Back to Business as Usual in Prime Time: NBC’s Olympics-Fueled Winning Streak Ends

Feb 27, 2014  •  Post A Comment

NBC’s run at No. 1 in the nightly prime-time ratings came to an end Wednesday night, based on Nielsen overnights for the key 18-49 demo. After 20 consecutive nights as the top broadcast network — driven largely by NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics from Sochi, Russia — the Peacock Network settled for a tie with ABC for third place in the demo.

TVbytheNumbers.com reports that NBC and ABC both came in with preliminary 1.8 average ratings in viewers 18-49, while Fox and CBS fought it out for the top spot. On the strength of its two-hour "American Idol," Fox nipped CBS to claim No. 1 for the night with a 2.6 average — just a tick ahead of CBS’s 2.5. Univision trailed the big four broadcast nets with a 1.1 average.

Fox also won total viewers by a narrow margin over CBS, averaging 10.6 million to the Tiffany Network’s 9.7 million. Trailing the two leaders were NBC (6.8 million), ABC (5.9 million) and Univision (2.9 million).

"American Idol’s" 2.6 in adults 18-49 equaled its number from a week earlier.

CBS was paced by the season premiere of "Survivor," with the two-hour program delivering a 2.5 average in 18-49. That was up one-tenth from the show’s premiere last spring. But CBS’s "Criminal Minds" was off two-tenths from last week with a 2.3.

NBC’s three drama series were all over the ratings map, with one of them, "Revolution," matching a series low (1.3 in the 18-49 demo, equaling the previous original episode) while another one, "Chicago PD," scored a series high (2.2), rising a half-point from its previous original. "Law & Order: SVU" ticked up two-tenths to a 2.0.

ABC’s tie with NBC came despite a night of season lows and series lows for the Alphabet Network. ABC’s premiere of "Mixology" became the lowest-rated series premiere ever in the spot leading out from "Modern Family," managing only a 1.8 in adults 18-49. As for "Modern Family," it fell four-tenths from its previous original to a season-low 3.1.

Elsewhere on ABC, "The Middle" was down four-tenths from its previous original in viewers 18-49, equaling its season low with a 1.8 average; "Suburgatory" also matched its season low, a 1.5, slipping two-tenths; and "Nashville" tied its all-time low, dipping one-tenth to a 1.2.

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