Amidst all the chatter from the TV media about the new shows for the 2012-13 season, I'll repeat a trivially easy guess that has nothing whatsoever to do with those new shows, and effectively nothing to do with entertainment programming at all.
CBS will win the adults 18-49 ratings crown for the 2012-13 season for the first time in 20 years (the last time was 1991-92).
Why is my guess such an easy one?
NFL post season games (with a possible assist from the baseball post season).
- CBS finished two tenths of an adults 18-49 ratings point behind Fox during the 2011-12 season (3.0 to 3.2).
- CBS will have the Super Bowl in 2013 (+0.3 season ratings points for CBS).
- CBS will have the AFC Championship game in primetime in 2013 (+0.1 season rating point for CBS)
- FOX will not have the NFC Championship game in primetime in 2013, like they did in 2012 (-0.1 season rating point for FOX)
- FOX will have the MLB NL Championship Series this Fall, which is typically lower rated than the AL Championship Series they had last Fall (unknown, but likely negative for Fox).
- FOX is unlikely to get another seven game World Series like they did last season (unknown, but likely negative for Fox).
- CBS adds 0.4 ratings points due to NFL post season games.
- FOX loses 0.1 points due to NFL post season games, plus likely a bit more due to baseball playoff/World Series.
With that 0.5 point swing (plus the likely downward pressure on Fox due to baseball), CBS should easily beat FOX among adults 18-49 and finish on top this season regardless of what happens with either network's entertainment programs.
Remember, you heard it here first! (and second?)
Of course, Fox gets the Super Bowl and the NFC Championship game in primetime in 2014, as well as the AL Championship series in 2013, so CBS's reign atop the adults 18-49 ratings may be a short one!