Broadcast Race Heats Up With CBS In The Lead, Fox Close Behind

Three weeks into the season, CBS holds the top spot in the viewer categories that matter most to advertisers. But the race is getting closer.

CBS has averaged a Nielsen 3.4 live program-plus-same day rating/ 9 share among 18-49 viewers for the first three weeks of the season. Fox is in a close second place with a 3.1/9. NBC and ABC follow, each with a 2.6/7.

CBS made major inroads from ratings that were better than a year ago from "Two and a Half Men," which rocketed the first episode to over a 10 rating among 18-49 viewers. In the most recent week it has settled down to a still-stellar 5.8 rating/13 share. (A week ago, "Men" was at a 6.2 rating)

But it is CBS's other comedies that have benefited, including newcomer "2 Broke Girls," which scored a strong 4.2 rating/10 share in its most recent outing.

Fox has done well in adding strong ratings points from new shows "X-Factor" as well as "New Girl". In the most recent week, Oct. 3 to Oct. 9, "New Girl" had a 4.3 rating/11 share among 18-49 viewers. "X-Factor" on Wednesday scored a 4.1/11 and on Thursday it earned a 4.0/11.

Still, ratings are getting closer among the top and bottom network in the third week. For October 3 through October 9, CBS averaged a 2.9 rating among 18-49 viewers; Fox was at a 2.6; NBC, a 2.5; ABC, a 2.2 and CW, a 0.7.

Although it still faces massive problems in many prime-time periods, NBC maintains some strong numbers -- all thanks to the NFL. Its "Sunday Night Football" continues to deliver strong results. On October 9, its NFL game earned a big 8.9 rating/22 share. "The Office" followed as its highest-rated non-sports prime-time show -- well down the list of top shows, but posting a 3.2 rating/8 share.

ABC's best still comes from "Modern Family" -- with a 5.7/15 on October 5, the third-best-rated show after NBC's "Sunday Night Football" and CBS' "Two and a Half Men." ABC's usually strong reality effort, "Dancing with the Stars," is now only a mere performer this year, posting a 3.1/7 on October 3.



CW also struggles -- especially with new shows "Ringer" and "Hart of Dixie." Its best results still come from "Vampire Diaries," now at a 1.2 rating/4 share among 18-49 viewers on October 6.

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