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NBC Captures Sixth Straight 52-Week Ratings Win, CBS Reclaims Total Viewers

Home of ”This Is Us“ won in overall eyeballs for the prior September-to-September season

NBC is set to win its sixth straight September-to-September season in the key 18-49 demo’s TV ratings, while CBS will be the victor during that same 52-week span in terms of total viewers.

Nielsen winners like “Sunday Night Football,” “This Is Us” Season 3, competition series “The Voice” and “America’s Got Talent” and freshman dramas “Manifest” and “New Amsterdam” helped NBC land the new ratings trophy.

CBS is poised to win this 52-week round in overall eyeballs, reclaiming that title from NBC, which dominated the last September-to-September viewers race thanks to Super Bowl LII and the 2018 Olympics. CBS had the Super Bowl this time around, and also took this year’s traditional TV season — which runs September to May — in total viewers.

Though it gave back the total viewers crown to CBS this time around, NBC is within 967,000 persons of CBS’ win, excluding sports. That marks NBC’s closest position to No. 1 in total viewers at this point in the season, excluding sports, in 16 years, since trailing by 603,000 persons at this time in 2002-03. That’s not counting last year when it was No. 1.

Here’s how the broadcast networks rank in total viewers through Week 51, according to the “most current” data from Nielsen, which includes seven days’ worth of delayed viewing where available: CBS 7.4 million; NBC, 6.5 million; ABC, 5.2 million; Fox, 4.5 million; Univision, 1.3 million; Telemundo, 1.2 million; CW, 1.2 million.

NBC takes the lead in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 range, with a 1.4 rating vs. a 1.2 for CBS, ABC and Fox. The CW, Univision and Telemundo each had a 0.4.

In addition to retaining the 18-49 demo throne, NBC is the top network when only counting entertainment programming, as well as scripted programs only and alternative programs only, and is also No. 1 in alternative programs in total viewers.

NBC is also about to close out its ninth straight summer atop the Nielsen leaderboard, thanks in large part to “America’s Got Talent,” “Songland,” “Bring the Funny” and “American Ninja Warrior.”

Below are the most current primetime averages through Week 51. The 52-week season ends on Sunday, Sept. 22.

Adults 18-49








Total Viewers

CBS…7.4 million

NBC…6.5 million

ABC…5.2 million

Fox…4.5 million

Univision…1.3 million

Telemundo…1.2 million

CW…1.2 million