With three nights left to count, NBC is declaring victory in the 2013-14 season—its first September-to-May ratings victory in 10 years.
Through May 18 in most-current Nielsen data (live-plus seven, and live-plus same day for the two most recent weeks), the network averaged a 2.7 rating among adults 18-49. That’s up 13% from last year, making NBC the only network to experience season-to-season growth in the demo. Fox finished second, even with last season at 2.5. CBS tied its last season , which last season won the demo for the first time in 21 years, was down 17% at 2.4. ABC once again finished fourth, declining one tenth of a point to 2.1.
CBS led all broadcasters in total viewers for the 11th time in 12 years, but saw its average audience decline 9% to 10.73 million. NBC grew 33% to 9.28 million, the first time since 2003-04 that the network has finished above fourth in total viewers, and earning the largest percentage increase in total viewers of any network since Fox posted a 46% increase in the 1988-89 season. ABC was down 3% to 7.59 million. Fox grew 4% to 7.35 million.
In late night, NBC led at 11:35 p.m. as it navigated a host transition on The Tonight Show. Together, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon averaged a 1.3 rating in the demo. ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live averaged a 0.7. CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman averaged a 0.6.
NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and Late Night With Seth Meyers averaged a 0.7 rating at 12:35 a.m. CBS' Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson averaged a 0.4.
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