Sunday Night Football, Empire Top Ratings for 2014-15 Season; Forever Among Highest-Rated Axed Shows

NBC’s Sunday Night Football and Fox’s Empire placed No. 1 and No. 2 for the 2014-15 TV season, with average ratings of 7.3 and 7.1 in the coveted 18-49 demo, respectively.

As reported this week, NBC won the season in the demo, while CBS remains the most watched net.

In the demo, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory — averaging a 6.5 rating this season, including any available Live+7 DVR playback data — easily led the comedy pack, while ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder (5.0) and Scandal (4.5) placed a distant second and third in the drama race behind Empire.

Of the Top 20 non-sports entertainment programs, ABC led with seven, followed by CBS’ six. NBC had four, Fox three.

In total viewers, NCIS (21.4 mil) and Big Bang (21.3 mil) repeated as the season’s most watched drama and comedy. All told, CBS had 11 of the Top 20 most watched entertainment programs; ABC had five.

Fun fact: This season the two top new dramas (Empire and How to Get Away With Murder), the No. 1 new comedy (black-ish) and the highest-rated returning drama (Scandal) all featured African-American leads.

Here are my hand-curated rankings for the broadcast networks’ assorted offerings; last season’s can be found hereHit Comments to share what surprises, delights or depresses you.

TOP RETURNING COMEDY | 18-49 DEMO
1 | The Big Bang Theory, CBS (6.5 rating, including any available Live+7 DVR playback)
2 | Modern Family, ABC (5.4)
3 | The Goldbergs, ABC (3.2)
4 | Family Guy, FOX (3.2)
5 | Two and a Half Men, CBS (3.1)
In Total Viewers | The Big Bang Theory (21.3 million)

TOP NEW COMEDY | 18-49 DEMO
1 | black-ish, ABC (3.3, including any available Live+7 DVR playback)
2 | The Odd Couple, CBS (2.9)
3 | Last Man on Earth, FOX (2.8)
4 | Fresh Off the Boat, ABC (2.4)
5 | Galavant, ABC (1.9)
In Total Viewers | The Odd Couple (12 million)

TOP RETURNING DRAMA | 18-49 DEMO
1 | Scandal, ABC (4.5, including any available Live+7 DVR playback)
2 | The Blacklist, NBC (4.2)
3 | Grey’s Anatomy, ABC (3.9)
4 | Criminal Minds, CBS (3.7)
5 | NCIS, CBS (3.6)
In Total Viewers | NCIS (21.4 million)

TOP NEW DRAMA | 18-49 DEMO
1 | Empire, FOX (7.1, including any available Live+7 DVR playback)
2 | How to Get Away With Murder, ABC (5.0)
3 | Gotham, FOX (3.7)
4 | Scorpion, CBS (3.6)
5 | NCIS: New Orleans, CBS (2.9)
In Total Viewers | NCIS: New Orleans (18.6 million)

TOP REALITY SHOW | 18-49 DEMO
1 | The Voice (Monday), NBC (4.2, including any available Live+7 DVR playback)
2 | The Voice (Tuesday), NBC (4.0)
3 | Survivor, CBS (3.1)
4 | The Bachelor, ABC (3.0)
5 | American Idol (Thursday), FOX (2.9)
In Total Viewers | Dancing With the Stars, ABC (15 million)

TOP-RATED CANCELLED* SHOWS | 18-49 DEMO
1 | The Following, FOX (2.1, including any available Live+7 DVR playback)
1 | CSI, CBS (2.1)
2 | Forever, ABC (2.0)
2 | Revenge, ABC (2.0)
2 | Resurrection, ABC (2.0)
2 | The Millers, CBS (2.0)
In Total Viewers | CSI, CBS (11.2 million)
* Versus series that entered their announced final seasons

LOWEST-RATED RENEWED SHOWS (SCRIPTED) | 18-49 DEMO
1 | The 100, The CW (0.9, including any available Live+7 DVR playback)
2 | Jane, The CW (0.8)
3 | Reign, The CW (0.7)
Total Viewers | Reign (1.75 million)

TOP 10 BY DEMO
NBC Sunday Night Football, NBC (7.3)
Empire, Fox (7.1)
The Big Bang Theory, CBS (6.5)
Thursday Night Football, CBS/NFL (5.9)
Modern Family, ABC (5.4)
How to Get Away With Murder, ABC (5.0)
The OT, FOX (4.6)
Scandal, ABC (4.5)
The Blacklist, NBC (4.2)
The Voice (Monday), NBC (4.2)

TOP 10 BY TOTAL VIEWERS
NCIS, CBS (21.4 million)
The Big Bang Theory,
CBS (21.3 million)
Sunday Night Football,
NBC (20.8 million)
NCIS: New Orleans,
CBS (18.6 million)
Empire,
FOX (17.3 million)
Thursday Night Football,
CBS/NFL (17.1 million)
The Blacklist,
NBC (15.4 million)
Scorpion,
CBS (15.2 million)
Blue Bloods,
CBS (15.1 million)
Dancing With the Stars,
ABC (15 million)

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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42 Comments
  1. Leigh says:

    I miss Forever already. :(

    • Georgia Madman says:

      I hope they release Forever on DVD so I can watch it over and over when te crappy shows are on. Galavant…jeeze…

      • Anna says:

        Come on, I love Forever as well and I’m sure as hell gonna miss it, but don’t bully poor Galavant! It’s a fun show, that’s extremely entertaining because it doesn’t take itself seriously at all. I’m happy it got renewed! You shouldn’t hate on something else just because something you loved got cancelled.

    • Nicole says:

      There is a whole campaign to get Forever renewed. There is a petition nearing 50,000 signatures. Just follow #saveforever

      • Pearl says:

        After seeing those numbers… Whatb ABC executives were drinking when they decided to cancel Forever?

  2. LADY_in_MD says:

    I think modern family will still be around for a few more seasons I have read some comments that people think the show is done but I think this past season had some great moments and the cliffhanger on the finale was great!

  3. ninergrl6 says:

    If Reign didn’t get that early pick up with the rest of the CW shows, it’d be toast. I still love it though!

    • brandydanforth81 says:

      Not nesacarily.CW seems to support it more than other underperforming shows they have & it’s halfway to syndication plus a cheap international co production and has DVD,tie in novels to make some money Pkus probable international syndication appeal,visual appeal plus CW doesn’t cancel shows with two full seasons cause they want syndication & proper endings and Reign is part of their big Huku/Netflx streaming deal.

    • brandydanforth81 says:

      Also,Rember this the network that renewed Batzb doing slightly worse in s2 than Reign and it didnt get an earky renewal.Reign did better internationally than HoD and possibly Messengers & has sharper age international sales and at the time of renewal Reign was doing decent in dvr(0.7).

    • brandydanforth81 says:

      Further,itgot one 0.3 in the fall,CW knew its ratings were more likely to dropping the spring like most shows than not but they renewed it anyway

  4. Ray says:

    What is The OT (FOX)?

  5. Mr. Tran K says:

    No other drama can’t dethrone NCIS and no other comedy can’t dethrone Big Bang Theory. Start complaining if you dare.

    • Tea says:

      No other drama CAN dethrone NCIS and no other comedy CAN dethrone Big Bang Theory you mean. Sorry, it was bugging me.

      • Network says:

        Watch out Tea, you’re gonna be called a conspiracy theorist, a hypocrite and a number of words that are inappropriate by definition alone. :)

        • Mr. Tran K says:

          Leave me or anyone else alone. Are you still complaining about the things I’ve said and are you not trying to be ignored like Glenn Close said in Fatal Attraction?

    • nick says:

      Except total viewed mean nothing in the US as old people don’t matter to advertisers.

  6. Steven says:

    I watch both Jane the Virgin & The 100. Both are really terrific shows. I wish more people would watch.

    • AddieM says:

      A friend and I tried JTV bcoz of all the awards hype but we just could not see what all the hype was all about. We stopped after the first two epi..I don’t know if it go better after that

  7. JB Smooove says:

    empire…htgawm….scandal…. dang racist America strikes again.

  8. Ally says:

    ABC was just being spiteful to Forever. It could have held its own if given a second chance.

    • nick says:

      It was only averaging a 1.0 in the demo this spring! If it were on NBC it might’ve survived ,but no chance on ABC.

    • Daven says:

      My prediction: in 3 yeArs ABC will regret cancelling Forever like CBS regretted cancelling Moonlight. It was a show ahead of its time.

  9. Cyndi says:

    Whenever I see Forever in a headline I cry just a little. I still can’t believe they renewed Galavant over Forever. I get that it’s not an equal comparison, but they could have given Forever at least a limited episode renewal (13) to see if it would pick up viewers.

  10. herman1959 says:

    Matt, you have outdone yourself with this breakdown. That said, I’m upset all over again about Forever and Resurrection. As far as ratings are concerned, CW is in another world (good).

  11. Karen says:

    Huge mistake ABC canceling Forever. I realize the show wasn’t produced by ABC, which is why other lower quality shows were renewed instead (Galavant, Agent). I wish Warner would/could shop the show to another network. BRING BACK FOREVER.

  12. Dave says:

    After 10 years, 11 seasons and 244 episodes, Grey’s Anatomy is still within the top 5 dramas in the ratings. I wonder what next season is gonna be like.

  13. James says:

    Live plus seven is misleading because networks don’t follow that. Forever and revenge hovered around 1.0 in the demo

  14. ljd213 says:

    Sad over Forever, at least wish ABC had kept it for mid-season since you know there will be at least one dud in the lineup.

  15. Nicole says:

    Abc treated Forever badly. They kept it off air weeks at a time, never promoted it, never even said when new episodes actually were on. They begrudgingly have it a full season order. I think they were hoping to just cancel it early on. But when the ratings were better than expected gave it a full season. Its amazing that the ratings stayed as high as they did given the treatment. The ratings were not only consistent, they were growing. I say boo to Abc. They don’t deserve Forever. Fans will not go down without a fight. #saveforever

  16. TW says:

    This makes losing Forever all the more painful.

  17. Maryann says:

    Is there any hope that someone else will pick up Forever?

    • Georgia Madman says:

      Hoping Netflix picks it up or at least we get a DVD with lots of extras. I so loved that show and I would have gladly traded Castle season 8 for forever season 2.

  18. Dennis says:

    Forever is the BEST show on television. Please renew it somehow

  19. Evelyn says:

    Forever is a very good show. They were’nt given a chance. Some shows need a little moving around. It’s sad to see a show that always had a good plot and good actors cancelled.

  20. rott503 says:

    Please don’t cancel the forever, it’s nice TV show

  21. Julie chaney says:

    Please, power that be in TV land, renew Forever!! The show is fantastic. My whole family will truly miss it. So disappointed in ABC:(.

  22. kelly says:

    I loved forever. There are fans all over the world. It isnt even finished on our pay tv here in South Africa and in some other countries it has only just started.
    I downloaded the series. In South Africa… it got cancelled just as it started here. Never saw much advertising for it…
    ABC doesnt care if anyone one else in the world loved the show. Hopefully it goes to netflix…
    #saveforever