Some six weeks into midseason, CBS has now risen to a solid first place in key 18-49 viewers among broadcast networks' prime-time programming.
The network had major help from airing the Super Bowl on the first Sunday in February.
Through 20 weeks of the season, CBS has averaged a Nielsen 3.2 live-plus-seven-day program rating -- now even with its results through the same period a year ago.
NBC, after its soaring performance in the fourth quarter, is now down 8% to a 2.7 rating. Two of its highest-rated shows aren't on
the air -- "Sunday Night Football," which only airs in the fourth quarter, and "The Voice," which is on a break until it starts its spring edition in a few weeks.
Fox -- last season's overall winner in the 18-49 category -- is now in third place, still struggling to gain ground, down 24% to a 2.5 average rating. ABC is two-tenths of a rating point behind Fox at a 2.3 number, down 8% versus a year ago. ABC had been the top network in C3 ratings -- commercial ratings plus three days of time-shifted viewing -- when analyzing non-sports prime-time programming.
CW -- now trying to recognize older TV viewers versus its previous target, women 18-34 -- is at a 0.7. Its 18-49 rating is down 13% against the previous season.
CBS continues to dominate among all viewers -- as it has for many years -- now at 12.7 million. NBC is a distant second, with 7.9 million, followed by ABC at 7.7 million; Fox with 6.9 million; and CW at 1.8 million.