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TV Ratings: NBC Tops 2018-2019 Season in Key Demo, CBS Retains Total Viewers Crown for 11th Year

Once again, NBC and CBS sit atop their broadcast competition at the end of the season.

For the 2018-2019 September-May broadcast season, NBC took the number one spot among the key demographic of adults 18-49 for the fifth time in six years. NBC averaged a 1.6 rating according to most current numbers available through 34 weeks of the season (Live+7 for all but the last two weeks of the season). CBS and Fox tied for second in the key demo with a 1.5 each, while ABC was fourth with a 1.3. The CW averaged a 0.4

Despite winning the season, NBC saw the biggest drop off season-to-season in the key demo, down 27% from the 2.2 it averaged last year. However, NBC had both the Super Bowl and the Olympics season, which drove massive ratings. ABC was also down from the 1.5 it held last season, which was due largely to the “Roseanne” revival that scored huge numbers for the network. The CW dipped from a 0.6, while both Fox and CBS were even.

CBS was number one in total viewers for the eleventh season in a row, averaging 8.9 million viewers for the season. That is down only slightly from the 9 million viewers CBS averaged last season, despite the fact that CBS had the Super Bowl this year. Yet this year’s Super Bowl was also the lowest-rated in 10 years, so it is not altogether surprising it didn’t provide CBS with much lift. NBC was down 19% from its 7.2 million average last year, again largely because of the lack of the Super Bowl and Olympics coverage.

Fox was the only network to build on its total viewers average, going from 4.9 million to 5.4 million, as the network began airing “Thursday Night Football” this season. The network also scored with the hit unscripted series “The Masked Singer.” ABC came in with 5.6 million, down from 6.1 million last year. The CW averaged 1.3 million, down from 1.7 million.

Adults 18-49

1.) NBC…1.6

2.) CBS…1.5 (tie)

2.) Fox…1.5 (tie)

4.) ABC…1.2

5.) CW…0.4

Total Viewers

1.) CBS…8.9 million

2.) NBC…7.2 million

3.) ABC…5.6 million

4.) Fox…5.4 million

5.) CW…1.3 million

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