It's been well documented that Fox's American Idol
and ABC's Dancing With the Stars lost a lot of viewers and a
large chunk of their 18-49 demo ratings this past season, but among the
returning broadcast networks' scripted and reality series, just about everyone declined.
Gleaning numbers from Nielsen data based on all first-run
and repeat telecasts, CBS had four of the five series to gain viewers per
episode compared to last year among the Big Four broadcast
networks. CBS also had four of the only five series to grow their 18-49
ratings. ABC had one series in both viewership and demo rating show an
increase, while one series was flat in its viewers per episode.
Four CBS sitcoms -- Monday's How I Met Your Mother, Two
and a Half Men and Mike & Molly, along with Thursday night
comedy The Big BangTheory -- all showed viewer and 18-49 rating
increases. ABC drama Castle grew its average viewer number, while ABC
sitcom Modern Family also improved its 18-49 rating. ABC drama Private
Practice was flat in viewers, but down slightly in 18-49.
Biggest decliners in both viewers and the 18-49 demo
rating, in addition Idol and DWTS, were Fox dramas Fringe
and Bones and comedy Glee;
NBC's drama Law & Order: SVU,
comedies Community, 30 Rock and The Office and reality series The
NBC's The Voice showed gains in both viewers and the
18-49 demo, but those averages include its episode leading out of the Super
Bowl, which, while it began in primetime, really cannot be considered a regular
episode. Most media agencies factor it out when determining ratings used to buy
Here is a list of the series and their percentage gains or
declines in both viewers and the 18-49 demo comparing the 2011-12 primetime
season vs. the 2010-11 season. Percentages are rounded off.
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