On a night when the general trend in broadcast prime was down, CBS clawed its way to a ratings win over its rival networks, based on Nielsen overnights for the key 18-49 demo.
TVbytheNumbers.com reports that CBS parlayed its lineup of "Survivor," "Criminal Minds" and "CSI" into a lackluster 2.2 average rating for prime time in adults 18-49 to finish ahead of its even more lackluster rivals. "Survivor" and "CSI" both lost ground, while "Criminal Minds" equaled the number for its previous original, a 2.4.
"Survivor" settled for a 2.5 average in the demo, off 4% from a week ago, while "CSI" dipped to a 1.8, down 14% from its previous original.
Second-place ABC had the night’s top show on broadcast in "Modern Family," as a number of shows on the Alphabet Network bucked the downtrend. "Family" rose 9% from last week to a 3.5 average in the 18-49 demo.
Also up on ABC were "Back in the Game" — up 7% from last week with a 1.5 average in 18-49 — and "Super Fun Night," which bounced back from a series low a week ago to deliver a 1.8, improving 13%
Other ABC shows didn’t fare as well. "The Middle" equaled the season low it set last week in viewers 18-49 with a 1.9 average, while "Nashville" lost 13% to match its all-time low, a 1.4.
NBC saw its newly returned "The Sing-Off" lose ground and failed to get a bump from its Kelly Clarkson holiday special. The two-hour "Sing-Off" lost 25% from its Monday delivery in the 18-49 demo, recording a 1.8 average rating, while "Kelly Clarkson’s Cautionary Christmas Music Tale" managed only a 1.4 — equaling the Michael Buble Christmas special from a year ago.
Fox held steady with a fourth-place 1.4 average in 18-49 for its two-hour "The X Factor."
When the dust settled, CBS’s 2.2 average in adults 18-49 led the broadcast nets, followed by ABC (1.9 average), NBC (1.7), Fox (1.4) and Univision (1.2). CBS claimed a comfortable win in total viewers, averaging 10.3 million to top ABC (6.8 million), NBC (5.7 million), Fox (4.9 million) and Univision (3.1 million).