CBS is poised to win the season-long viewers 18-49 title, supplanting the 2014-2015 winner, NBC, atop the broadcast pile. CBS enjoyed the Super Bowl this year while NBC had it last year.
The season ends May 25, but with 35 weeks completed, a clear picture emerges. Through 35 weeks, CBS averaged a 2.3 in adults 18-49, according to Nielsen, while NBC had a 2.1, Fox a 1.9, ABC a 1.8 and The CW at 0.8.
CBS’ advantage in total viewers was, not surprisingly, larger. The Eye averaged close to 11 million total viewers, ahead of NBC’s 8.1 million, ABC’s 6.8 million, Fox’s 5.8 million and CW’s 2.0 million.
CBS also was tops in 25-54, at 3.1, ahead of NBC's 2.7, ABC's and Fox's 2.3 and The CW's 0.9.
Shows pacing CBS to victory include perennial performers Big Bang Theory on the comedy side, NCIS on the drama side (it was No. 1 among dramas for the seventh consecutive season, at 20.1 million viewers) and 60 Minutes from the news division. New shows with some ratings heft include comedy Life in Pieces.
NBC, on the backs of The Voice, Sunday Night Football and The Blacklist, among others, trumpeted its most watched season without a Super Bowl or Olympic boost since 2006-2007.
The phrase "without football" was heard quite a bit during Upfront Week, as networks compared ratings.