December 17, 2012

Broadcast Network Rankings through December 16

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf

SEASON TO DATE through 12 weeks (through Sunday, December 16, 2012, including adjusted fast national ratings for the last three nights):

NBC is averaging a 2.76 adult 18-49 rating in prime time (up 20% from the same period last year).

CBS is in second place with a 2.37 (down 14%).

FOX is in third place with a 2.12 (down 26%).

ABC is in fourth with a 2.03 (down 12%).

Collectively, the four networks total a 9.29 rating (down 10% from 10.28 the same period last fall).

The CW, technically a broadcast network, is averaging a 0.59 in prime so far this season (down 13%).


THE WEEK.  For the just completed week  (December 10-16, 2012), CBS is on track for a 2.92 rating in prime time, its first win of the season and its highest weekly rating of the year.  Unlike some of its competitors, CBS was in originals virtually the entire week, and Sunday night was aided by almost a 10 rating from 7-8 pm for the end of the Steelers-Cowboys NFL game and replacing the turgid dramas with the Survivor finale. Even lowly Saturday chipped in: CBS won the night with a decent 1.5 rating for the 2003 classic film Elf.

NBC is pacing toward a 2.50 rating.  Not a bad week — just a little below average as a few extra hours of The Voice were replaced by the game show Take It All.  Although it shared a similar holiday season stunt scheduling pattern, the newest game show starring Howie Mandel proved it most definitely is not another Deal or No Deal.

FOX remained in third place for the week with a 1.58 rating.  There’s really much not to say about Fox until American Idol returns — hopefully in a creative form that will stop the audience bleeding.

ABC is headed for a 1.48 rating for the week, a touch lower than the season low posted the previous week.  The network continues to really miss Dancing with the Stars.  This is how NBC is going to feel January, February and much of March as it tries to get by without Sunday Night Football and The Voice.

About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.