Let’s just cut to the chase: If you’re CBS, spring is looking like the best season so far this broadcast year, and if you’re NBC it looks like the ratings fire of The Voice really is keeping you going after a dismal winter left you ice cold. For a third week in a row, CBS has won the week in viewership and adults 18-49. It was the most watched frame for the network since the week the Grammys aired in February. With a 2.7/8 for Week 28 of the 2012-2013 season, the network was not just up from the 2.3/7 of the week before but also up 8% from the comparable week a year ago. In terms of viewership, the network pulled in an average of 11.256 million viewers, compared to 9.018 million for the week starting March 25, 2013.
CBS’ surge came in no small part due to strong and steady promotion of Sunday’s highly rated 48th annual Academy Of Country Music Awards leading into this past week and throughout the frame itself, plus solid numbers for the NCAA Tournament‘s Final Four round Saturday. The 9:11-11:38 PM game was the highest-rated show of the week with a 5.7 and the second-most-watched show of the week with 17.104 million viewers. Back after three weeks due in part to NCAA games, a new The Big Bang Theory on April 4 was the second-highest-rated show of the week with a 5.2 and the most watched show with viewership of 17.242 million. Beating ABC’s Country Music Awards for the first time ever, the third-most-watched show of last week was the ACM Awards. The country music show pulled in 15.505 million viewers Sunday for its best audience result since 1998, and jumping 39% among adults 18-49 from last year for its best result since 2001. The awards show proved the sixth-highest-rated show of the week with a 4.3 rating — behind the April 1 (4.7) and April 2 (4.5) airings of NBC’s The Voice. In that sense, it was a good week for Blake Shelton, who co-hosted the ACM Awards and is a judge on the NBC competition show.
Not that it was all wine and ratings roses for CBS. Debuting on April 5 in its new Friday exile spot, the yet-to-be-renewed Vegas showed itself to be a goner. The struggling freshman drama was down 40% in the new slot from its last original on Tuesday in February. The end hasn’t officially been declared for Vegas, but it is nigh.
The same can’t be said for NBC’s Revolution, but the J.J. Abrams-produced drama saw a tough 12% demo drop this past week. No doubt, The Voice is doing gangbusters for NBC, but it really does seem more and more to be a single-show strategy with other series still struggling or falling further. In its second week back from a long winter break, Revolution hit a new series low April 1. NBC had problems in other places as well. The relatively soft debut of Hannibal on April 4 ended up being the 39th show of the week in the 18-49 demo. While the season finale of freshman The New Normal was up from the previous week, Community, Celebrity Apprentice and the soon-to-end The Office hit new lows while Smash, now on Saturdays, fell 10% from its March 26 episode.
After several rough weeks of lows, American Idol saw a slight demo rise Thursday. That April 4 show secured the last spot in Week 28’s Top 10, with the veteran Fox reality show’s Wednesday broadcast taking the ninth spot. ABC’s highest-rated shows of the week were Modern Family (4.2), which was No. 7 overall, and the April 3 premiere of How To Live With Your Parents (For The Rest of Your Life), which got a 2.9 and tied with Thursday’s Idol for the No. 10 spot.
Still, the week saw a shift in the No. 2 spot in the 18-49 and a slip to No. 3 for ABC. Last week, ABC held the second spot with a 1.7/5 in the demo but, unaided by new lows for Dancing With The Stars, slipped to a 1.6/5 this past week. For Week 28, NBC and Fox moved up from the previous week’s third-place tie of 1.6/5 to tie for second with a 1.7/5. It is the best NBC has done in the demo since the week of January 21-27, and it is up 6% from the same week in the 2011-2012 season. Fox saw its rise last week from Week 27 occur without a new Glee last week, New Girl airing out of pattern, and the network’s usually strong Sunday animation block airing almost all repeats for a second week in a row. Still, Fox was down 19% from the week of April 2, 2012.
ABC retained its second-place viewership spot for another frame. With 6.696 million watching, the network bested Fox by about 1.5 million and NBC by 1.461 million. ABC was down 11% in the 18-49 demo from the comparable week last year. The CW stayed even with its week of April 2, 2012 and share of 0.4/1 but was down from the 0.5/2 it received for the week of March 25 this year.
Season to date, CBS continues to hold the No. 1 position in adults 18-49 (3.0/8), adults 25-54 (3.9/10) and overall viewers with 12.149 million. That’s a slight 3% and 5% ratings dip among the respective demos compared with the 2011-2012 season, but marks a 1% viewership rise. Fox is second among 18-49 (2.5/7), tied for second with NBC in adults 25-54 (2.9/7) and in third viewership-wise with 7.095 million. With the Voice bump and a strong fall still in its tank, NBC is third so far for the season in adults 18-49 (2.4/7), even with Fox in the 25-54 demo and last with viewers with 7.069 million.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.