This week it’s all about the acronyms when it comes to ratings and CBS. Fueled by a strong performance from the title game of NCAA Tournament plus some NCIS, CSI and a bit of the Masters’ final round Sunday, the network took the top spot for Week 29 of the 2012-2013 season. It’s the fourth week in a row the network has been No. 1 in total viewers and adults 18-49 and adults 25-54. For the week of April 8-14, CBS had a 2.4/7 among in 18-49 with 10.826 million total viewers on average, according to Nielsen.
Not only was the April 8 NCAA final between Louisville and Michigan the highest-rated program of the week with an 8.4, but it was the most watched with 23.426 million tuning in. CBS also had the second- and third-most-watched shows the week with NCIS and NCIS: LA on April 9 pulling in 17.216 million and 14.103 million, respectively. In total viewership, the April 11 rerun of The Big Bang Theory actually beat all other scripted shows on the other networks with 11.435 million. Unlike ABC, NBC, Fox and the CW, CBS had ratings, share and viewership growth when compared to the same week of the 2011-2012 season. Still, CBS was down from the 2.7/8 among adults 18-49 and 11.256 million watching from the frame before, when the NCAA Final Four was on and so was the 48th annual Academy Of Country Music Awards.
As CBS took a slip from the heights of the previous frame, the other networks moved into new positions. With American Idol flexing muscle and making some gains, a controversial new Glee up strong and the return of an almost all new Sunday animation block, Fox broke out of its tie with NBC in the previous frame to solidly take the No. 2 spot in the demo (1.9/6) and total viewers (6.046 million). That’s up from the 1.7/5 and 5.145 million viewers from Week 28 and the second week in a row of ratings growth for Fox. With The Voice hitting a season high on April 8, Fashion Star hitting a five-week high on April 12 and freshman Hannibal growing in its second week over its premiere, the otherwise struggling NBC was clawing in. Nonetheless, while not losing anything ratings-wise from the last frame, the network didn’t gain anything either and got no real love from the premiere of its new reality show Ready For Love on April 9. In the end, NBC found itself in third place in 18-49 this frame with its 1.7/5. In viewership, the network slipped a bit from Week 28’s 5.235 million to 5.073 million this past week.
If NBC slipped, ABC out and out stumbled to fourth place from its 1.6/5 of Week 28 to a 1.3/4 in Week 29. Viewership was down from 6.696 million to 5.905 million for April 8-14. The hit was twofold and partially unavoidable: First of all, Dancing With The Stars hit a season low and an all-time 16-season performance low April 8 going head-to-head with the NCAA on CBS and The Voice on NBC. Then on April 9, ABC’s newest reality series Splash dived double digits from the previous week to a season low and DWTS hit a results-show season low immediately following. Add to that the fact that ABC ran repeats of usual contenders Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Shark Tank later in the week and, with a Once Upon A Time clip show, the network’s Sunday lineup was all repeat too. Talk about programming the perfect storm. Still, in the midst of that, Modern Family was the top scripted show of the week and, with a 3.8, the fourth-highest-rated show overall after the NCAA final and April 9 broadcasts of The Voice. Also, ABC had nothing to be embarrassed about with newbie How To Live With Your Parents (For The Rest Of Your Life) dropping a respectable 14% in its second week to hold the top freshman scripted spot of the week over NBC’s Revolution and Fox’s The Following.
Season to date, CBS stays on top with a 3.0/9 adults 18-49 rating, a 3.9/10 in adults 25-54 and 12.136 million viewers total. Just like last week, that’s a slight 3% and 5% ratings dip among the respective demos compared with the 2011-2012 season, with a 1% viewership rise. Also like last week, Fox is in second in 18-49 with 2.5/7 and tied with NBC for No. 2 in 25-54 with 2.9/7.
In total viewership so far, Fox, which cuts off their primetime at 10 PM, is third with 7.094 million. The News Corp-owned network is down 22% in both demos and 21% in total viewership from the same point in the 2011-2012 season. NBC is third among the 18-49 with 2.4/7 and fourth in viewers with 7.037 million. That’s down 8% and 3%, respectively in the key demos and 8% in total viewers from where it was in the 2011-2012 season. ABC is just behind with 2.3/6 in the 18-49 demographic and 2.8/7 in the adults 25-54. The Disney-owned network is in second in terms of viewership this season so far with 7.841 million. That’s a dip of 4% among 18-49, a 10% drop in 25-54 and down 5% in viewership from the same time at this stage last season.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.