CBS is crowning itself the winner of total viewers for the 2021-2022 TV season. The network announced on Tuesday that, according to its projections, it’s positioned to become the most-watched primetime network for the 14th consecutive season. Though the key demo win would go to NBC.
The season isn’t officially over yet, but CBS is currently averaging 6.35 million viewers per night, placing it about 100,000 viewers ahead of second-place NBC. However, NBC is leading in the key 18-49 demo with a primetime average of 1.2. Fox is currently second with a 1.1, while CBS is third with a 0.8.
Many of the season’s top broadcast series will need to air their season finales (including the series finale of “This Is Us”) before the official victor can be declared.
“The strength and depth of our core CBS series, the top new comedies and dramas on television, our iconic alternative programming, world-class sports franchises, plus the finest news program in the history of television, provided us with the power to surge to the top of the broadcast landscape for the 14th consecutive season. That’s a huge testament to our talent, producers and the CBS team,” Kelly Kahl, CBS Entertainment president, said in a statement on Tuesday. “Additionally, these incredibly popular series have been a key driver in the growth and success of our streaming service, Paramount+.”
This season, CBS secured 13 of the 20 most-watched broadcast series including “NCIS,” “Young Sheldon,” and “Ghosts.” It’ll come as no surprise that “NCIS” is poised to be the top scripted series and drama series for the fourth consecutive season for total viewers.
It’s also the second time during CBS’ current viewership streak that it has reigned victorious over NBC in a season where it had both the Super Bowl and Olympics.
Speaking of sports programming, it did significantly shift the ratings picture for the TV season (as live sports are just about one of the only things that still draws massive audiences). When factoring in only entertainment programming, ABC was actually the highest-rated with an average of 0.7 across the season — slightly edging out CBS, which has a 0.6.
CBS is still the top dog in terms of total viewers across primetime entertainment programming, with an average of 5.8 million.
The overall data below is based on Nielsen’s most current ratings through May 1. Here’s how it shakes out among the top broadcast networks:
Average Total Viewers:
CBS — 6.35 million
NBC — 6.25 million
Fox — 4.68 million
ABC — 4.19 million
Average Primetime Demo Rating:
NBC — 1.2
Fox — 1.1
CBS — 0.8
ABC — 0.7