CBS, NBC, ABC show ratings gains this fall season over last year; Fox is sharply down

NEW YORK, N.Y. – For three of the four biggest television networks, the ratings report card offered encouraging news for the second straight week. Fox is the one exception, and it looks to be in real trouble.

CBS, NBC and ABC had bigger audiences for the second week of this year’s fall television season than they had during the same week last year, the Nielsen Co. said.

Some of the top shows look familiar: Pro football telecasts, CBS’ “NCIS” and “The Big Bang Theory.” CBS’ “Scorpion” and ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder” are particularly promising newcomers.

Fox, however, is down 29 per cent from the same week last year and 32 per cent among the youthful viewers it cares most about. Only the new “Gotham” has the look of a hit.

Fox has already cut back on airings of “Utopia,” the reality show it hoped would become a big draw but reached only 2 million viewers last week. The debut of the comedy “Mulaney” reached only 2.3 million viewers.

CBS won the week in prime time, averaging 11.4 million viewers. NBC had 9 million, ABC had 7.5 million, Fox had 3.4 million, Univision had 2.8 million, Telemundo had 1.12 million, ION Television had 1.06 million and the CW had 1 million.

ESPN was the week’s most popular cable network, averaging 3.75 million viewers in prime time. TBS had 3.12 million, the Disney Channel had 1.88 million, USA had 1.8 million and Fox News Channel had 1.69 million.

ABC’s “World News” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.4 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” was second with 8.3 million, and the “CBS Evening News” had 6.6 million.

For the week of Sept. 29-Oct. 5, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: NFL Football: Cincinnati vs. New England, NBC, 19.39 million; “NCIS,” CBS, 18.84 million; “NCIS: New Orleans,” CBS, 16.57 million; NFL Football: Minnesota vs. Green Bay, CBS, 16.54 million; “The Big Bang Theory” (Monday, 8 p.m.), CBS, 16.38 million; NFL Football: New England vs. Kansas City, ESPN, 14.43 million; “Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick,” NBC, 14.33 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 14.23 million; “The Voice” (Tuesday), NBC, 13.73 million; “Scorpion,” CBS, 13.36 million.


ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.