While CBS and NBC are running neck-and-neck for dominance over the primetime
schedule, CBS is narrowing the gap on NBC's leadership in adults 18 through 49,
where NBC really focuses its efforts, according to Nielsen Media Research and
After last week's premiere week, CBS researchers reported that the network
finished in its "closest competitive position among adults 18 through 49 since the
1991-92 television season." CBS is only 0.8 of a ratings point away from NBC in
the coveted demographic, with NBC posting a 5.4 for the week to CBS' 4.6.
Compared with the same time last year, NBC was down four percent in adults 18
through 49, while CBS was up 15 percent.
CBS was also the only network to be up across the board, posting an 11
percent gain in total viewers, a 7 percent gain in households, a 22 percent
gain in adults 18 through 34 and a 17 percent gain in adults 25 through 54.
Comparatively, NBC was flat or down up to 5 percent in all of the key adult
demos. While the weekly cumulative ratings were great news for CBS, the news was
bleaker for ABC, which was down 14 percent from last year in households, 16
percent in total viewers, 19 percent in 18 through 49, 18 percent in 18 through
34 and 17 percent in 25 through 54.
Still, ABC focused on some of the week's highlights, including the
performance of its Tuesday-night lineup in key demos and last Wednesday night's
double-run of My Wife and Kids at 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Fox held relatively steady in premiere week, showing gains or declines of
3 percent to 4 percent in all of its key demos and a 4 percent increase in
households and viewers.
Finally, The WB Television Network showed high-double-digit increases across the board, posting
a 40 percent increase in households, a 48 percent increase in viewers, a 58
percent increase in 18 through 49, a 69 percent increase in 18 through 34 and a
50 percent increase in 25 through 54.
Conversely, UPN was drastically down, losing 28 percent in both households
and viewers, 37 percent in 18 through 49 and 18 through 34 and 33 percent in 25