CBS begins cutting into viewer and adults 25-54 leads
Fox's continues to maintain the season to date network ratings lead in all demographic categories, but as predicted last week with CBS's win this week for average viewers and adults 25-54, its lead in those categories is beginning to shrink.
As I have written many times, Fox's age demo leads seem insurmountable with the two months of the season remaining, and likely their overall viewer lead is as well.
That being the case, the #2 position for all the age demo categories is very much up for grabs. ABC has a very slim lead over both CBS and NBC in adults 18-49, and must count on the return of Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives to prevent CBS from blowing by them. That will likely go down to the wire.
Adults 18-34 is a statistical dead heat at the moment between ABC and NBC. Such as they are, I think NBC's best days this season were during the strike hammered early weeks of 2008, and that ABC seems poised to move ahead in this category in the coming weeks. CBS was very strong last week in 18-34, but I'm not sure they have the power to overtake ABC once every network has new episodes running, but it will be an interesting race.
CBS has a small lead over ABC and NBC in adults 25-54, that I'd be pretty confident they'll expand over the rest of the season. CBS has most of their shows back with new episodes, and with that being the case, nobody grabs the older demo like CBS.
NBC seems ready to settle into a fourth place across the board finish for the season. They've had little to be optimistic about this season, and the minor changes announced for next fall, don't seem likely to bring them any more cheer then either.
The chart below shows Season to Date TV ratings through the week of April 6 (28th week of the broadcast season).
Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2008 Nielsen Media Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved.