Fox Wins September-to-May TV Season in Ratings for First Time in 8 Years

CBS takes total viewers for 12th year in a row

Last Updated: May 22, 2020 @ 9:21 AM

The 2019-2020 broadcast TV season is in the books and Fox has won in ratings for the first time in eight years. CBS comfortably took Nielsen’s traditional September-to-May season in terms of total viewers for the 12th year in a row.

Averaging a 1.7 rating among adults 18-49, “The Masked Singer” network edged out reigning champ NBC for its victory in the advertiser-coveted demographic. The home of “This Is Us” has consistently managed to hold onto its spot atop the demo rankings since the 2016-2017 TV season, but came in second-place this time with a 1.3 rating.

Fox’s No. 1 slot for this Sept-to-May round caps off a season of milestones for the broadcast network: the 2019-2020 season saw Fox score its first fall win in the demo in a decade and its first-ever fall victory when counting just entertainment programming.

The broadcaster of course has its smash hit “The Masked Singer” — the No. 1 entertainment show of the season, which just aired its Season 3 finale Wednesday — to thank for its first traditional TV season win since 2011-2012. The singing competition put up a gaudy 3.1 rating for the 2019-2020 season, which is a Nielsen average that includes both Seasons 2 and 3.

Fox’s other solid performers were Season 3 of Ryan Murphy’s first-responder drama “9-1-1” and the first season of its spinoff “9-1-1: Lone Star,” as well as competition series “Lego Masters” (the highest-rated new entertainment show of the season) and freshman drama “Prodigal Son.”

And, oh yeah, airing Super Bowl LIV didn’t hurt either.

Meanwhile, CBS’ 12th straight total-viewer win comes as the network has 14 out of the top 30 “most-watched” broadcast series.

CBS is home to “NCIS,” the 2019-2020 season’s most-watched show and most-watched drama (averaging 15.3 million viewers per week), as well as “Young Sheldon,” the season’s most-watched comedy (11.4 million viewers).

The network also claims No. 1 in overall eyeballs for new series (“FBI” spinoff “FBI: Most Wanted”), new comedy (“Bob Hearts Abishola”), and news program (“60 Minutes”).

CBS’ 2019-2020 total-viewer victory marks its 17th audience win in the last 18 years.

Below are the raw by-network Nielsen stats through 34 completed weeks. Readers can see how the 2018-19 TV season race went here.

Adult 18-49 Rating
Fox…1.7
NBC…1.3
ABC…1.1
CBS…1.0
CW…0.3

Total Viewers
CBS…7.74 million
NBC…6.63 million
Fox…6.40 million
ABC…5.51 million
CW…1.0 million

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