Scripted programming helps CBS to ratings victory

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HOLLYWOOD (CNS) – CBS had nine of the 10 most-watched scripted programs last week to finish first in the prime-time ratings race for the seventh time in the eight-week-old season.

CBS averaged 10.65 million viewers for its prime-time programming between Nov. 12 and Sunday,  according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen today.

Its comedy series “The Big Bang Theory” averaged 17.63 million viewers, the most in its six-season run, topping the previous record of 16.68 million set a week earlier.

The audience was also the largest for a comedy this season. “The Big Bang Theory” has been the most-watched comedy each week this season.

CBS also had the most-watched new series for the seventh time this season, “Elementary,” which averaged 10.9 million viewers, finishing 17th overall.

The only week CBS failed to win the ratings race this season was Oct. 22- 28, when Fox’s programming featured four nights of baseball’s World Series.

ABC was second overall, averaging 8.13 million, followed by NBC (7.03 million) and Fox (4.53 million).

“Sunday Night Football” was the most-watched program for the sixth time this season, with an average of 18.16 million viewers tuning in to watch the Baltimore Ravens’ 13-10 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

CBS and NBC tied for first among 18- to 49-year-old viewers, who ABC and Fox also target and advertisers covet because they watch less television and are harder to reach.

NBC had won in the category for six of the season’s first seven weeks, with its only loss coming when Fox aired the World Series.

“Sunday Night Football” finished first in the group for the eighth time this season. “The Big Bang Theory” was second with a 5.7 rating, the highest this season for a scripted program.

CBS also finished first among viewers ages 25-54 and 50 and older, a group it has long dominated.

ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh was the week’s most-watched cable program, averaging 12.82 million viewers, finishing 10th among the week’s prime-time broadcast and cable programs.

ESPN was the most-watched cable network, averaging 3.29 million, ending a four-week winning streak by the Fox News Channel.

Univision’s coverage of the Latin Grammy Awards was the week’s most- watched Spanish-language program with 4.99 million viewers, putting it 61st among all prime-time broadcast and cable programs.

As usual, Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network, averaging 3.9 million viewers for its prime-time programming. Telemundo was second (1.27 million), followed by TeleFutura (790,000), Estrella TV (230,000), Azteca America (210,000) and MundoFox (70,000).

NBC had the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 166th consecutive week and 213th time in the past 214 weeks, averaging 9.2 million viewers, followed by ABC (8.48 million) and CBS (6.74 million).

The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC’s “Sunday Night Football”; CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory,” “NCIS,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Person of Interest,” “60 Minutes” and “Two and a Half Men”; the Monday edition of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”; NBC’s nine-minute “Sunday Night Football” pregame show; and ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”

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