Is NBC the TV comeback story of the year? The network, which finished tied for third in the ratings last season after years in fourth place, remains firmly at No. 1 this season in the key demographic.
Eleven weeks into the season, NBC averages a 3.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic, the one most important to advertisers, well ahead of CBS with a 2.8 share. NBC is the only network of the top four that is up in both ratings and total viewers: CBS, ABC and Fox are down in both categories. And this is the first time in a decade that NBC has ranked No. 1 or tied for it in the key demo of adults 18-49 for ten of the eleven weeks.
Also read: NBC Wins First November Sweeps in a 9 Years
But CBS and ABC still lead NBC in total viewers. CBS averages 11.64 million and ABC averages 8.95 million to NBC's 8.89 million. (See chart.)
NBC has benefitted this fall from "Sunday Night Football," television's most-watched show, as well as "The Voice" and the new hit "Revolution." But it faces bigger competition in 2013, when "American Idol" returns to Fox and CBS has the Super Bowl.
NBC entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt has tried to set modest expectations for the network.
"I'd be astonished if we ended up to be number one," he told TheWrap last month, after his network won its first November sweeps in nine years. "But I'd be thrilled if we landed at two, and I'd be really, really pleased if we were just in third place ... I feel pretty confident that we are not going to end up in fourth place again."