The top 10 regularly
scheduled TV series in 2012, as well as individual TV shows, were mostly about sports, some reality, and very little scripted programming.
Three of the top ten regularly scheduled TV shows were sports -- with NBC's "Sunday Night Football" the biggest in terms of overall average viewers. (In 2011, top honors went to Fox's "American Idol.") The big NFL series has been averaging a Nielsen 21.2 million viewers so far this season.
Next up, in second and third place, "American Idol" -- its performance show on Wednesday -- has been getting 18.0 million viewers with its results show at 16.5 million.
NBC's pre-kick show for its "Sunday Night Football" was in fourth place at 15.7 million. ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" comes next -- in fifth and sixth place. Its performance show averaged a 15.5 million and its results show averaged a 13.9 million.
CBS shows up with one of two scripted TV shows to make the list. "NCIS" sits in seventh place, at 13.6 million. NBC's "The Voice" comes next in eighth place at 13.3 million.
Another sport shows comes in at ninth place -- and the only cable series: ESPN's "Monday Night Football" series, with 13.2 million viewers.
CBS has the other top scripted show on the list -- "Vegas", the new rookie drama hour series, at 11.7 million.
Looking at individual TV shows, sports TV is even more dominant, led by the usual topper, The Super Bowl.
NBC's aired "Super Bowl XLVI," which earned another record -- 111.3 million viewers. Super Bowl-related programming -- pre-kick, (85.2 million); post game, (76.8 million); and kickoff (67.0 million) -- occupied the next three spots. After that, Fox's "NFC Championship" (57.6 million) and CBS' "AFC Championship" (48.7 million).
NBC's "Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony" got to ninth place at 40.7 million. Then comes the only non-sports individual TV show on the list: CBS' "Grammys Awards", in tenth place at 39.9 million.