2012-2013 Season: NBC Leads Among Adults 18-49, While CBS is Number 1 With Total Viewers Through Week 16 Ending January 13, 2013

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January 15th, 2013

For the week's top 25 broadcast TV show ratings click here.


After sixteen weeks of the 2012-2013 broadcast television season (through Sunday, January 13, 2013), NBC is in first place among adults 18-49, with a 3.0 rating average, up 20% from last season.  CBS was second, with a 2.7 rating average, down 18% from the prior season. FOX was third with a 2.4, down 20% from last season. ABC was fourth with a 2.3, down 8% from last season. The CW finished last with a 0.7 adults 18-49 rating average, down 13% from the previous season.

Among  total viewers, CBS is ahead for the season  averaging 11.385 million viewers. NBC is second with 8.657m, followed by ABC with 7.965m, FOX with 6.722m, and CW with 1.812 million.

Each adults 18-49 rating point is a percentage of the adults 18-49 US TV population and equals 1.265 million adults 18-49. The season-to-date numbers are "Most Current" ratings, which are Live+7 Day for all but the two most recent weeks and Live+ Same Day for the two most recent weeks.

You can see last week's broadcast network primetime weekly TV ratings results here.

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2012 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

  • CenterGravity

    It’s been a Revolutionary season for NBC.

  • Some Guy

    Looking pretty close between Fox and NBC for second at this rate…
    Just have to see how well American Idol and The Voice do I suppose

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “Looking pretty close between Fox and NBC for second at this rate…
    Just have to see how well American Idol and The Voice do I suppose”

    OK, here’s my calculation. I’d welcome any method checking by others to make sure I’m not completely screwed up on this, which I very well may be.

    After 16 weeks (of a 35 week and three day season, rounded down to 35 weeks for this calculation)

    NBC’s 18-49 ratings average is 3.001900021
    Fox’s average is 2.43118731

    Multiplying both of those by 16, gets products of:
    NBC 48.0304
    Fox 38.899

    Subtracting Fox from NBC gives 9.1314 which is the aggregate gap Fox needs to make up in the final 19 weeks.

    Dividing that 9.1314 by 19 gives 0.4806, which is the amount by which Fox would need to beat NBC, on average, each week for the rest of the season. (which if correct, is a pretty tall order)

    Is that method sound, or am I completely missing the boat somewhere?

    One thing that this calculation doesn’t take into account (and can’t given the data we see), is that the weekly averages are Live+Same Day, and the Season To Date averages are substantially Live + 7 day.

  • William

    NBC will not be fourth. If they fall to third, it will still be a stronger third if that makes sense. I am sure they are missing football about now. I am sure if it goes to bad, The Voice comes on sooner? The Biggest Loser is doing pretty good so far. They still could use a couple shows to take off.

  • johnny

    abc beats nbc most nights and they still end up fourth why is that

  • David Howell

    Can FOX beat NBC by an average of practically 0.5 every week for 19 weeks?

    They’ll probably win by about 1.0 every week that Idol’s on and Voice isn’t. Beyond that? I guess we’ll see how badly Sundays go for NBC. CBS will win the season, possibly by a massive margin – IIRC the Super Bowl is worth 0.2 over the season and the 6:30pm Championship Game is worth 0.1, CBS have both, and they seemingly have more scripted hits than the rest of the broadcast nets combined.

    Your calculation looks fine to me, Bill.

  • Ultima

    @Bill Gorman
    Is that method sound, or am I completely missing the boat somewhere?

    You’re good! :)

    For reference, for the final 19 weeks last season, FOX beat NBC by an average of ~0.7 each week.

  • ABC hater

    ABC, the new fourth place network. Deservedly so.

  • Ellen

    I am going to go ahead and predict that Idol is going to flop this year harming the FOX average. Of all the networks FOX should be the most worried as its unscripted is crumbling and they don’t have the infrastructure to prop up new shows with good lead-ins. FOX Tuesday comedy block is not much better than NBC’s Thursday.

    But all of the networks have areas of concern. CBS Sundays and Fridays are dead and Tuesdays @ 10 is becoming a new death spot. Their strongest new show this season is Elementary which gets low to mid 2’s. They are going to renew at least one drama with NBC numbers (TGW, Mentalist or CSI:NY).

    Looking at the trends my guess is that the momentum for NBC this season will carry over into next.

  • jm

    Now with SNF over how will NBC non-sports lineup hold up without football, and with both the AFC Championship Game in primetime and the SuperBowl, CBS will leapfrog NBC and narrowly finish 1st in the 18-49’s with NBC egding out FOX with America Idol cutting into NBC lead returing for 2nd and poor ABC in last place for the 2nd year in a row!

  • Dan S

    NBC has got to be missing The Voice, Revolution & Grimm which don’t return until March. Until then their going to be treading water while Fox makes up lost ground with American Idol & The Following which should be the next 24. Deception & 1600 Penn both appear to be flops & Do No Harm won’t likely do any better. It’ll be interesting to see who claims 2nd place after CBS.

  • DenverDean

    Additionally, it will be interesting to see how TV fares without Xtina and Cee-Lo. Usher/Shakira may get a sample, but with AI getting the two-month headstart and the fall edition of TV, people may just choose opt out of TV. Kind of like TV hurt XF. Four nights of singing competitions – overload. NBC was able to use SNF and TV to push the other nights. That just isn’t going to happen during the next two months. These eight weeks are going to be tough – especially with CBS – AFC Championship Game/Super Bowl/Grammys and ABC – Academy Awards. During Feb sweeps – NBC has nothing. They made a big mistake benching both Grimm and Revolution during this period.

  • Samunto

    Very good calculation Bill.
    Idol will most certainly be lower and the rest of the week FOX just ain’t registering with viewers. I no longer even have hope for The Following. The buzz hasn’t been that great. At best It’ll do Bones numbers. Even with Idol performing around the levels for The Voice in the fall, it’ll be very hard to overtake NBC.

    ABC on the other hand will squarely finish last place. They’ve no new big series coming up. Not unless DWTS rebounds in a gigantic way then there could be a chance of a 3rd place finish.

  • katy

    The CW Network after the end of Smallville has lost many viewers, the fans of Tom Welling, the new show will not have the same success as smallville. Pedowitz would do well to recall TOM WELLING as the star of a new show, however, in the role of villain.

  • cass rowland

    how is nbc up when there scripted shows are mostly down

  • rob60990

    NBC having 3 hours of The Voice in the fall.

  • TomJH

    If Idol flops (which in Idol’s case is doing high 3s to mid 4s) I think NBC will narrowly beat them for 2nd place.

    NBC needs to be rooting for Modern Family and TBBT to consistently beat Idol.

  • Perdix
  • Perdix
  • jm

    It won’t matter. NBC will finish 2nd place in the demo. They made the mistake of benching The Voice, Revolution, and Grimm until March and may come back to haunt them. Also, Both Deception and 1600 PENN are ripoffs of ABC’s Modern Family and Scandal. How will the additions od Usher and Shakira do in the palces of Ztina and Cee-Lo on The Voice? And Do No Harm will not be any good on thursday night at 10p PM. Bottom line NBC will drop to 2nd place in 18-49’s.

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