Fox Set for First Fall Ratings Win in a Decade, NBC to Snap CBS’ 18-Year Total Viewers Streak

Jennifer Maas

Broadcast saw a shakeup in the Nielsen rankings this autumn, with Fox poised to grab its first fall TV ratings win among the all-important adults 18-49 demographic in a decade, and NBC set to snap CBS’ 18-year total viewers winning streak.

Fox is also going to claim its first-ever fall ratings victory among the key demo when counting entertainment shows only — so excluding the ratings it gets for sports programs like “Thursday Night Football” — thanks mainly to “The Masked Singer,” which premiered its second season in September, and the strong ratings for Season 3 of Ryan Murphy’s first-responder drama “9-1-1.”

Meanwhile, NBC’s first fall win in total viewers in 20 years is thanks to the continued success of “Sunday Night Football” (the highest-rated and most-watched primetime program), “This Is Us” and “The Voice.” The viewership for Dick Wolf’s “Chicago” dramas doesn’t hurt either.

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It’s important to note here that NBC’s domination over CBS in overall eyeballs comes in the first fall since long-running sitcom “The Big Bang Theory,” which was both a ratings and viewership winner, ended.

While “fall” doesn’t officially end for Fox, CBS, NBC and ABC until Dec. 29, individuals with knowledge of the Nielsen data tell TheWrap these rankings aren’t likely to be affected by this past week’s primetime numbers — which are famously low due to the Christmas holiday. So Fox and NBC’s respective wins are pretty much on lock.

See below for the rankings for the Big 4 networks from Sept. 23 through Dec. 22, according to Nielsen’s “most current” data stream.

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Adult 18-49 Rating





Total Viewers

NBC…8.101 million

CBS…7.845 million

Fox…7.324 million

ABC…5.421 million

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