NBC has won the 2013-14 TV season — but you already knew that — with Sunday Night Football finishing the season as the No. 1 show in primetime in total viewers (21.528 million viewers) and among adults 18-49 (9.971 million viewers), based on Live+Same Day data from Nielsen. NBC’s The Blacklist and ABC’s Resurrection are the only freshman series to make the Demo Top 1o List for the season that officially wrapped last night. And Blacklist alone makes the Total Viewer Top 10 among newbies. Historically, Fox’s American Idol fell off both lists, making room for adds. In its defense, Idol’s two nights landed in the Top 20 in the demo — and Top 25 in total viewers — which puts it ahead of most broadcast primetime programming. Meanwhile, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, in its seventh season, maintained its No. 2 status in overall audience (19.960 million viewers) and the demo (7.88 million), and rose to No. 2 in the demo — behind only NBC’s football in both.
Sunday Night Football mopped up this season — the franchise not only finished No. 1 for the season, in 2+ and the demo, but also among adults 18-34 and 25-54 — which included season wins not only with men 18-49, 18-34 and 25-54 but also with women 18-34 and 18-49. NBC also notes that 12 SNF games averaged at least 20 million viewers, tying the network’s Sochi Winter Olympics for most primetime telecasts with an average of 20 million viewers tuned in (not including pre-/post-shows).
As usual, the TV Season Rankers Lists are full of inequities. ABC’s Resurrection, for instance, makes the Demo Top 10 (and barely misses the Total Viewer Top 10 at No. 11), in part because it ran zero repeats in its time slot; other freshman dramas saw their season averages tugged downward by encore-episode ratings in their slots. I know — cry me a river. Yes, we did not include pre- and post-game shows — and yes, we went with actuals in the demo this year, eliminating all those pesky three- and four-way ties. And yes, the lists are a bit beauty-pageant, given that a series’ success tends not to be based on whether it finished the season as the country’s 33rd-most-watched series, but whether it improved the network’s ratings performance in its time slot, how much it costs to make, who owns it, ancillary market potential, etc.
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