Season to Date Broadcast Net Ratings, through Feb 17:
While CBS still constantly pitches itself on-air as the most-watched television network, that is no longer the case, at least not in prime-time where advertising dollars go for a premium. Neither Bill G. or I believe that CBS will be able to catch up to FOX, let alone pass them in either total viewers or 25-54 viewers when it returns with 6-8 weeks of new episodes of its crime dramas (CSI franchise, Without a Trace, Criminal Minds, etc.) and comedies (Two and a Half Men, Big Bang Theory, etc.).
I think it's unlikely that CBS catches Fox in either of those two categories, particularly 25-54.
Fox doesn't have 24 like previous seasons, but figure that Fox has about another 4 weeks of big wins before CBS starts putting on new episodes of most of their shows, the following 6-8 weeks of new CBS episodes will be hard pressed to make up all that ground. - Bill Gorman
I agree with Bill, and despite appearances, that's not as much of a rarity as it might seem. Also worth noting is a very unhealthy longer-term trend for all the big guys (ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC) where there are appreciably more 35-49 viewers than there are 18-34 viewers. The youth seems to be phasing out of TV, and while that can somewhat be masked in the overall 18-49 and 25-54 categories, it won't get masked forever. This trend does not currently extend to the CW or UNI.
Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2008 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.