Skip to main content

It's Finally Crunch Time

The curtain officially closed on another television season on May 22, and by most accounts it was a tough one for broadcasters, with all of the networks losing ground among viewers 18-49. Now that CBS has won the ratings crown in the key 18-to-49 demo for the first time since the 1991-92 season (back when Murphy Brown was on the air), we crunched the numbers for other notable ratings milestones from the season that was.

Getting Better With Age

CBS may get knocks for the older median age of its viewers, but its series are aging more than gracefully

The Big Bang Theory

cemented its juggernaut status, growing its adults 18-49 audience 8% in its sixth season to overtake American Idol as network TV's top-rated non-sports show.


continues to defy age and expectations after 10 seasons, overtaking Idol as the mostwatched non-sports program on TV with an uptick in total viewers of 7%.

Having a Ball

Broadcast TV's No. 1 Program: Sunday Night Football (NBC)

Football again proved it is America's true national pastime, as NBC's Sunday-night broadcast was easily the highest-rated program of the season (though it was down 2% from last year), averaging a 7.8 rating.

Singing Shows: Very Pitchy

It's no surprise that Fox fell out of first place this season given its two singing competition shows, which fill three hours apiece on its primetime schedule, suffered more than 20% ratings declines. Even NBC's

The Voice

, though mostly resilient through two cycles this season, was not immune to viewer fatigue.

 American Idol (Fox)


The X Factor


The Voice (NBC)


The Five Biggest Gainers...and Losers
Who says time slots don't matter? All of the broadcast network series that had the season's biggest year-over-year declines were moved from cushy time periods following hits such as The Voice and Modern Family, and ratings collapsed (all of the shows have been canceled). Plus, the season's biggest beneficiary, Supernatural, owes its bump-in its eighth season-to a strong lead-in from freshman hit Arrow.