Ratings: ‘Kennedy Center Honors’ Tick Up in Viewers – But Dip to All-Time Low in Key Demo

Annual broadcast hands CBS a win in overall eyeballs Wednesday, but NBC is the leader among adults 18-49

Last Updated: December 27, 2018 @ 4:49 PM

CBS’ Wednesday night broadcast of the 41st annual “Kennedy Center Honors” saw a year-over-year increase in total viewers for the special and a dip to a new all-time low among adults 18-49, according to overnight data from Nielsen.

Last night’s show posted a 0.6 rating in the key demo, slipping 14 percent from the 2017 event, which had a 0.7 rating in preliminary numbers. However, the special was up 6 percent in overall eyeballs, with the 2018 broadcast bringing in 6.58 million viewers compared to last year’s 6.19 million.

The “Kennedy Center Honors” — which paid tribute to Cher, Philip Glass, Reba McEntire, Wayne Shorter, along with “Hamilton” team Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, Andy Blankenbuehler and Alex Lacamoire — didn’t have much in the way of competition among the other broadcast networks, as it was the only original programming to air during Wednesday primetime.

And though it won total viewers for its home network, CBS settled for a second-place tie with ABC for the 18-49 demo.

NBC was first in ratings with a 0.6 rating/3 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and second in total viewers with an average of 4.3 million, according to preliminary numbers. The Peacock network aired encores of its “Chicago” shows from 8-11 p.m.

CBS and ABC tied for second in ratings, each with a 0.5/2.

CBS was first in total viewers with 5.4 million, all due to the “Kennedy Center Honors” special.

ABC was third in viewers with 2.4 million, broadcasting only repeats.

Fox, Univision and Telemundo tied for fourth in ratings, all posting a 0.4/2.

Fox was fourth in viewers with 1.5 million, stacking its primetime block with reruns.

Univision was fifth in viewers with 1.4 million.

Telemundo was sixth in viewers with 1.1 million.

The CW was seventh in ratings with a 0.1/1 and in viewers with 395,000. It too aired only reruns.