NBC Wins Another Season in TV Ratings

NBC has now won the 52-week TV season in the 18-49 adult ratings eight of the past nine years.

Copy and paste if you’ve already written this one: NBC won the 52-week TV season in 18-49 adult ratings, the age group most coveted by advertisers, according to Nielsen. It’s the second win in a row; NBC has now won an impressive eight of the last nine years. (NBC finished second behind Fox in the 2019-20 season.)

NBC earned an average primetime rating of 0.9 in the 18-49 age group, beating Fox’s 0.8. ABC and CBS both had 0.7s. (NBC also ranked first among adults 18-34 and 25-54.)

In terms of total viewership, NBC was second. CBS averaged 5.3 million versus NBC’s 5.2 million; ABC drew 3.9 million viewers a night and Fox got 3.7 million. CBS has now gained total viewers for the last 12 of 15 seasons from September to September; NBC had the Olympics each of the three years, CBS was not the viewers’ leader.

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NBC’s Sunday Night Football was the top-grossing television series for the 11th consecutive season. Other network highlights include the final season of This Is Us, the top-rated entertainment series of the year. “Saturday Night Live” was No. 2. Other highlights for the network included newcomer “La Brea” and its strong “One Chicago” line-up.


Traditionally, Nielsen measured the television season from September to May. Summer was usually set aside for reruns. That’s not quite the case anymore, and June, July and August are now a mix of encores and originals; there are even hit summer shows like NBC’s America’s Got Talent. The networks are divided on what they consider “season” — that decision pretty much boils down to what suits them individually. With “AGT” and the Summer Olympics every four years, NBC focuses on the full 12-month calendar.

“NBC remains best-in-class in broadcasting and is a key pillar of our diversified portfolio,” Frances Berwick, chair of entertainment networks at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, said in a press release Monday. “As we begin our new season and look to the future, NBC continues to lead programming genres in the ever-expanding television landscape.”

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“NBC’s programming has always had a strong and emotional connection with viewers,” Susan Rovner, president of entertainment at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming contents, added. “We are very proud of this #1 spot which is a testament to the hard work of the producers, cast and everyone who all work extraordinarily hard to create quality programming for our loyal audiences throughout the year.”

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