NBC Set to Win Season Race in Viewers 18-49

NBC has clinched first place in the September-to-May primetime season for adults 18-49, the network said, its fifth win in the category in six years. CBS won the total viewers race, and was just off the pace in 18-49.

In the 18-49 contest, it was NBC at 1.6, CBS and Fox at 1.5, ABC at 1.2 and The CW at 0.4 in Nielsen “most current” averages.

In total viewers, CBS did 8.9 million and NBC 7.2 million. ABC had 5.6 million and Fox had 5.4 million, while The CW did 1.3 million.

The season ends May 22.

“Since taking on this role, our mantra has been stability without complacency. Winning the season for the fifth time in six years gives us the strong foundation we need to take some big swings in the future,” said George Cheeks and Paul Telegdy, co-chairmen of NBC Entertainment. “It’s a mark of the underlying strength of our schedule that in a year with no Super Bowl, Olympics or Thursday Night Football, we remained the network to beat, making us bullish about the season ahead.”

Pacing NBC was Sunday Night Football, This Is Us, Manifest, New Amsterdam, the Chicago dramas and America’s Got Talent: The Champions, which debuted in January.

CBS’ strong prime players include the recently concluded The Big Bang Theory, along with NCIS and Survivor. CBS had the 2019 Super Bowl, and March Madness basketball as well. 

Among Spanish-language broadcasters, Univision has averaged a 0.44 rating in adults 18-49 season to date, and Telemundo a 0.42. Univision averaged 1.38 million total viewers and Telemundo 1.21 million. 

NBC won 18-49 last year and CBS got total viewers. In 18-49, NBC had a 2.2, ABC, CBS and Fox a 1.5, and The CW a 0.6. 

In total viewers last year, CBS averaged 9 million, while NBC was at 8.9 million, ABC at 6.1 million, Fox at 4.9 million and The CW at 1.7 million. 

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.