A summer of TV worth watching doesn’t do much to change the ratings picture among broadcast networks.
With a 52-week season of 2021-22 entirely on the books as of September 18, CBS remains the most-watched network, and NBC maintains its lead among adults ages 18-49. That’s where the two have been at the end of the traditional season, from September to May.
ABC has been ahead of Fox in the overall viewership race for longer, but the latter is still second in the 18-49 demographic that advertisers covet. Adding the summer semester, with overall lower TV usage and a relative lack of major sporting events for juice audiences, means that people’s numbers are down some from the average from autumn to spring.
NBC hit an average rating of 0.9 in the 18-49 demo (down from 1.2 at the end of May), taking second place in a row for 52 weeks and eighth in the past nine years. The network with both the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics was the main driver for that victory, along with the final season of This is us (top rated entertainment series), its other NFL games, and the continued solid performance of Dick Wolf produced by it Chicago TV series.
Fox averaged 0.8 (down from 1.1) to keep second place. ABC (even compared to May) and CBS (down 0.1) were third at 0.7.
Frances Berwick, president of entertainment networks at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, said: “NBC remains best-in-class in broadcasting as well as a key pillar of our diversified portfolio. “As we begin the new season and look to the future, NBC continues to lead the group of programming genres in the ever-expanding television landscape.”
CBS averaged 5.31 million viewers in its 52-week time frame, beating NBC (5.19 million) by gap from the shorter season (6.35 million to 6.25 million). The CBS series claimed seven of the top 10 non-sports shows of the season – with NCIS‘10.9 million viewers in the top seven days – and solid interest from Oldest brother during the summer.
ABC had a better summer than Fox in terms of total viewers – backed by the NBA Finals and several major college football leagues and NFL broadcasters in early September – to come in third with 3.93 million. watch, while Fox averaged 3.71 million. In May, Fox was third with 4.68 million viewers and ABC was fourth with 4.19 million.