After 12 weeks of the 2008-9 season, through December 14, 2008, CBS has moved ahead of ABC in the advertiser prized adults 18-49 demo on a season to date basis and now tops total viewers, adults 18-49 and adults 25-54 for the season. CBS holds the largest season to date average audience with 11.41 million viewers, followed by ABC with 9.72 million. In the 18-49 demo, CBS holds a lead over ABC for highest average for adults 18-49 with 4.05 million vs. 3.91 million, followed by Fox and NBC in a dead heat with 3.67 million. CBS also has the most average adults 25-54 with 4.96 million, again followed by ABC with 4.41 million. The trend of CBS growing its season to date lead over ABC is likely to continue through January as CBS's reruns relatively outperform ABC's.
At this point in the season, the differences in the key 18-49 demo are quite small among the top 4, that's likely to begin shifting after NBC's Sunday Night Football ends (although it will get a giant boost from the Super Bowl) and Fox gains American Idol and 24 in early 2009.
With an average of 1.74 million Fox occupies the top for adults 18-34 followed by NBC with 1.66 million and ABC for with 1.59 million.
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Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2008 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.