TV Season Rankings: Sunday Night Football Ends Idol's Streak; Once, POI and Rob Score Wins

Overall rankings for the TV season gone by have been released, and for the first time in eight years, American Idol did not come out on top.

Instead, NBC’s Sunday Night Football placed No. 1 in both the coveted 18-49 demo rating (averaging a 7.99) and in total audience (averaging 20.74 million viewers).

Idol‘s Wednesday telecasts placed second in both measures, with a 6.16 and 19.8 million total viewers. In the demo, The Voice nipped at Idol‘s heels, averaging a 6.12.

RELATED | Fall TV Preview: Your Guide to What’s New!

Here are a few superlatives to chew on; hit Comments to share what surprises/delights you:

TOP COMEDY
18-49: Modern Family, ABC (5.54)/The Big Bang Theory, CBS (5.53)
Total Viewers: The Big Bang Theory, CBS (15.8 million)

TOP NEW COMEDY
18-49: 2 Broke Girls, CBS (4.35)
Total Viewers: Rob, CBS (12 million)

TOP DRAMA
18-49: Grey’s Anatomy, ABC (4.23)
Total Viewers: NCIS, CBS (19.5 million)

TOP NEW DRAMA
18-49: Once Upon a Time, ABC (4.1)
Total Viewers: Person of Interest, CBS (14.34 million)

TOP CANCELLED SHOW
18-49: Rob, CBS (3.71)
Total Viewers: Unforgettable, CBS (12.1 million)

LOWEST-RATED RENEWED SHOW
18-49: Nikita, The CW (0.61)
Total Viewers: Gossip Girl, The CW (1.52 million)

AND AT THE VERY BOTTOM
The L.A. Complex, The CW (0.27 rating, 572K total viewers)

RELATED | Finale Ratings: American Idol and SVU At All-Time Lows, Revenge Hits 20-Week High

TOP 10 BY DEMO
Sunday Night Football
American Idol (Wednesday)
The Voice
Modern Family
American Idol (Thursday)
The Big Bang Theory
Two and a Half Men
The X Factor (Wednesday)
2 Broke Girls
Grey’s Anatomy

TOP 10 BY TOTAL VIEWERS
Sunday Night Football
American Idol (Wednesday)
NCIS
American Idol (Thursday)
Dancing With the Stars (Monday)
Dancing With the Stars (Tuesday)
NCIS: Los Angeles
The Big Bang Theory
The Voice
Two and a Half Men

For completists, our sister site Deadline has the complete rankings for 156 shows.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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34 Comments
  1. Darth Pablo says:

    12 million people watched Rob?

    • Ashley says:

      That’s actually low when you consider it was on CBS.

    • Jennifer says:

      Hey rob was pretty funny. I love cheech marin and miss him on tv. And rob schneider as a slightly nuerotic person was actually funny.

    • John says:

      I watched 2 minutes of the Pilot episode and knew it was going nowhere.

      • JASon says:

        Another in a long line of the love interest is way too hot for the goofy comedian. Was completely uinbelievable and unwatchable!! Had a good lead in but couldn’t keep any of the viewers so it was cancelled.

  2. Robin says:

    Hooray for once upon a time!!

  3. Sam says:

    I’m not saying the Top 10 in total viewers isn’t made up of enjoyable programs, but geez, not one of them is a smart comedy (Happy Endings, Parks and Rec.) or a serialized drama (Patenthood, The Good Wife). Is America really that stupid?

    • Ava says:

      Starting to look like it. It’s kind of depressing. Also I don’t know anyone who regularly watches any of the top 10 shows. Who are these millions of people?

      • G says:

        I think I’m a fairly average American and I watch Sunday Night Football, DWTS, NCIS, NCIS: LA, Modern Family, and the Big Bang Theory. So that is 6 out of the top 10 shows. Everyone has their own tastes though. I also used to watch Idol, but got tired of it and have not watched the past couple of seasons.

    • Kendall says:

      No, America just doesn’t have as limited a view of what’s good as you do.

      • liddad says:

        Actually, Sam was only pointing out that, even though the shows are enjoyable, there is not one program on there that would be considered intellectually challenging.

        • Joy says:

          Perhaps that just means that people are looking for intellectual challenge elsewhere than TV. I’m somebody who does like to get my mind caught up in TV viewing, but in my social circles, that’s definitely kind of unusual. For most people I know, TV is just something to turn on for an hour in the evening when you want to give your mind a break, in between the “real” parts of the day. Something that takes a lot of attention or has to be followed consistently week-to-week isn’t going to cut it. It doesn’t mean they don’t like intellectually engaging entertainment; it just means that when they want that, they’re reading books or going to plays and concerts, not watching TV. I’m sure that as far as they’re concerned, I’m the one who’s intellectually suspect for getting so invested in a medium that they think of as better suited for mindless entertainment. :-)

  4. Renee says:

    FOOTBALL!!! (I’m wishing it was football season right now.)

  5. Renee says:

    And yeah for Person Of Interest!

  6. Heather says:

    Considering Once Upon a Time was up against NBC football for the early part of the season (and then had to battle with football overruns on CBS skewing all the numbers for another part of the season), I’m even more impressed with how well the show did this year. Congrats OUAT and I can’t wait for season two! =D

  7. ninamags says:

    Love both POI and OUAT.

    Like the football on Sundays too (depends on who plays, though).

    Yay, Nikita!!

  8. joterri says:

    Yes for POI and OUAT!!!!!

  9. GeeMa says:

    Since Unforgettable drew 12 mil viewers, is there no cable station to pick it up? Interesting show.

  10. Emily says:

    Wow. Good for ABC. It skews younger than CBS to great success, seems like. I couldn’t manage to fit in POI this season, but I’ll definitely be looking for it when it comes out on DVD.

    • dan says:

      ABC may skew lower than CBS overall, but I’m pretty sure that “DWTS” is the oldest skewing show on tv. And ABC’s average age has gone up while CBS’s average age has gone down.

    • Adam Tierney says:

      Actually ABC was #4 in Demo, CBS was just behind FOX. So, no, ABC doesn’t skew younger than CBS.

  11. lilys87 says:

    I bet (hope) Grey’s Anatomy won’t do so well next year. That Finale cured me.
    Very happy for Once Upon A Time, it is well deserved :)

  12. Lincoln says:

    Of course the numbers dont really mean anything… as they are projections based on the very small number of people that actually have nielsen devices in their homes… Isn’t it time the tv industry figures out how to more accurate measure these things… Cant every cable box send out a signal that tracks this stuff without relying on inaccurate figures.

    • JASon says:

      I know!! Weird that they still use an antiquated 40 year old technique. It may be because the cable box can’t tell you who is watching (age, sex, etc) The nielsen diaries contain this info and is important to advertisers.

      • Renee says:

        Exactly. They pretty much only care for viewers that watch live (ie see the commercials) and are in the desirable age bracket. That’s what they can sell to the ad people.

  13. cjeffery7 says:

    I didn’t realize Rob got such high ratings… then again maybe I’m just used to seeing much lower ratings for TV shows I actually like.

    I wonder where Revenge falls in the Top New Drama category.

  14. Ana says:

    What does it say about us when a show as sexist, crass, offensive and hyper-sexualized as 2.5 Men and Two Broke Girls are make our top ten?

  15. greysfan says:

    Wow. Grey’s is still #1 for drama. That makes me very pleased indeed. Also Once was great and glad its the #1 new drama for the season. Also its about damn time something else took over from Idol. This year’s winner is imo is the worst yet. Jessica was robbed by yet another Kris Allen sing a like.

  16. Greys says:

    Can’t believe Grey’s Anatomy is still the #1 drama, after 8 seasons! That’s something for ABC to hang their hats on.

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