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NBC Tops 52-Week Nielsen Season, CBS Reclaims Total Viewers Crown

NBC is set to end the 2018-2019 Nielsen season as the top broadcast network in the ratings, while CBS has reclaimed the total viewers crown from the Peacock.

Last year, NBC had overtaken CBS in total viewers for the first time in 16 years, but CBS has managed to regain the top spot thanks to solid performances by the final season of “The Big Bang Theory,” “Young Sheldon” and the ever-reliable viewership juggernaut “NCIS.”

All the networks other than Fox were down on last year’s average 18-49 rating, with NBC falling 22% from a 1.8 to a 1.4 average. Fox was also the only network up in total viewership, jumping an average of 300,000 viewers from 4.2 million on average to 4.5 this time around.

NBC’s decline in both metrics year on year is likely down to the fact the network had the Super Bowl and the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in 2018. The network’s highest rated show for the year was once again “This Is Us,” which averaged just over a 2.0, followed by a trio of its unscripted shows in “America’s Got Talent,” “The Voice” and “Ellen’s Game of Games.”

Meanwhile Fox’s improved numbers can be mostly attributed to the success of its breakthrough unscripted hit “The Masked Singer,” which averaged over 8 million total viewers across its debut season.

Check out the rankings for the 2018-2019 season below:

2018-19 Primetime Averages thru 51 Weeks, Most Current






Total Viewers

CBS…7.4 million

NBC…6.5 million

ABC…5.2 million

Fox…4.5 million

CW…1.2 million

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