What Was the Most-Watched TV Show of 2011-12? Here’s the Top 10 List

May 24, 2012  •  Post A Comment

With the end of the 2011-12 television season Wednesday night, the numbers are coming in for the season as a whole.

CBS emerged — for the ninth time in 10 years — as the most-watched network, The Washington Post reports. The network averaged almost 12 million total viewers in prime time, about 3 million more than its closest competitor, Fox. That 3 million represents the largest victory margin for any network in more than 20 years, the story notes.

Among the top 10 shows, two former powerhouse series slipped a bit: Fox’s "American Idol" and ABC’s "Dancing with the Stars." But reality competition shows remain well-represented in the top 10, with two editions of “Idol,” two editions of “Dancing” and NBC’s “The Voice” all making the cut.

The only scripted series to make the top 10 were all from CBS: “NCIS,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men.”

The No. 1 program in the country, as usual, is America’s favorite sport, the National Football League, with its Sunday night game airing on NBC.

Here’s the top 10 list:

1. "Sunday Night Football" (NBC)
2. "American Idol" (Fox)
3. "NCIS" (CBS)
4. "American Idol" results (Fox)
5. "Dancing with the Stars" performance show (ABC)
6. "NCIS: Los Angeles" (CBS)
7. "Dancing with the Stars" results show (ABC)
8. "The Big Bang Theory" (CBS)
9. "The Voice" (NBC)
10. "Two and a Half Men" (CBS)


  1. Interesting. Every show on this list, with the exception of ALL the CBS shows, is reality television.

  2. No wonder I don’t watch network TV anymore. It is geared toward people who indulge in schaudenfreude.

  3. Very interesting results. I’ve only watched one show of this list.

  4. to Hussman,football is not reality tv

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