CBS wins the 2011-2012 season

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CBSWith three nights remaining, CBS will win the 2011-2012 television season in viewers for the ninth time in the past 10 years and by the largest margin of victory by any network in 23 years, according to Nielsen most current ratings through Sunday, May 20.


CBS will finish the season with 11.74 million viewers, nearly three million more viewers than its nearest competitor (FOX, 8.87m). CBS will also place first in adults 25-54 and second in adults 18-49 for the sixth consecutive year with more adult 18-49 viewers (3.80m) than NBC (3.18m) and ABC (3.10m).

Compared to last season, CBS will post growth in viewers (+1%), adults 18-49 (+3%) and adults 25-54 (+3%).

CBS will deliver year-to-year increases among viewers on five nights (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday) while finishing even on Tuesday and on four nights in adults 18-49 (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday) and even on Friday.

In a sign of the network’s broad reach and demographic strength across the schedule, CBS will finish the season with more programs ranked among the Top 25 in adults 18-49 (9) and adults 25-54 (11) than any other network.

CBS has seven of the 10 scripted programs in adults 18-49: THE BIG BANG THEORY, #2;  TWO AND A HALF MEN, #3; 2 BROKE GIRLS, #4; HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, #6; NCIS, #9; and MIKE & MOLLY and CRIMINAL MINDS, #10 (tie)— more than FOX (2) and ABC (3).

CBS has the season’s #1 new series in viewers (PERSON OF INTEREST) for the third time in four years and #1 new program in adults 18-49 (2 BROKE GIRLS) for the second consecutive year.

The Network had the #1 scripted program on all SEVEN nights—Monday (TWO AND A HALF MEN); Tuesday (NCIS); Wednesday (CRIMINAL MINDS); Thursday (THE BIG BANG THEORY); Friday (BLUE BLOODS), Saturday (CRIMETIME SATURDAY) and Sunday (THE GOOD WIFE).

Among viewers, CBS had the nine of the 10 dramas—NCIS, NCIS: LOS ANGELES, THE MENTALIST, PERSON OF INTEREST, CRIMINAL MINDS, CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, BLUE BLOODS, UNFORGETTABLE and THE GOOD WIFE and the eight of the top 10 comedies—THE BIG BANG THEORY, TWO AND A HALF MEN, ROB, MIKE & MOLLY, 2 BROKE GIRLS, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, and HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER and HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN.

Online and across social media, CBS was also #1. CBS.com has led all other networks in viewers for 41 consecutive months (source: comScore VideoMetrix, March 2012).  CBS shows and specials also generated more social media commentary than any other network with 44.2 million social media comments (source: Bluefin labs).

CBS season highlights:

More time period winning programs than all the other networks combined in viewers (13), adults 25-54 (15) and adults 18-49 (12).

Six of the top 20 programs among adults 18-49 (tied, most of any network)

#1 network in DVR lift, averaging an additional +1.40 million viewers with 7-day playback

#1 in viewers and key demographics in the Monday-Friday 10 PM hour leading into affiliate late local news.

Will win the May sweep in viewers for the 10th consecutive year and 11th in the last 12 years.

THE GRAMMY AWARDS averaged 39.91 million viewers and 14.1/33 in adults 18-49, posting its best delivery in viewers since the advent of people meters and best adult 18-49 delivery since 1993.  It also ranked as the year’s #1 broadcast in social comments.

Social TV–Across all networks (broadcast and cable), CBS had five of the Top 20 broadcasts  for social media comments, more than any other network—”The Grammy Awards” (#1 overall), “The ACM Awards (#13), “The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show” (#17), “The Masters on CBS” (#18) and “The People’s Choice Awards” (#20).  (Source:  Bluefin labs)

(source: CBS)


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Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.