FOX Sets New Broadcast Industry Record With 8th Consecutive Season Victory Among Adults 18-49

Categories: Fox TV ratings,Network TV Press Releases

Written By

May 24th, 2012

via press release:




AMERICAN IDOL Takes Top Spot in Adults 18-49 For Ninth Season in a Row


NEW GIRL Emerges as No. 1 New Series Among Young Adults


THE X FACTOR is No. 1 New Unscripted Series Among Adults 18-49


FOX Closes Season With Top 3 Most Socially Engaging Broadcast TV Shows


Network Wins May Sweep For Eighth Season Straight


Following last night’s star-studded AMERICAN IDOL Season 11 finale, FOX has won its eighth straight season among Adults 18-49, breaking its previous record for the most consecutive season wins in the key adult demo in broadcast history. Averaging a 3.2/9 rating, FOX outperformed the No. 2 network (CBS) by +7%, the No. 3 network (NBC) by +28% and the No. 4 network (ABC) by +33%.   In addition, FOX held relatively steady year-over-year (97% retention) among Adults 18-49 and Total Viewers, excluding last season’s Super Bowl.


With a median age of 41, FOX once again drew the youngest audience among the Big Four networks and finished the season at No. 1 among Adults 18-34 for the 10th season in a row and No. 1 among Teens for the 12th consecutive season.  In addition, FOX delivered:


·         The No. 1 series among Adults 18-49 and Total Viewers – AMERICAN IDOL

·         The No. 1 series among Teens – AMERICAN IDOL

·         The No. 1 new series among Adults 18-34 – NEW GIRL

·         The No. 1 new unscripted series among Adults 18-49 – THE X FACTOR

·         The No. 1 series among Young Men and Male Teens – FAMILY GUY

·         The No. 1 scripted series among Young Women – NEW GIRL

·         The No. 1 series among Female Teens – GLEE

·         The No. 1 sports network in Households for 15 years straight


FOX also ended the season as a leader in social TV, with the Top 3 most socially engaging shows on broadcast TV (as measured by Bluefin Labs):


Top Three Broadcast Shows By Total Social Comments:

  1. AMERICAN IDOL – 5.9 Mil.
  2. GLEE – 4.1 Mil.
  3. THE X FACTOR – 3.8 Mil.


Other key 2011-12 season highlights include:


·         FOX ranked No. 1 among Adults 18-49 on four of seven nights of the week (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday) – the most nights of any network.


·         FOX ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 on every night of the week among Adults 18-34.


·         FOX ranked No. 1 on Thursday among Adults 18-49 for the second season in a row – in fact, FOX won 18 consecutive Thursdays this season, matching last season’s record-breaking streak (the longest broadcast season streak since 1999).


·         FOX has topped the rankings among Adults 18-49 for 10 of the past 13 quarters.


·         FOX’s median age of 41 for all programming is the youngest of the four major broadcast networks – eight years younger than the second-youngest network, NBC; nine years younger than ABC; and 14 years younger than CBS – and FOX was the only network to lower its median age this season.



Preliminary broadcast network season averages through 5/24/2012 (Most Current):


Adults 18-49

FOX:  3.2/9

CBS:  3.0/8

NBC:  2.5/7

ABC:  2.4/7


Total Viewers

CBS: 11.7 million

FOX:  8.9 million

ABC:  8.4 million

NBC:  7.4 million



Preliminary May 2012 Sweep Averages (Most Current):


Adults 18-49

FOX: 2.4/7

ABC: 2.1/6

CBS: 2.0/6

NBC: 1.6/5


Total Viewers

CBS: 9.5 million

ABC: 7.8 million

FOX: 7.4 million

NBC: 5.3 million


  • SteveO

    Great achievement! Next year will be the real test. Hopefully X Factor launches well and Idol doesn’t have *as drastic* as a drop as it had this year. Also hoping that Glee gets a boost from new direction creatively and X Factor lead-in.

    But, still predicting that CBS wins A18-19 by very, very close race. And CBS will win viewers again.

  • Petar

    NBC BEAT ABC in demo…….lil now ANC is 4-th.

  • Bob

    CBS will be number one next year as it 100 percent deserves. It already has the viewers…something other networks don’t have. Now they are just .2 away from Fox and once CBS gets that .2 out of the way, there will be no stopping CBS. CBS is the best network on TV by far.

  • Bill Gorman
  • Lucas

    I don’t care what kind of hackery was needed to make that happen, I’m just happy NBC was not 4th.

  • Chris

    I must admit, it sure makes a huge difference ratingswise to have the Super Bowl in a given year, just look at how NBC (finally!) edged one of the other networks this season.

    I’ll also say that FOX’s median age of 41 is a bit younger than I thought, as back at the New Year, I read an article on here listing 47 as its median age. Not sure how it suddenly managed to lower its median age considering the aging American Idol audience (48 is Idol’s median age). Obviously it helps that its got the cartoons on Sunday night, as those appeal to young guys like me.

  • Jon92829

    FOX only won 18-49 because they dont have a 10pm hour. The 10pm hour drags down CBS’ average. If FOX had a 10pm hour, their season average would be lower than CBS!!!

  • Scott

    good point Jon92829 is there anyway to get the numbers with only 8-10 pm used?

  • Lane

    No 10PM hour. While CBS/ABC/NBC has 22 hour weeks FOX has 15 hours and like 20% of that is American Idol. BS win if you ask me. I get how they won the first couple of years with great series like “24” “Family Guy” and “Simpsons” at it’s peaks. But I call it a bs win this year because all of their shows are failing.

  • Lane

    * Messed up on the hour weeks

  • Stella

    Fox would be nothing w/o idol and the 10pm added, why don’t they just man up and gloat when they win the 18-49 WITH the 10pm slot too!

    If you actually look at it CBS is the best broadcast station out there, viewers and ratings wise.

  • forg

    During FOX’s early years, not having 10 pm was a disadvantage to have strong season over all ratings since back then the 10 pm shows the Big 3 had are strong but now it’s an advantage for them since they don’t have the problem programming what is now a difficult time to program

    X Factor while not the ratings monster they hope it would be, the 3 hours of 3-4 ratings they gave during the fall help make up for the awful ratings of the Fox scripted shows had in the spring and also help cushion the blow of a softer rated AI this season.

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