CBS, ABC Neck and Neck in Sweeps


In a close demo race that came down to the final night, CBS, as expected, tied ABC in adults 18-49 during November sweeps.

Both networks earned a 4.4 rating/12 share in 18-49, with CBS winning among adults 25-54 and viewers, and ABC first with the 18-34 crowd for the second consecutive November and up a million viewers from sweeps a year ago. Fox claimed a win with teens.

CBS benefited from a time-period win Wednesday for its refurbished holiday classic, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (posting its best 18-49 and 25-54 numbers in five years), Criminal Minds (a solid second against Lost, which led by 5.4 million viewers and 80% in 18-49) and the resurgent, top-rated CSI: NY at 10 p.m.

ABC, largely on the strength of its trio of sophomore hits, posted the biggest year-to-year sweeps gain, up 10% (versus last November’s 4.0/11). CBS dropped 2% (4.5/12).

Troubled NBC (3.3/9), down 18% from November 2004 (4.0/11), narrowly defeated Fox (3.2/9) for third. Fox nonetheless rose 7% from 3.0/8 last November, with stronger regular series fall programming.

UPN, meanwhile, gained 13% from last November in adults 18-34 to 1.7/5, while The WB fell 12% to 1.5/4.