CBS Wins 2011-2012 Season in Viewers by Largest Margin of Victory by Any Network in 23 Years

Categories: CBS TV ratings,Network TV Press Releases

Written By

May 22nd, 2012

via press release:




CBS is America's Most Watched Network for the Ninth Time in 10 Years


Network Also is First in Adults 25-54 and Places Second Behind Fox and Ahead of NBC and ABC in Adults 18-49 for the SIXTH Consecutive Year


CBS Posts Year-to-Year Growth in Viewers, Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54 with Viewer Increases on Five Nights


Network has Nine of the Top 10 Dramas; Six of the Top 10

Comedies in Adults 18-49


CBS Has the Season's Top New Series ("Person Of Interest") in Viewers and Top New Program in Adults 18-49 ("2 Broke Girls")  


"NCIS" is the Number One Drama/Scripted Program in Viewers for the Third Consecutive Season


"The Big Bang Theory" is the #1 Comedy


"The Grammy Awards" is the #1 Entertainment Special of the Year in Ratings and the #1 Broadcast of the Year in Social Media Mentions is the #1 Network Website Drawing More Viewers Than Any Other Network for 41 Consecutive Months



            With three nights remaining, CBS will win the 2011-2012 television season in viewers for the ninth time in the past 10 years and by the largest margin of victory by any network in 23 years, according to Nielsen most current ratings through Sunday, May 20.


            CBS will finish the season with 11.74 million viewers, nearly three million more viewers than its nearest competitor (FOX, 8.87m). CBS will also place first in adults 25-54 and second in adults 18-49 for the sixth consecutive year with more adult 18-49 viewers (3.80m) than NBC (3.18m) and ABC (3.10m). 


            Compared to last season, CBS will post growth in viewers (+1%), adults 18-49 (+3%) and adults 25-54 (+3%).


            CBS will deliver year-to-year increases among viewers on five nights (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday) while finishing even on Tuesday and on four nights in adults 18-49 (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday) and even on Friday.


In a sign of the network's broad reach and demographic strength across the schedule, CBS will finish the season with more programs ranked among the Top 25 in adults 18-49 (9) and adults 25-54 (11) than any other network. 


CBS has seven of the 10 scripted programs in adults 18-49: The Big Bang Theory, #2;  Two and a Half Men, #3; 2 Broke Girls, #4; How I Met Your Mother, #6; NCIS, #9; and MIKE & MOLLY and Criminal Minds, #10 (tie)— more than FOX (2) and ABC (3).


CBS has the season's #1 new series in viewers (Person Of Interest) for the third time in four years and #1 new program in adults 18-49 (2 Broke Girls) for the second consecutive year.


The Network had the #1 scripted program on all SEVEN nights—Monday (Two and a Half Men); Tuesday (NCIS); Wednesday (Criminal Minds); Thursday (The Big Bang Theory); Friday (Blue Bloods), Saturday (CRIMETIME SATURDAY) and Sunday (THE Good Wife).


Among viewers, CBS had the nine of the 10 dramas—NCIS, NCIS: LOS ANGELES, THE Mentalist, Person Of Interest, Criminal Minds, CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, Blue Bloods, Unforgettable and THE Good Wife and the eight of the top 10 comedies—The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, ROB, MIKE & MOLLY, 2 Broke Girls, Rules of Engagement, and How I Met Your Mother and How To Be A Gentleman.


Online and across social media, CBS was also #1. has led all other networks in viewers for 41 consecutive months (source: comScore VideoMetrix, March 2012).  CBS shows and specials also generated more social media commentary than any other network with 44.2 million social media comments (source: Bluefin labs).


CBS season highlights:


  • More time period winning programs than all the other networks combined in viewers (13), adults 25-54 (15) and adults 18-49 (12).


  • Six of the top 20 programs among adults 18-49 (tied, most of any network)


  • #1 network in DVR lift, averaging an additional +1.40 million viewers with 7-day playback


  • #1 in viewers and key demographics in the Monday-Friday 10 PM hour leading into affiliate late local news.


  • Will win the May sweep in viewers for the 10th consecutive year and 11th in the last 12 years.


  • THE GRAMMY AWARDS averaged 39.91 million viewers and 14.1/33 in adults 18-49, posting its best delivery in viewers since the advent of people meters and best adult 18-49 delivery since 1993.  It also ranked as the year's #1 broadcast in social comments.


  • Social TV--Across all networks (broadcast and cable), CBS had five of the Top 20 broadcasts  for social media comments, more than any other network—"The Grammy Awards" (#1 overall), "The ACM Awards (#13), "The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show" (#17), "The Masters on CBS" (#18) and "The People's Choice Awards" (#20).  (Source:  Bluefin labs)


NATIONAL NIELSEN SUMMARY - PRIMETIME                                                                                            


SEASON-TO-DATE RATINGS REPORT (09/19/11-05/20/12)                                                                                         

                        2011-12                       2010-11                                  


                        Rtg      Sh                    Rtg      Sh                    Chg

CBS                7.4       12                    7.1       12                    +4%

NBC                4.5       7                      4.4       7                      +2%

ABC                5.4       9                      5.3       9                      +2%

FOX                5.3       9                      5.5       9                      -4%



                        (000)                            (000)                            Chg

CBS                11,748                         11,647                         +1%

NBC                7,384                           7,040                           +5%

ABC                8,360                           8,475                           -1%

FOX                8,866                           9,687                           -8%



                        Rtg      Sh                    Rtg      Sh                    Chg

CBS                3.9       10                    3.8       9                      +3%

NBC                2.9       7                      2.8       7                      +4%

ABC                3.1       8                      3.0       7                      +3%

FOX                3.6       9                      3.9       10                    -8%                                         



                        Rtg      Sh                    Rtg      Sh                    Chg

CBS                3.0       8                      2.9       8                      +3%

NBC                2.5       7                      2.3       6                      +9%

ABC                2.4       7                      2.5       7                      -4%

FOX                3.2       9                      3.5       10                    -9%

  • Gabe

    Modern Family is only #1 if we take DVR viewing into account.
    Both Two and a half men and TBBT beat it when it comes to live viewers this season.

  • sebacon

    CBS i think this will be your last year winning …your shedule for next season is not so good lot of boing new shows

  • danny94

    How can some people say cbs is the best network all there shows are the sam it’s such a dull network

  • Simon

    Will be interesting to see how they do on Thursday’s this fall with TBBT and TAHM as their comedy line-up leading in to POI’s second season.

  • Justin121


    the only show on cbs i watch is the bold and the beautiful

    @gregg For The Win

  • Andrew

    It’s amazing how NBC looked like it had such a bad year yet it actually turns out to somehow be better than last. Probably it’s mostly cause of NFL & The Voice but still I think they’ll be happy in the end.

  • Ben

    I agree with Goodtvishard, posted at 1:06 PM. CBS brags about Unforgettable, How To Be A Gentlemen and Rob & Cancelled them. That is being full of it.

    “Great job everyone”. “Oh, by the way, you’re all fired”.

  • EthanA

    @Andrew, NBC was better than last year because of the Super Bowl. If you take out that night, their A18-49 demo goes down from a 2.5 to a 2.3, and they’d be in 4th. When CBS gets the Super Bowl next year (and the AFC Championship Game in the 6:30pm ET time slot), they are going to be #1 in viewers, A18-49 and A25-54. There was a post about it here last week, and it’s 100% on the money.

    And, to the person who talked about Big Brother being on 3x per week, that’s a summer show, and has no bearing on these ratings.

    Bottom line – CBS is kicking butt, whether people like their shows or not. NBC has almost all niche shows (i.e. Grimm, Smash, 30 Rock, Community, Parks & Rec). If Fox had to program 22 hours, and not just 15 (with 20% of that being Idol), where would they be?

  • karin

    best new drama is OUAT obviously

  • Joseph

    Dudes , the 2012 / 2013 Schedule is out and its not hard to predict.
    Sunday , Goes to NBC with the other 3 Networks all doing well.
    Monday , NBC, ABC & CBS , will spit the audience up between themselves leavin FOX in the dust.
    Tuesday , CBS will own this night with the other 3 networks trailing far behind.
    Wednesday , FOX , CBS & ABC split the demo and leave NBC in their wake.
    Thursday , CBS leads the night at 8:00 & 8:30, with the rest of the demo split by CBS, ABC & FOX , and NBC far behind.
    Friday , I can honestly say that I do not know what will happen on this night , BUT , I expect that ABC will be solid at 8pm, CBS will have decent numbers for the entire night , but not sure how the balance of the Schedule will play out.

  • sebacon

    cbs number one ok…but for me after cancelling my shows now i dont care this network anymore

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