NBC has dominated the primetime ratings week of September 3-9, led by big Wednesday and Sunday NFL season-opening telecasts, which propelled NBC to the highest adult 18-49 average for any network in a non-Olympic week in nine months. According to “live plus same day” viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research, NBC finished the week with an average 3.7 rating, 11 share in adults 18-49 and 10.3 million viewers overall.
For the week, NBC also ranked #1 among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in adults 25-54, adults 18-34 and all other key ratings categories.
NBC’s 3.7 rating for the week is the highest for any network since CBS averaged a 4.2 February 6-12, the week of the Grammy Awards. NBC’s 10.3 million viewers overall for the week in the highest for NBC during a non-Olympic week since January 31-February 6, Super Bowl week (21.4 million) and the highest for any network without Olympics since CBS’s week of March 26-April 1 (11.5 million) during the NCAA Basketball Tournament.
NBC Sports’ coverage of opening-week NFL contests on Wednesday and Sunday delivered the #1 and #2 ratings of the week in adults 18-49, total viewers and all other key ratings categories.
For the week, NBC claimed four of the top 10 rankings in adults 18-49 among primetime programs on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox (excluding all football pre- and post-game telecasts) and five of the top 10 in total viewers. In 18-49, top NBC programs included the Sunday and Wednesday NFL telecasts (#1 and #2 respectively), Tuesday and Thursday editions of “America’s Got Talent” (#5 and #16 respectively), NBC News’ coverage of Thursday’s Democratic National Convention (tied for #8) and Monday’s “Grimm” (tied for #22). In total viewers, NBC was led by Sunday and Wednesday NFL football (#1 and #2 respectively), the Tuesday and Wednesday editions of “Talent” (#4 and #6 respectively) and NBC News’ Thursday convention coverage (#8).
Primetime averages for the week of September 3-9 in adults 18-49 were: NBC (3.7/11), Fox (2.3/7), CBS (1.2/3), ABC (1.0/3) and CW (0.3/1). In overall total viewers, the weekly averages were: NBC (10.3 million), Fox (5.8 million), CBS (5.1 million), ABC (3.8 million) and CW (0.8 million).
For the 2011-12 broadcast year to date, NBC is #2 among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in adult 18-49 rating and total viewers, running within a tenth of a rating point of first-place Fox in 18-49. NBC is the only network among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox that’s up versus one year ago in total viewers and viewers 18-49, 18-34 and 25-54. Averages for the broadcast year through 51 weeks are: Fox (2.7/8), NBC (2.6/8), CBS (2.4/7), ABC (2.1/6) and CW (0.6/2). In overall total viewers, the broadcast-year averages are: CBS (9.9 million), NBC (8.1 million), Fox (7.5 million), ABC (7.3 million) and CW (1.4 million).
NBC highlights for the week of September 3-9
* On Monday, “Grimm” won its hour among ABC, CBS and NBC in every key ratings demographic. “Grimm” beat the encore ABC-CBS slot competition combined in adults 18-49.
* On Tuesday, “America’s Got Talent” generated the #1 result of the night in total viewers..
* NBC was the #1 network Tuesday night in total viewers, adults 25-54 and other key measures.
* On Wednesday, NBC Sports’ coverage of the Cowboys-Giants NFL Kickoff season-opening game dominated the night, sweeping to the third biggest overall audience in the 11-year history of the “NFL Kickoff” game.
* NBC won the night in all key categories with the network’s biggest Wednesday audience for a non-Olympic Wednesday since October 1999.
* A special Thursday edition of “America’s Got Talent” tied for #1 in its time period among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in adults 18-49 and delivered the #1 total-viewer results of the night.
* NBC ranked #1 Thursday night among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in adults 18-49, adults 25-54 total viewers and all other key categories.
* Friday’s “Dateline NBC” grew 25 percent from its first half-hour to its second in adults 18-49, 27 percent in adults 25-54 and 24 percent in total viewers.
* NBC won Sunday among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox by all key ratings measures with the highest 18-49 and total-viewers averages for any network on a Sunday, excluding Olympics, since ABC’s Academy Award telecast in February.
* The Sunday debut of “Sunday Night Football” scored the best 18-49 rating for a primetime regular-season NFL game on NBC ever and on any network since December 1997. In total viewers, it was the second-biggest audience for a regular-season primetime telecast since November 1996.
Ratings reflect “live plus same day” data unless otherwise noted. Season-to-date figures are averages of “live plus seven day” data except for the two most recent weeks, which are “live plus same day.”
Additional NBC highlights for the week of September 3-9:
On Monday, Sept. 3 from 8-10 p.m. ET, “Stars Earn Stripes” averaged a 0.9/2 in 18-49 and 2.9 million viewers overall.
Monday from 10-11 p.m. ET, “Grimm” (1.5/4 in adults 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall) led the hour among ABC, CBS and NBC in every key category, while beating the combined rating of ABC’s and CBS’s encore dramas in adults 18-49 (1.5 vs. 0.8 for CBS’s “Hawaii Five-0” rebroadcast and 0.6 for ABC’s “Castle” encore). Despite Monday’s Labor Day distractions, “Grimm” improved by 7 percent on its average for last May’s sweep in 18-49 rating (with a 1.5 vs. a 1.4). Keep in mind that last season, “Grimm” originals added an average 69 percent to these next-day “live plus same day” 18-49 ratings when Nielsen issued “live plus seven day” results.
On Tuesday, Sept. 4, from 8-10 p.m. ET, “America’s Got Talent” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall) delivered the #1 results of the night in total viewers and led its two-hour time period in that category. From its first half-hour to its fourth, “Talent” grew by 19 percent in 18-49 rating (to a 2.5 from a 2.1) and 13 percent in total viewers (9.4 million vs. 8.3 million).
Tuesday from 10-11:06 p.m. ET, NBC News’ coverage of the Democratic National Convention averaged a 1.2/4 in 18-49, a 1.6 rating in adults 25-54 and 5.0 million viewers overall, ranking #1 among ABC, CBS and NBC by all three measures.
NBC ranked #1 Tuesday night in total viewers.
On Wednesday, Sept. 5, NBC Sports’ coverage of the NFL Kickoff season-opening game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants averaged a 9.7/26 in adults 18-49, 23.9 million viewers overall, and a 14.7/23 household rating/share from 8:41-11:30 p.m. ET. The NFL East rivalry, won by the Cowboys 24-17 in the first NFL game played on a Wednesday since 1948, was the third-most-watched “NFL Kickoff” game in the 11-year history of the event, only surpassed by the prior year’s Saints-Packers contest, a match-up of the two previous Super Bowl winners (27.1 million), and the 2010 opener (Vikings-Saints, 27.5 million), which featured an NFC Championship Game rematch between the Minnesota Vikings, led by quarterback Brett Favre, and the then-defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints. Facing strong competition from the Democratic National Convention, which aired on multiple broadcast and cable networks, the game dominated primetime Wednesday night in all key categories, beating the combined ABC-CBS-Fox competition in 18-49 and total viewers. Averaging 21.5 million total viewers from 8-11 p.m. ET, NBC delivered its best non-Olympic Wednesday night in primetime since October 27, 1999 (24.4 million with the fourth and deciding game of that year’s Yankees-Braves World Series).
Wednesday from 8-8:30 p.m. ET, NBC carried the final half-hour of “NFL Kickoff 2012,” which averaged a 3.9/14 in 18-49, 10.7 million viewers overall and a 6.9/12 household rating/share. The special ranked #1 in the time period among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in adults 18-49, total viewers and virtually every other key ratings category. From 8:30-8:41 p.m., “NBC Sunday Night Football Pre Kickoff” averaged a 7.0/22 in 18-49, 18.7 million viewers overall and an 11.6/19 in households.
On Thursday, Sept. 6 at 8 p.m. ET, a special Thursday edition of “America’s Got Talent” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall) tied for #1 in the time period among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in adults 18-49 and is #1 outright in total viewers. In adults 18-49, the 1.9 for “Talent” is NBC’s best rating in the time period since March 15, excluding Olympics. The special Thursday edition of “America’s Got Talent” finished #1 for the night in total viewers, with 7.6 million.
Thursday from 9-11:11 p.m. ET, NBC News’ coverage of the Democratic National Convention averaged a 2.2/6 in 18-49, a 2.6 rating in adults 25-54 and 7.4 million viewers overall, ranking #1 in the time period in total viewers. From 10-11 p.m., head to head versus convention coverage on the other broadcast networks, NBC was #1 in adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and total viewers.
NBC ranked #1 Thursday night among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in adults 18-49, adults 25-54, total viewers and all other key categories.
On Friday, Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. ET, NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox carried “Stand Up To Cancer” as sustaining programming and ratings are not included in nightlong, weeklong or season averages.
Friday at 9 p.m. ET, an encore telecast of “Grimm” delivered a 0.4/1 in 18-49 and 1.6 million viewers overall.
Friday at 10 p.m. ET, “Dateline NBC” averaged a 0.9/3 in 18-49 and 3.8 million viewers overall. From its first half-hour to its second, “Dateline” grew by 25 percent in adults 18-49 (to a 1.0 rating from a 0.8), by 27 percent in adults 25-54 (1.4 vs. 1.1) and by 24 percent in total viewers (4.2 million vs. 3.4 million).
Saturday, Sept. 8, from 8-9 p.m. ET, an encore telecast of “America’s Got Talent” averaged a 0.5/2 in 18-49 and 2.0 million viewers overall.
Saturday at 9 p.m. ET, an encore “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” delivered a 0.5/2 in 18-49 and 2.4 million viewers overall, building from its first half-hour to its second by 20 percent in 18-49 rating (to a 0.6 from a 0.5) and 17 percent in total viewers (2.6 million vs. 2.2 million).
Saturday at 10 p.m. ET, a second rebroadcast of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” captured a 0.7/2 in 18-49 and 3.9 million viewers overall, building on its lead-in by 40 percent in adults 18-49, 43 percent in adults 25-54 (to a 1.0 from a 0.7) and 59 percent in total viewers.
On Sunday, September 9, the “NBC Sunday Night Football” telecast of the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Denver Broncos propelled NBC to a decisive Sunday win by all key measures. For its full duration, the Steelers-Broncos game averaged an 11.0/28 in adults 18-49, 27.6 million viewers overall and a 16.5/26 household rating/share from 8:31-11:30 p.m. ET.
The Steelers-Broncos telecast generated the best 18-49 rating for a primetime regular-season NFL game on NBC ever and on any network since December 15, 1997 (11.6 for Broncos-49ers on ABC). In total viewers, it was the second-biggest audience for a regular-season primetime telecast since November 18, 1996 (31.5 million for Packers-Cowboys on ABC). In households, Sunday’s Steelers-Broncos game was NBC’s highest rating ever for a primetime regular-season Sunday contest and tied the 2010 NFL Kickoff opener as the highest-rated regular-season primetime NFL game ever on NBC. The Sunday telecast, in which the Broncos defeated the Steelers, 31-19, in Peyton Manning’s first game as quarterback of the Broncos, was seen by 27.6 million viewers, less than 1 percent below the most-watched NFL primetime regular-season game ever on NBC (27.6 million for Cowboys-Giants Week 17 game last year that determined the NFC East title). The game’s household rating and viewership were up 8 percent and 7 percent, respectively, over last year’s first Sunday game (Cowboys-Jets, 15.3/25 and 25.8 million). In adults 18-49, the increase was 3 percent (11.0 vs. 10.7).
For the night (from 7:30-11 p.m. ET), NBC averaged an 8.9/23 in 18-49 and 22.4 million viewers overall, making it the top Sunday primetime performance for any network in both 18-49 and total viewers, excluding Olympics, since ABC’s coverage of the Academy Awards on February 26. NBC won Sunday night among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox by all key ratings measures. Among viewers NBC’s margin of victory was 79 percent, or 9.9 million persons in total viewers over the second place network (22.4 million vs. 12.5 million for Fox, which was boosted by an NFL overrun). In adults 18-49, NBC’s margin of victory over the No. 2 network was 71 percent (8.9 vs. 5.2 for Fox).
Also on Sunday, “Football Night in America 2” from 7:30-7:57 p.m. ET averaged a 1.1/3 in 18-49, 3.4 million viewers overall and a 2.3/4 household rating/share. “Football Night in America 3” from 7:57-8:21 p.m. delivered a 5.3/15 in 18-49, 13.0 million viewers overall and a 7.7/13 in households. From 8:21-8:31 p.m., “NBC Sunday Night Football Pre Kickoff” averaged an 8.2/23 in 18-49, 20.1 million viewers overall and an 11.8/19 in households. Note: “Football Night in America” from 7-7:30 p.m. ET was sustaining and is excluded from nightly and weekly primetime averages.
Average rating, share and audience in each category
NBC 3.7/11, 4.6 million
Fox 2.3/7, 2.9 million
CBS 1.2/3, 1.5 million
ABC 1.0/3, 1.3 million
CW 0.3/1, 0.4 million
Each rating point equals 1.27 million viewers
NBC 4.1/10, 4.9 million
Fox 2.5/6, 3.0 million
CBS 1.5/4, 1.8 million
ABC 1.3/3, 1.6 million
CW 0.3/1, 0.4 million
Each rating point equals 1.19 million viewers
NBC 3.6/9, 10.3 million
Fox 2.0/5, 5.8 million
CBS 1.8/5, 5.1 million
ABC 1.3/3, 3.8 million
CW 0.3/1, 0.8 million
Each rating point equals 2.89 million viewers
2011-12 BROADCAST YEAR AVERAGES
Average rating, share and audience in each category
Fox 2.7/8, 3.5 million
NBC 2.6/8, 3.3 million
CBS 2.4/7, 3.1 million
ABC 2.1/6, 2.7 million
CW 0.6/2, 0.8 million
Each rating point equals 1.28 million viewers
CBS 3.2/8, 3.9 million
Fox 3.1/8, 3.8 million
NBC 3.1/8, 3.7 million
ABC 2.7/7, 3.2 million
CW 0.6/2, 0.8 million
Each rating point equals 1.21 million viewers
CBS 3.4/9, 9.9 million
NBC 2.8/7, 8.1 million
Fox 2.6/7, 7.5 million
ABC 2.5/7, 7.3 million.
CW 0.5/1, 1.4 million
Each rating point equals 2.90 million viewers