FOX, Not CBS, is the Most-Watched Network
3/2 Update: Now, the LA Times gets in on the action. Probably after they read it here first
If you spend any time watching CBS you'll hear them celebrate the fact that CBS is the most watched network. It's no longer true though. FOX is the most watched network in primetime and its lead is growing. Neither Bill Gorman or myself believe that 6-8 weeks of new scripted dramas and comedies coming from CBS down the road will allow it to overtake FOX either in total viewers, or ANY of the demographics.
FOX's lead in total viewers keeps growing and there's too much American Idol left. American Idol may have peaked, but it's still the golden goose. FOX's lead in overall viewers (currently less than a million viewers) will continue to grow and CBS will not be able to stop it. And Big Brother and Jericho (nothing against these shows or its fans, we love you all) aren't helping.
But it's the demographics where CBS is getting crushed. It's getting whipped by more than a million viewers on average in the 18-49 and 18-34 demos, and FOX's lead in the 25-54 demo is on a trajectory to be more than a million perhaps by as soon as next week.
CBS can certainly proclaim "The MOST watched network among people age 55 and over!", but outside of that, Les Moonves and the crew at the Eye network have nothing to crow about.
Please excuse the chart for being less pretty than normal. Bill was on vacation and couldn't create it on his normal setup. Nonetheless, it's prettier than what I could've come up with, so I am including it. If you're interested to track how FOX has grown through the year, you can check out the previous season-to-date postings.