via press release:


NBC Also Ranks #1 or Tied for #1 in Men 18-49, Adults 18-34 and Men 18-34

In Total Viewers, NBC Finishes #2 for a Second Year in a Row, the First Two Times it’s Finished Higher Than #4 Since 2003-04

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — May 21, 2015 — NBC has won the traditional September-to-May 2014-15 primetime television season in adults 18-49, the network’s second consecutive victory in the industry’s key viewer demographic after having gone the prior 10 years without a win.

Through results for Wednesday’s closing night of the traditional season, NBC averaged a 2.4 rating in adults 18-49, to top the 2.3 of #2 CBS, the 2.2 of #3 ABC and the 1.9 of #4 Fox.

NBC also ranks #1 or tied for #1 among the Big 4 broadcast networks for the season in men 18-49, adults 18-34 and men 18-34.

In total viewers, NBC has finished the conventional season ranking #2 and is currently running within 7% of its year-ago Olympics-boosted average (8.6 million vs. 9.3 million). That makes this season and last NBC’s two top-scoring seasons in total viewers since 2006-07. “Most current” total-viewer averages with three days left to count in the season are: CBS, 11.2 million, NBC, 8.6 million; ABC, 8.0 million; Fox, 5.8 million.

It’s the second season in a row NBC has ranked #2 in total viewers, marking first two times since 2003-04 that NBC has finished higher than #4 in total viewers during a traditional September-to-May season.

In adults 18-49, NBC has now won the fourth quarter three years in a row, the November sweep three years in a row, the February sweep two years in a row and the summer four years in a row.

NBC’s regular lineup is led by “The Voice,” which remains television’s #1 unscripted series in adults 18-49 and other key demographics; “NBC Sunday Night Football,” the season’s #1 primetime series on the Big 4 networks in adults 18-49, adults 18-34, adults 25-54 and all key adult-male demographics; and “The Blacklist,” which has improved NBC’s Thursday 9-10 p.m. hour by +160% in 18-49 since moving to the time period in February (with a 3.27 rating for Thursday “Blacklist” originals vs. a prior season average of 1.26 excluding sports, “most current”).

NBC has also begun to consistently win the Tuesday and Wednesday 10 p.m. hour among the ABC-CBS-NBC dramas in 18-49 with “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago P.D.” respectively, while Wednesday’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” in its 16thseason captured its biggest total-viewer average in four years. On Friday, “Grimm” has remained the night’s #1 scripted series on the Big 4 networks in adults 18-49 and “Dateline NBC” delivered its second biggest overall audience for a Friday edition in five years.

It was also another highly successful season for NBC specials, including February’s “SNL 40,” NBC’s top entertainment program, excluding post-Super Bowl shows, in 10 years and the most-watched “SNL” telecast in 22 years; December’s “Peter Pan Live!,” which delivered NBC’s second-biggest non-sports Thursday in total viewers in more than five years; January’s “Golden Globes,” which outrated every “Globes” telecast from 2008 through 2012; and November’s “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” which delivered the event’s second-most-watched telecast in 13 years; all in addition to NBC Sports coverage of the Feb. 1 Super Bowl, which averaged 114.4 million viewers in L+SD to make it the most-watched telecast in U.S. TV history. 

NBC also dominated the season in late-night, with “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers” outdelivering their ABC and CBS time-period competition in every key ratings category. It’s the 19thconsecutive season NBC has ranked #1 in late-night in adults 18-49.

May 2015 Sweep Averages: With 28 of 28 nights counted in Nielsen’s May Sweep period, “most current” averages are: ABC, 2.0 rating; CBS, 1.5; NBC, 1.4; Fox, 1.1; and CW, 0.7. In overall total viewers, the season averages are: CBS, 8.8 million; ABC, 7.8 million; NBC, 6.2 million; Fox, 3.6 million; and CW, 1.8 million. 


Average rating, share and audience in each category through Wednesday, May 20

ADULTS 18-49

NBC 2.4 rating, 3.0 million

CBS 2.3 rating, 2.9 million

ABC 2.2 rating, 2.8 million

Fox 1.9 rating, 2.5 million

CW 0.8 rating, 1.0 million

Each rating point equals 1.27 million viewers


CBS 3.8 rating, 11.2 million

NBC 2.9 rating, 8.6 million

ABC 2.7 rating, 8.0 million

Fox 2.0 rating, 5.8 million

CW 0.7 rating, 2.1 million


Each rating point equals 2.95 million viewers

Posted by:Steve Baron

VP/Digital for TV station ownership group; Dad to young twins, runner, skier & spend a lot of times in airplanes.

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