After 13 weeks of the 2008-9 season, through December 21, 2008, CBS is increasing its lead in average viewers adults 18-49 and adults 25-54. Fox holds a slim lead for season to date adults 18-34. CBS has more than a 2 million average viewer lead over second place ABC in season to date average audience with 11.39 million viewers, followed by ABC with 9.35 million. In the 18-49 demo, CBS leads ABC for highest average for adults 18-49 with 4.01 million vs. 3.77 million, followed by NBC and Fox in a near dead heat for third. CBS also has the most average adults 25-54 with 4.92 million, again followed by ABC with 4.25 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 1.70 million Fox occupies the top for adults 18-34 followed closely by NBC with 1.65 million and ABC with 1.53 million.
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Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2008 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.