“We’re very flattered when he called us ‘smug motherfuckers’, that means we’re winning. We’ll try to be a little bit more gracious but that’s hard for me as you know,” CBS boss Les Moonves said today in response to remarks Jimmy Kimmel made on Tuesday about the network’s No. 1 ranking this season. Moonves’ comments came just hours before CBS’ Carnegie Hall Upfront presentation where there was no shortage of chest thumping on display as the CBS President and CEO and others boasted about the network winning the season this year. Well, the 2012-2013 season is almost over, but Week 33 gave Moonves’ gang a little more that they’ll have to try to be less smug about. The second full week of the May sweep saw CBS once again No.1 in both viewers and among Adults 18-49 for the week of May 6 to May 12 with 9.349 million watching and a 2.0/6 and 2.6 million in the demo. That’s up from the 1.9/6 the network was tied with Fox in the key demo for the previous frame and a rise from the 9.218 million that were watching during the week of April 29 to May 5. Like the previous week, The Big Bang Theory was the top show in the demo with a 4.9. The May 6 airing of NBC’s The Voice was in second place with a 4.1. In terms of viewership, CBS had the top four shows of the frame with NCIS (17.558 million), BBT (16.304 million), NCIS: LA (13.176 million) and Person Of Interest (13.162 million). ABC’s Dancing With The Stars was No. 5 with 13.117 million viewers.
Among viewers DWTS may have fallen from the No. 3 spot of the previous frame but ABC itself had a strong rise up to No. 2 last week. As CBS shifted into the top spots again this season, ABC wasn’t far behind in the key demo with a 1.9/6 and 2.4 million viewers in the adult 18-49 demo. That’s up solidly from the 1.6/5 of Week 32 and the first time that the network has been second this season since the week of March 25 to March 31. As ABC moved up, The Voice-beholding NBC, which ran three airings of the competition series last week, slipped into third with a 1.8/6 and 2.3 million in the demo. That result was almost the same as the frame before. Fox, on the other hand, took a fall from being tied for first place among adults 18-49 in Week 32 to fourth place with a 1.7/5 and 2.2 million among the 18-49s in Week 33.
Fox hasn’t been in fourth place in the demo this season since the week of November 26, 2012. It wasn’t just that the declining American Idol hit a new all-time low during the week of May 6 to May 12. With the season over the previous week for The Following and Bones, Fox was slammed by low numbers for the Rihanna 777 special and a Bones encore that ran on May 6. Also double-digit declines for portions of its usually solid Sunday night animation block on May 12 didn’t do the network any favors. But Fox’s tumbles were offset by ABC’s jumps. While ABC’s Modern Family hit a season low, it was still the fifth highest-rated show of the week and Grey’s Anatomy hit a four-month high. Additionally, the DWTS Results show Shark Tank and Once Upon A Time were up over the previous week and the sixth highest-rated show of the week Scandal hit a series high as well as besting Idol in the key demo. Overall, ABC had its best frame in Week 33 of the season since the February 18 to February 24 week of the Academy Awards.
Looking at the frame compared to Week 33 of the 2011-2012 season, except for NBC, everyone’s ratings and everyone’s viewership numbers were once again down. Fox is down 26% in terms of its ratings and down the same in terms of viewers next to the week of May 7 to May 13, 2012. CBS was down 13% in terms of the 2.3 rating it had in the comparable frame last year and slipped 7% in viewership. It was a 10% ratings drop for ABC from what it got last season during the same week and a 9% viewership dip. NBC had a 6% ratings rise from the week of May 7 to May 13, 2012 and a 2% viewership bop up. For the season so far the rankings are the same for both viewership and among adults 18-49 as the previous frame. That’s CBS at No. 1 (11.908 million), ABC in the second spot (7.821 million), Fox in third (7.061 million) and NBC fourth (6.969 million). In the key demo season-to-date CBS is tops with 2.9/8, Fox is second with 2.5/7, NBC is third with 2.4/7 and ABC in fourth place with 2.2/6. Of course, looking at all those Upfront presentations and those new and returning shows this week across all the networks, what will we be saying for Week 33 of the 2013-2014 and will Les Moonves still be so smug?
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.