Ratings: NBC Wins 2014-15 TV Season; CBS Is Still Most Watched Network

Blacklist Season 2 Ratings

For a second consecutive year, NBC has come away with the demo win for the 2014-15 TV season — despite slipping from its previous average. CBS meanwhile retained bragging rights as “America’s most watched network.”

Averaging a 2.4 rating during primetime among Adults 18-49, NBC for the 2014-15 TV season was down 11 percent year-over-year. CBS, dipping a tenth to a 2.3 average, placed a very close second, falling just 120,000 Adults 18-49 shy of the Peacock — in a year when NBC had the Super Bowl to boost its numbers.

Rounding out the broadcasters, ABC (averaging a 2.2) was the only network to improve its demo number, Fox (1.9) dropped 24 percent and The CW (0.8) was steady.

In total audience, CBS drew the largest crowd (11.3 million, up 6 percent) for a seventh straight season (and 12 out of the last 13). NBC placed second with 8.6 mil (down 8 percent from last year’s Sochi Olympics-boosted numbers), followed by ABC (8 mil, up 7 percent) and Fox (5.8 mil, down 22 percent). The CW averaged 2.2 mil, up 12 percent to its most watched season in seven years.

Among NBC’s shiniest trophies: Sunday Night Football was broadcast’s No. 1 primetime program, The Voice was the top-rated unscripted offering, Law & Order: SVU averaged its largest audience in four years and The Blacklist — despite slipping in its move away from Monday — improved NBC’s Thursdays-at-9 time slot by 160 percent.

CBS boasted the most watched drama (NCIS), new series (NCIS: New Orleans), new comedy (The Odd Couple) and scripted Sunday program (Madam Secretary), while The Big Bang Theory was TV’s top-rated comedy.

In addition to being the only Big 4 network up in 18-49, ABC topped that demo if you subtract out sports (edging out CBS, 2.2 vs. 2.1). The Alphabet network also had four shows in the Top 10 (Modern Family, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder and Grey’s Anatomy), and the top four dramas (folding in Once Upon a Time). ABC’s #TGIF line-up improved its Thursday numbers by 19 percent, while Wednesday’s two-hour comedy block rose 19 percent in the demo to a 3-year high.

Fox boasts the Big 4’s No. 1-rated series in freshman megahit Empire, which unseated The Big Bang Theory to claim that honor. Also, MasterChef Junior stands as the only reality series to grow year-over-year, while Brooklyn Nine-Nine was one of only three sophomore comedies to grow.

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  1. Ray says:

    NBC only won because of sports and event programming. Take away that and you have a network on the brink of collapse with laughable failures on every scripted front.

    • esteban says:

      Oh is that all, “the brink of collapse”? lmao! Ray has warned u, NBC!

      • Eric Ebacher says:

        It could always be like the period between 1975 and 1985, when NBC was in last place for ten consecutive years and by the end of 1984-85, NBC was on the verge of being flat broke because of countless programming disasters (Supertrain, Grandpa goes to Washington, so forth), and on top of that, in the spring of 1980, NBC had to announce that they would not be carrying the summer Olympics that year by virtue of a boycott after the Soviets refused to pull out of Afghanistan.

    • fringe30 says:

      Yeah because CBS doesn’t have sports or event programming.

      • Eric Ebacher says:

        Actually, CBS does have sports programming, but only on weekends (NFL, NCAA football and basketball, tennis, and golf).

    • Just one thing says:


    • David4 says:

      Just because they have canceled all their new shows this year, besides one, doesn’t mean they are in trouble. ;)

      • kevstar says:

        The Voice isn’t that huge. DWTS beats Voice in total viewers and it only beat it in young adults by .5 tenths for the finale. And I watched Dancing because I didn’t want to watch goat boy win while the last black girl comes in dead last.

  2. Jane says:

    I understand why, but it just seems so weird to me that NBC won. I am currently watching two shows on NBC and I’m dumping one of them after this season.

  3. Mr. Tran K says:

    I’m all about NBC vs. CBS in the years to come. Mixed feelings about ABC and Fox is still like NBC in the basement. CBS is taking a huge risk next season pitting the young over the old and still they haven’t announced which series is going to have the post Super Bowl spot for the big game on February 7, 2016.

  4. Jason Paul says:

    What would Fox’s numbers have been without Empire?

  5. Networks have become irrelevant. Every massive multinational corporation that owns the networks also own the studios that produce the content, which they proceed to sell to each other. For whatever reason, one set of suits approves of some other corporation’s production more than their own set of suits. So NBC makes a show for FOX and then it ends up at Hulu. FOX produces a somewhat unprofitable cult favorite and it ends up at Netflix. I’m not even worried if my favorite show Hannibal gets cancelled after this year, since Fuller can shop it around and continue to co-finance it somewhere else.

  6. Coal says:

    So which network would win if only scripted programming were taken into account ? I would assume it would be a toss up between CBS and ABC.

  7. dan says:

    The demo ratings are all close, especially between NBC and CBS, but look at the total viewers numbers. CBS averages 11.3 million with #2 NBC 2.7 million viewers behind. That is a huge difference. I know everybody says that advertisers only look at the young demo (which NBC won by only 120,000 viewers over CBS), but the total numbers are clearly in CBS’s favor. I’m sure the advertisers do pay attention to those figures when buying ad time. No wonder Les Moonves is always smiling!

  8. dman6015 says:

    So why does everyone in the entertainment media always refer to them as the “perennially last-place NBC”?

  9. Ally Oop says:

    The only thing I watched on CBS this past year was Big Bang Theory. And the only things I watched on NBC were the cancelled Parenthood, A to Z and American Odyssey.My most-watched network was ABC with Nashville, Grey’s Anatomy, Revenge, How to Get Away with Murder, Fresh off the Boat, Selfie, The Goldbergs and Secrets & Lies. CW would be #2 for me with Reign, The 100, Arrow, Hart of Dixie, The Originals, Vampire Diaries and Jane the Virgin. On FOX I only watched Empire and Sleepy Hollow.

    • Ally Oop says:

      Also, looking ahead to next season, here is my predicted tally, but please note, that the below amounts do look like a large but I likely will only stick with half of the new shows due to cancellations and personal preference:
      ABC: 5 returning shows, 5 shows I intend to check out, TOTAL=10
      CW: 6 returning shows, 2 shows I intend to check out, TOTAL=8
      NBC: 0 returning shows, 6 shows I intend to check out, TOTAL=6
      FOX: 3 returning shows, 1 show I intend to check out, TOTAL=4
      CBS: 1 returning show, 1 new show I intend to check out, TOTAL=2

    • Emor says:

      Wow. I guess i’m not alone when it comes to watching a lot of tv. Thank Goodness!!

      As for what I will be watching next season, Here is my break down…
      ABC: 7 returning shows (Inc/ 1 midseason)
      FOX: 5 returning shows (inc/ 1 midseason)
      NBC: 3 returning shows
      CW: 2 returning shows (Inc/ 1 midseason)
      CBS: 1 returning show midseason

      Of Note: 6 of my 7 ABC shows are now 5 seasons or older. (And I was very UNimpressed with their new pilots.) NBC & FOX pilots were a mixed bag. CW: Meh. Suprisingly, contrary to the evidence above, I was very IMpressed by the CBS pilots!

  10. casey says:

    Percentage wise I watch the most on the CW (8 shows) Everything I watch is on Hulu the next day because I don’t have cable. Which means I watch nothing on CBS.

  11. Shiloh says:

    Don’t really watch stuff on NBC, except “The Blacklist.” Love that show, though. :)