For this broadcast season so far, some of the rich get richer.
Fox -- the perennial winner among 18-49 viewers for the last five seasons -- now takes its first November sweeps period win, thanks to a late-scheduled and dramatic World Series. That's in addition to a continued strong prime-time lineup, including "House," "Family Guy" and newcomer "Glee."
Fox is currently averaging a Nielsen live-plus-same-day 3.6 rating, which is 20% higher than in November 2008. Fox is the only network of the big four to improve its November sweeps ratings year-to-year.
ABC earned a 3.1 rating for November; CBS was right behind with a 3.0; NBC had a 2.6, and CW finished with a 1.2.
Much has been made of Fox's strong World Series -- ratings that soared to its best numbers in five years -- and a sports TV event that now gets scheduled in the November sweeps. One caveat: ABC says if you take out all sports programming, it would be on top among 18-49 viewers.
The win means a bigger start for Fox going into the second half of the season, which begins in January. That's when the powerful "American Idol" cranks up, and when the network usually steamrolls through the end of the season to take overall top honors.
Looking at the bigger picture -- after nine weeks of the season -- Fox is leading with a 3.6 rating among 18-49 viewers, up 16% versus a year ago. CBS is in second place here with a 3.2 number, but down 6% against 2008. ABC is right behind at a 3.1, off 9%. NBC, at a 2.7, is 13% lower.
Good news for the CW -- its 1.3 rating is 8% higher than a year ago among 18-49 viewers.
Among young 18- to-34-year-olds, Fox is an even easier winner so far, with a 3.4 number (17% higher). Next is ABC at a 2.5 (down 7%); NBC, with a 2.4 (11% lower); CBS at a 2.2 (flat), and the CW with a 1.5 (7% improved). Two categories where Fox is not leading are in overall viewership and older 25-54 viewers. CBS continues its dominating position here -- although down some versus a year ago -- 4.2 million average viewers and a 4.2 rating among 25-54 viewers.
Second place in both categories is ABC, with 3.6 million viewers and a 3.8 rating among 25-54 viewers. Fox, with a 3.8 rating among 25-54 viewers, is tied with ABC.