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CBS Leads Daytime for 35 Consecutive Seasons, Ranks #1 for 13th Straight Year in Primetime

CBS Leads Daytime for 35 Consecutive Seasons, Ranks #1 for 13th Straight Year in Primetime

CBS is on pace to finish the 2020-2021 television season as America’s most-watched network in primetime for the 13th straight year and its 35th straight season overall as the most-watched in daytime. For the season, the network has reached over 210 million unique viewers this season across all dayparts.

Led by the top broadcast (“Super Bowl LV”), the top series/drama (“The Equalizer”), top comedy (“Young Sheldon”), tops news program (“60 Minutes”), top daytime program (“The Price is Right”), top daytime drama (“The Young and the Restless”) and top primetime special (“Oprah with Meghan and Harry”), among other top shows, CBS is also #1 in late night for the fifth consecutive season thanks to the success of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

Based on Nielsen NPower (6+ minute qualifier) ratings data, CBS beat its closest competitor in unique viewers this season across all dayparts with the network reaching over 210 million unique viewers, a 5% gain over NBC with its 199.8 million unique viewers.

In primetime, CBS is currently averaging 6.26 million viewers, nearly +1 million viewers, or +16% ahead of second-place NBC (versus 5.39 million), +32% ahead of ABC (4.76 million) and +45% ahead of Fox (4.33 million). The network is also #1 in Adults 25-54 (1.4, tie).CBS is the only network up for the season in Adults 18-49 (1.0 from 0.9, +11%) and is up in adults 18-34 (0.6 from 0.5, +20%). All numbers are according to Nielsen’s most current ratings through Sunday, April 25.

Peter Bergman, Eric Braeden, Melody Thomas Scott, The Young and the Restless
Peter Bergman, Eric Braeden, Melody Thomas Scott (“The Young and the Restless”)

In daytime, CBS is averaging 3.12 million viewers across its five daytime shows led by “The Price is Right” and “The Young and the Restless.” In second place, ABC is averaging 2.34 million viewers for its three daytime shows while NBC places third with an average of 1.89 million viewers across its three daytime programs.

“In a season complicated by production delays and scheduling interruptions, it feels very gratifying to deliver another winning schedule, launch television’s biggest new hit and broadcast one of the most memorable prime time events in recent years,” said Kelly Kahl, President, CBS Entertainment. “The performance of our amazing, premium quality series continues to dominate the network landscape, while adding valuable reach through the company’s many digital offerings.”

In addition to its broadcast strength, streaming figures for the CBS Network have grown +50% year-to-date across all digital platforms where CBS content appears – which includes CBS.com, the CBS app, Paramount+ (ViacomCBS’ new streaming service), and channels on Pluto TV and YouTube. The new CBS app has more than 4.5 million downloads since it launched in March 2021.

“From the Super Bowl to ‘The Equalizer’ to ‘Oprah,’ and even the weekly editions of ‘NCIS’ and ‘FBI’ and ’60 Minutes,’ the scale and reach of CBS programming was on full display this year,” said CBS Entertainment Group’s Chief Research and Analytics Officer Radha Subramanyam. “Even with the considerable challenges that this season presented, the overall content consumption of CBS Network programming is in line with last year when you consider the impressive digital growth.”

The official September to May television season concludes Wednesday, May 26.

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