Fox Set for First Fall Ratings Win in a Decade, NBC to Snap CBS’ 18-Year Total Viewers Streak

“The Masked Singer” Season 2 was what sealed the deal for Fox

Last Updated: January 3, 2020 @ 2:07 PM

Broadcast saw a shakeup in the Nielsen rankings this autumn, with Fox poised to grab its first fall TV ratings win among the all-important adults 18-49 demographic in a decade, and NBC set to snap CBS’ 18-year total viewers winning streak.

Fox is also going to claim its first-ever fall ratings victory among the key demo when counting entertainment shows only — so excluding the ratings it gets for sports programs like “Friday Night SmackDown” and “Thursday Night Football” — thanks mainly to “The Masked Singer,” which premiered its second season in September, and the strong numbers put up by Season 3 of Ryan Murphy’s first-responder drama “9-1-1.”

Coming in second behind Fox, which averaged a 2.01 rating in the 18-49 range, is NBC with a 1.81. ABC and CBS tied for third in the key demo race, each with a 1.10 rating.

In terms of overall eyeballs, NBC’s first fall win in total viewers in 20 years is thanks to the continued success of “Sunday Night Football” (the highest-rated and most-watched primetime program), “This Is Us” and “The Voice.” The viewership for Dick Wolf’s “Chicago” dramas doesn’t hurt either.

NBC is No. 1 with an average of 8.1 million viewers, followed by CBS with 7.8 million, Fox with 7.3 million and ABC with 5.4 million.

It’s important to note here that NBC’s domination over CBS in overall eyeballs comes in the first fall since long-running sitcom “The Big Bang Theory,” which was both a ratings and viewership winner, ended.

While “fall” doesn’t officially end for Nielsen — or Fox, CBS, NBC and ABC — until Dec. 29, individuals with knowledge of the data tell TheWrap these rankings aren’t likely to be affected by this past week’s primetime numbers — which are expectedly down due to the low levels of TV usage over the Christmas holiday. So Fox and NBC’s respective wins are pretty much on lock.

See below for the rankings for the Big 4 networks from Sept. 23 through Dec. 22, according to Nielsen’s “most current” data stream. These numbers include sports programming.

Adult 18-49 Rating

1. Fox…2.01

2. NBC…1.81

3. (tie) ABC…1.10

3. (tie) CBS…1.10

Total Viewers

1. NBC…8.101 million

2. CBS…7.845 million

3. Fox…7.324 million

4. ABC…5.421 million

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