'Blue Bloods' is First Friday Scripted Program in 10 Years to Average 13 Million or More Viewers

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

January 22nd, 2013

via press release:



Third-Year Drama is Up +8% Over Last Year

Friday's Broadcast Delivers its Largest Audience Since Last February

"Blue Bloods" is Also One of TV's Most Played-Back Programs

CBS's BLUE BLOODS is the first Friday scripted series in 10 years to average at least 13 million viewers, according to Nielsen most current ratings through Jan. 13.


Now in its third season, the Friday 10:00 PM drama is averaging 13.48 million viewers, a gain of +8% from last year. BLUE BLOODS also wins its time period in adults 25-54 (2.9/08) and adults 18-49 (1.9/06).


Since the 2000-2001 season, the only Friday scripted programs to average 13 million or more viewers were CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION in 2001-2002, when it had 14.78 million viewers and, most recently, "Law & Order: SVU" in the 2002-2003 season, when it averaged 14.92 million viewers.


Last Friday's (Jan. 18) episode delivered BLUE BLOODS' largest live plus same day audience (11.50m) since Feb. 10, 2012, its best adults 25-54 (2.5/06) rating since Feb. 24, 2012 and matched its second-best adults 18-49 (1.5/06) ratings of the season.


BLUE BLOODS also ranks as one of the most heavily recorded series on television, gaining an additional +2.97 million viewers with L+7 day playback.


  • DenverDean

    That’s because it has not aired any repeats in its timeslot so far this year. Twice in December it was pre-empted for UB and TGW marathons. The only repeat aired on a Sunday, which, of course, does not count for season average. Of course, CBS issues release a couple of days before first “real” repeat.

  • Mon

    Up in total viewers + down in 18-49 = extra old skew! Way to go BB!

  • Ethan

    Huh? I’m a blue bloods fan, but how is it averaging a 1.9 when it’s second best rating was a 1.5… Also on an unrelated note, I was too young n 2002 to remember but what SVU really on Fridays??? Why would NBC do that?

  • Michelle

    @Ethan they’re probably using live +7 days numbers

  • Matty Dee

    OK, this is the number I got based on calculating the final ratings of the first 11 episodes of the third season of Blue Bloods (anybody can work it out):

    18-49: 1.4

    Total viewers: 10.83 million

    The only way I think the press release inflated the numbers was probably due to DVR.

  • Shadia

    Good example of why advertisers need to loosen up on their 18-49 mindset. Who’s got all the money? Oldsters, and they spend it.

  • TomSFBay

    SVU started out on Fridays. That was back when a show could obtain a decent rating on the night.

  • Matty Dee

    DVR ratings based on the first ten episodes, based on pages on this site:

    18-49: 1.9 (this is only based on three of the episodes)

    Total viewers: 13.7 million.

  • Joseph

    One reason for “Blue Bloods”‘s success: Much of it’s competition is reruns or reality shows.

    In fact, I expect that next season, it and one or two other CBS shows may well be the only first-run scripted programs on broadcast network TV on Friday nights.

  • Ethan

    @TomSFBay…thank that’s interesting…do u have any idea what SVU did in the demo during its heyday? Just curious cause its one of my favoriteshowsnnow and I was like 10 when it premiered so I didn’t get int until well past halfway thru the series and caught up mostly on USA reruns…thanx

  • Anthony

    In fact, I expect that next season, it and one or two other CBS shows may well be the only first-run scripted programs on broadcast network TV on Friday nights.

    NBC will still have Grimm on Fridays…

  • chris23

    I love how CBS compares Blue Bloods breaking 13 million in 2013 to Law and Order SVU and CSI in the early 2000’s…

    This is an unjust comparison, Nielsen did not track VCR tapings/recordings so SVU and CSI are purely live, Blue Bloods does not even do all of this live.. Back in the early 2000s I recorded all of my fave shows on VCR so imagine what these shows would have gotten in ratings if they had those numbers included..

    Very weak for CBS to even try and compare Blue Bloods to these veteran shows lol.

  • American

    I believe taping on a VCR, it would have your channel on at the time, so it would count even if you never watched the tape. That makes sense.


    @ Ethan

    You were only like 10?

  • networkman

    Tom Selleck has a large fanbase. I do like the original concept of the show. I feel the main cast has great chemistry. Donnie has been really a true standout. I do wish Jennifer was back in the cast. Those two really made the police scences more realistic and enjoyable. They need another gritty tough female in the role as partner for Donnie. Deception is slipping so maybe Megan Goode would be available.

  • Janie #2

    I agree with networkman.

    Every time BLUE BLOODS comes to the UpperWest Side, I find where they are filming and I have never been disappointed. I am very happy for the entire cast and crew. They work as a team. This is why the show has become such a huge success. Tom Selleck and Len Cariou are thinking actors, and I believe all who work with them learn a great deal. I enjoyed a 5 min. walk with Donny W. and he is a gentleman besides being an actor who continues to grow and surprise me with his talent.

    I’m not happy that people like to write negatively about the show, or what they think the right numbers are. If you don’t like a show, don’t watch it. That’s simple enough. In this day and age It’s actually very difficult for any prime time TV show to reach a season three. They must be doing a lot of things right and I believe they are.

    Congratulations to BLUE BLOODS!, my favorite show. I also DVR all episodes.


  • Dan S

    BB is a very enjoyable show to watch. I hope it doesn’t get hurt ratings wise when Golden Boy replaces CSI NY in the spring. I agree that they need to bring back Jennifer Esposito who was unfairly removed from the show.

  • Rob R

    Blue Bloods is a solidly entertaining, well made show. It will never win any Emmys, but it is a CBS staple and CBS knows they wont find any other show that will attract this many viewers on a Friday night.

  • Cj morton

    @ Dan S and others- Jennifer left due to medical reasons, and is not on permanent leave. She could still come back. None of that is unfair.

  • Colleen F

    It’s my favorite show. Tom Selleck can come into my living room any day of the week!!

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