5.04
Fox                 3.59
Univision      2.52
Fox News      1.69
USA                1.57
Disney           1.57
TBS                1.54
Discovery      1.45

WEEK’S TOP PRIMETIME PROGRAMS*

(Live plus same-day for April 13-19, 2015)

Adults 18-49
1.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 3.9/15
2.  50th Annual ACM Awards (CBS), 3.6/11
3.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 2.9/9
4.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 2.5/9
5.  Scandal (ABC), 2.4/8
6.  The Goldbergs (ABC), 2.2/8
6.  Survivor (CBS), 2.2/8
6.  Dancing With the Stars (ABC), 2.2/7
6.  Mom (CBS), 2.2/7
10.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 2.1/8
10.  The Odd Couple (CBS), 2.1/8
10.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 2.1/7
13.  The Middle (ABC), 2.0/8
13.  NCIS (CBS), 2.0/7
15.  The Big Bang Theory, 9:30 p.m.-r (CBS), 1.9/6
15.  The Goldbergs-9:30 p.m. (ABC), 1.9/6
15.  Scorpion (CBS), 1.9/6
18.  2 Broke Girls (CBS), 1.8/7
18.  Mike & Molly (CBS), 1.8/6
18.  Modern Family-r (ABC), 1.8/6
18.  NCIS: New Orleans (CBS), 1.8/6

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  50th Annual ACM Awards (CBS), 15.98
2.  NCIS (CBS), 15.84
3.  The Big Bang Theory (CBS), 14.82
4.  NCIS: New Orleans (CBS), 14.40
5.  Dancing With the Stars (ABC), 13.89
6.  The Voice-Monday (NBC), 11.03
7.  The Voice-Tuesday (NBC), 10.69
8.  Criminal Minds (CBS), 10.37
9.  60 Minutes (CBS), 10.00
10.  The Odd Couple (CBS), 9.62
11.  Mom (CBS), 9.60
12.  Survivor (CBS), 9.57
13.  Scorpion (CBS), 9.53
14.  NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), 9.36
15.  Person of Interest (CBS), 9.21
16.  The Big Bang Theory, 9:30 p.m.-r (CBS), 8.59
17.  CSI: Cyber (CBS), 8.12
18.  Scandal (ABC), 7.86
19.  American Idol-Wednesday (Fox), 7.63
20.  Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), 7.60

*ad-supported networks only

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