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NBC finishes No. 1 for full 52-week 2013-14 primetime television season

by jmaloni

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Wed, Sep 17th 2014 02:00 pm
NBC (NBC logo)
NBC (NBC logo)

It's NBC's first full-season win in the key Adult 18-49 demo in 10 years

NBC has clinched first place for the full 52-week primetime ratings season in the key demographic of adults 18-49, marking the network's first full-season win in the 10 years since the 2003-04 season.

In "most current" averages from Nielsen Media Research through Sept. 14, with one week left to count in the 52-week season, NBC is running 14 percent ahead of its year-ago rating in adults 18-49 (to a 2.4 from a 2.1) and is currently the only "Big 4" network generating a year-to-year improvement in the key demo.

In total viewers, NBC is currently up 25 percent, which tops every increase by a "Big 4" network in a full 52-week season for the past 25 years.

Even taking NBC's 18 nights of Winter Olympic coverage out of the network's averages, NBC still ranks No. 1 for the season in adults 18-49, ahead of Super Bowl-boosted FOX (with a 2.2 rating for NBC excluding Olympic nights vs. a 2.1 for No. 2 FOX).

"As the business continues to see significant original programming launched throughout the calendar year, the 52-week statistics become more and more meaningful," said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment. "And following a very strong September-to-May win, I'm pleased that NBC once again dominated the summer, leading us to win virtually all key demos in primetime and late night for the full 2013-14 season. Plus, our record 25 percent year-to-year surge in total viewers to make us No. 2 in that measure is an indication of the overall momentum of the company. My hat is off to everyone at the network, Comcast, our affiliated stations, and the talent, producers and crews on all of our shows who have worked so hard to make NBC relevant and vital once again."

NBC has finished No. 1 or tied for No. 1 among the "Big 4" networks during 30 weeks so far this season (L+SD), the most for any network over the past four seasons, and NBC's highest total in 11 years. CBS is No. 2 this season with 13 weekly wins (including ties).

The last time NBC aired an Olympics (London during the 2011-12 season), NBC won 11 weeks - three of which were Olympic weeks.

NBC also leads the season in adults 25-54, adults 18-34, men 18-49, men 25-54 and all key adult-female demos.

In total viewers, NBC ranks No. 2 for the season (with or without Olympic nights being counted in its average) for only the second time in 10 years, and is up 25 percent this season versus last (8.3 million vs. 6.6 million). That 25 percent gain currently stands as the biggest year-to-year increase for a full 52-week season since FOX grew by 47 percent in 1988-89.

In 18-49 rating among "Big 4" primetime programs, NBC's schedule includes:

  • The No. 1 series, "Sunday Night Football" (with an 8.0 rating, L+7).
  • The No. 1 reality series, "The Voice" (4.6).
  • The No. 1 new series, "The Blacklist" (4.4).
  • Counting originals only, the No. 1 drama, "The Blacklist" (4.9, originals only).
  • The No. 1 summer series, "America's Got Talent" (tied with a 2.7 rating in 18-49, No. 1 outright in total viewers, most current).

NBC's lineup features the three highest-rated regular-schedule averages on the "Big 4":

  • NBC's Sunday (3.6 rating in 18-49, "most current," regularly scheduled programming).
  • NBC's Monday (3.5).
  • NBC's Tuesday (2.9).

Looking at NBC's averages for regular programming this season vs. last in adults 18-49, NBC's regular schedule is up on six of seven nights:

  • Mondays are up 3 percent.
  • Tuesdays are up 4 percent.
  • Wednesdays are up 5 percent.
  • Thursdays are down 6 percent.
  • Fridays are up 23 percent.
  • Saturdays are up 33 percent.
  • Sundays are up 13 percent.

It was also an exceptional season for NBC specials:

  • "The Sound of Music Live!" was the season's No. 1 movie event, delivering NBC's biggest Thursday in total viewers since 2004 (18.7 million, L+SD; 21.8 million, L+7).
  • The 71st Golden Globes hit a 10-year high in total viewers (20.9 million, L+SD).
  • The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards generated the event's second biggest audience in eight years (15.6 million).
  • Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade delivered its biggest audience in People Meter history (25.2 million), as did "The National Dog Show Presented by Purina" (10.7 million).
  • "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" hit a seven-year high in adults 18-49 (2.3).
  • "NBC's New Year's Eve with Carson Daly"delivered the biggest audience in its nine-year history (9.5 million).

NBC has also won its fourth summer in a row in adults 18-49, and was the only "Big 4" network to match its year-ago rating in adults 18-49. NBC has finished No. 1 or tied for No. 1 among the "Big 4" during 12 weeks this summer, while no other network has won more than four weeks. NBC is also No. 1 for the summer among ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX in adults 25-54, adults 18-34, women 18-49, women 25-54 and all key adult-male demos.

NBC's summer programming highlights include:

  • "America's Got Talent," the most-watched summer series for a ninth year in a row.
  • "American Ninja Warrior," which has grown 11 percent year-to-year in 18-49 (to a 2.0 from a 1.8), and is tied for the No. 11 ranking of the summer (excludes fall football coverage).
  • "Last Comic Standing," which ranks tied for No. 16 this summer in 18-49.
  • "The Night Shift," the No. 1 new series on the "Big 4" this summer in 18-49 and the No. 6 series overall in total viewers.

In late night, "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" and "Late Night with Seth Meyers" have established themselves as the dominant choices in those time periods. Since the debuts of Fallon and Meyers in February:

  • "Tonight" is outrating the ABC and CBS time-period competition combined in adults 18-49 (with a 1.19 rating vs. a combined 1.10, L+SD through Aug. 7).
  • "Tonight" is up by 47 percent versus year-ago results (1.19 vs. 0.81).
  • "Meyers" is outrating CBS's "Letterman" (0.56 vs. 0.48), despite starting an hour later.
  • "Meyers" is delivering bigger audiences than the ABC and CBS time-period competition in every key ratings measure - adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, plus total viewers.

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