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CBS Takes No. 1 in Total Viewers

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With upfronts week over, CBS is ending the 2022-2023 television season on top, finishing as the most-watched broadcast network for the 15th consecutive year.

The broadcaster announced on Thursday that it averaged 5.96 million viewers in primetime per weeknight, nearly 700,000 viewers ahead of second-place NBC.

Among the highlights, NCIS was the No. 1 broadcast drama for the fifth consecutive season, and FBI and Blue Bloods are also among the top broadcast dramas. Young Sheldon and Ghosts are among the top comedies.

The company will look to continue its success in the 2023-2024 TV season with three new dramas, one new comedy, special event programming and 22 returning series, though it remains to be seen how the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike will affect the major broadcasters in the fall.

Fox came in third in total viewers, but the company is set to win the coveted 18-49 demo, with drama Accused and unscripted series Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test performing well for the broadcaster.

In the demo, Fox was No. 1 with a 1.1 rating, flat from last season, but pulling ahead of second place NBC (0.9) and third place CBS (0.7).

Fox’s Accused is the No. 1 new drama in the demo, averaging 4.1 million viewers (6.5 million including multiplatform). The post-Super Bowl Season 2 premiere of Next Level Chef pulled in 18.5 million multiplatform viewers, averaging 6.1 million multiplatform viewers overall.

CBS’ total viewership is down nearly 5% from last year’s audience of 6.19 million. NBC was second with 5.27 million, a 14% decline from last year’s 6.11 million. Fox came in third with 4.45 million (a 2% decline from last season’s 4.56 million), and ABC was fourth with 4.14 million (down slightly from last year’s 4.16 million).

All numbers reflect Nielsen’s “most current” ratings, according to CBS. Those numbers account for live-plus-7 for the entire season except for the last two weeks, which are live-plus-same-day.

In all, CBS has five series averaging more than 11 million viewers in multiplatform, and seven averaging more than 10 million.

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