NBC Claims Second Consecutive Primetime Season Crown
Universal City, CA
NBC finishes No. 1 for the full 52-week 2014-15 primetime television season in adults 18-49, winning its second-straight season.
NBC has clinched first place for the full 52-week 2014-15 primetime ratings season in the key demographic of adults 18-49, the network’s second consecutive victory after going the prior nine seasons without a No. 1 finish.
In "most current" averages from Nielsen Media Research through Sept. 13, with one week left to count in the 52-week season, NBC is averaging a 2.1 rating in adults 18-49 to rank No. 1 for the season, holding an advantage that is virtually certain to stand when full 52-week averages are in.
Even taking NBC’s boost from last February’s Super Bowl out of the network’s averages, NBC still wins the season in viewers 18-49 (with a 2.0 rating for NBC excluding the Super Bowl vs. a 1.9 each for ABC and CBS).
In adults 18-49, NBC has now won the fourth quarter three years in a row, the November sweep three years in a row and the February sweep two years in a row, and is poised to win a fifth summer in a row.
NBC has finished No. 1 or tied for No. 1 among the Big 4 networks during 28 weeks so far this season (L+SD), doubling the closest network, ABC with 12 weekly wins, including ties. CBS has won or tied for No. 1 during eight weeks and Fox has also won or tied during eight weeks. Note that the last time NBC aired a Super Bowl (2011-12), it won 11 weeks that season, three of which were Olympic weeks.
NBC’s current unbeaten streak of 10 weeks in a row ranking No. 1 or tied for No. 1 in 18-49 matches the longest for any network in six years, since Fox won 17 weeks in a row in 2009 from the week of Feb. 2 to the week of May 25, 2009. The 10-week streak also equals NBC’s longest in 12 years, since the network finished No. 1 or tied for No. 1 for 16 consecutive weeks in 2003 from the week of May 26 through the week of Sept. 8, 2003.
NBC also ranked No. 1 or tied for No. 1 among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox for six consecutive nights from Sunday, Sept. 6 through Friday, Sept. 11, the network’s longest nightly unbeaten streak without Olympic help in 22 months, since a six-night stretch from Sunday, Dec. 1-Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. The six-night unbeaten streak matches NBC’s longest without an Olympic boost in nearly 18 years, since an eight-night streak from Thursday Oct. 16-Thursday Oct. 23, 1997.
In addition to NBC’s season-long win in adults 18-49, the network also ranks No. 1 or tied for No. 1 for the season in adults 25-54, adults 18-34, and all key adults-male demos. In total viewers, NBC ranks No. 2 for the season (with or without the Super Bowl boost being counted in its average).
In adult 18-49 rating among Big 4 primetime programs, NBC’s schedule includes the #1 series on the broadcast networks, Sunday Night Football (with an 7.6 rating, L+7); the #1 reality series, The Voice (4.0); and the No. 1 summer series, America’s Got Talent (2.9, "most current").
Among the NBC series that have increased their audiences this season versus last were: America’s Got Talent (+8 percent, 12.5 million vs. 11.5 million), Chicago P.D. (+10 percent, 9.1 million vs. 8.2 million), Law & Order: SVU (+8 percent, 9.0 million vs. 8.3 million, for its most-watched season in five years), American Ninja Warrior (+22 percent, 7.2 million vs. 5.9 million) and Dateline Mystery (+11 percent, 5.5 million vs. 4.9 million).
It was also an exceptional season for NBC specials:
February’s Super Bowl, which averaged 114.4 million viewers in L+SD, making it the most-watched telecast in U.S. TV history.
February’s SNL 40, NBC’s top entertainment program, excluding post-Super Bowl shows, in 10 years and the most-watched SNL telecast in 22 years.
December’s Peter Pan Live!, which delivered NBC’s second-biggest non-sports Thursday in total viewers in more than five years.
January’s Golden Globes, which outrated every Globes telecast from 2008 through 2012.
November’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which delivered the event’s second-most-watched telecast (22.6 million) in 13 years.
Additionally, NBC ruled the season in late-night, with The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers outdelivering their ABC and CBS time-period competition in every key ratings category. Tonight topped CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman this season by a +104 percent margin in adults 18-49 rating (1.14 vs. 0.56, "most current," when Letterman’s run concluded) and is beating ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live by +80 percent (1.10 vs. 0.61). Meyers leads CBS’s Late Late Show by a +47 percent advantage (0.47 vs. 0.32) and Nightline in their head-to-head half-hour by +33 percent (0.52 vs. 0.39).
Last week, Fallon outdelivered the premiere week of CBS’s Late Night with Stephen Colbert by a +28 percent margin in adults 18-49 and topped Colbert three of four nights in 18-49 and total viewers. Meyers beat CBS’s Late Late Show with James Corden for the week by a +63 percent advantage in 18-49 and even outscored ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live by a +33 percent margin despite a start time of one hour later. Both Fallon and Meyers delivered their strongest weeks in 18-49 and total viewers since February.
NBC News is also generating No. 1 results, with NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt currently ranked No. 1 among evening newscasts in adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and total viewers, while Today leads the morning newscasts in adults 18-49.
NBC’s primetime lineup is poised to win its fifth summer in a row in adults 18-49 and has only trailed any other Big 4 network all summer long during weeks when the competition benefited from an atypical sports-related ratings boost (NBA Finals on ABC and Women’s World Cup on Fox). NBC has finished No. 1 among the Big 4 during 12 weeks this summer (including ties) while no other network has led more than five times.
NBC’s summer programming highlights include:
America’s Got Talent, the most-watched summer unscripted series for a 10th year in a row, generating its biggest total-viewer result in four years.
American Ninja Warrior, which has grown +10% versus last year in 18-49 (2.2 vs. 2.0) and +22 percent versus two years ago (2.2 vs. 1.8) and is delivering its most watched season ever (averaging 7.2 million viewers, up +22 percent from last year’s 5.9 million).
Time-period dominance among the Big 4 networks for Last Comic Standing, Running Wild with Bear Grylls, I Can Do That and Hollywood Game Night, which are undefeated in their time periods versus regular Big 4 competition in 18-49.
Mr. Robinson and The Carmichael Show, the two most-watched summer-comedy launches in the past eight years (best since Creature Comforts on CBS in the summer of 2007).