For the seventh time in the last eight years, CBS has emerged as the overall ratings winner for network television.
Nielsen’s annual ratings report indicates that CBS was boosted to the top of the heap thanks to the record-breaking broadcast of the Super Bowl showdown between the Colts and the Saints. This year’s Super Bowl was the most-watched television broadcast in history, bringing in more than 106 million viewers for the network. CBS also scored the highest-rated scripted program of the year, in NCIS. CBS also boasts the three most popular new programs of the year: NCIS: Los Angeles, The Good Wife, and Undercover Boss.
In second place is Fox, who averaged about two million fewer viewers each night than CBS. But Fox scored a major victory of its own: a 3.6 rating in the key 18-49 demographic, which placed Fox on top in this all-important age range that advertisers seek the most. American Idol remains Fox’s juggernaut, earning the “number one show on television” status for the seventh year in a row.
ABC came in third place for the season, boosted heavily by Dancing With the Stars. NBC landed fourth in the broadcast network ratings, though if not for the Winter Olympics, its overall ratings for the season would have been down from last year.
The CW, unsurprisingly, came in fifth place.