With just 30 days to go in the 2012-2013 TV season and the May sweep starting tomorrow, it seems this week we need to talk about the future as much as the past. The recent past is straightforward but full of shifts: Week 30 of the current season saw CBS remain No. 1 in overall viewership for an eighth week in a row but lose the adults 18-49 top spot after four weeks to Fox. But it was a very tight lead for News Corp-owned network for the week of April 15-21, with competition breathing down its neck. By competition, let’s be specific. Last week saw NBC’s Monday and Tuesday airings of The Voice prove just how dominant it has become by easily taking the two top spots in adults 18-49 (5.2 and 4.6, respectively) and in viewership (14.448 million and 14.155 million). That closed NBC right up on Fox. With a four-week demo high for the unsteady American Idol on Wednesday, a dip for Glee, growth for Hell’s Kitchen and a strong UFC on April 20, Fox pulled a 1.9/6 in the key demo. However, with The Voice’s results plus coverage from Boston of the marathon bombing and manhunt appearing in primetime throughout the week and lots of repeats overall, NBC tied with CBS in adults 18-49. The two were just behind Fox with a 1.8/4. Third place was also a tie, with ABC and Univision garnering a 1.4/4.
Here’s where it gets a bit sticky. Ratings and sharewise, Fox actually stayed in place from the previous frame, while CBS declined from its Week 29 2.4/7, NBC inched up from its 1.7/5 and ABC did the same from its 1.3.4. The CW rose a tad to 0.4/1 from the 0.3/1 it earned the week before. ABC was second in viewership with 6.62 million compared to CBS’ 8.26 million. Fox was third with 5.61 million and NBC was fourth with 5.56 million. Year-over-year, ABC’s demo rating was down 26% and its viewership down 14%. The CW fell 20% in the demo and 8% in its total audience. Compared with the same frame during the 2011-2012 season, Fox slid 14% in 18-49 and 19% in viewership. CBS stayed the same in the demo and was up 1% in viewership. NBC also went up, by 13% in adults 18-49 and 7% in viewership.
But things are about to get interesting. (more…)