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.