CBS Has a Dominant Fall as Season Ratings Revealed

by Joe Rutland
(Photo Courtesy CBS Broadcasting)

When it comes to looking at the fall ratings for this season so far, there’s a pretty clear leader in the clubhouse and that’s CBS. One of the most popular shows on the once-called Tiffany Network is East New York, starring Jimmy Smits. It is listed as a top-rated first-year series among adults 18-49 years old. That’s what is coming up roses thanks to Nielsen ratings. But the show is hovering around a 0.6 demo rating at this time, too.

Still, the show’s performance gives the network a lot to hope for going forward. Yet this is not the only highlight for CBS. Hardly. It has a lot more going for it, even after having to cancel The Real Love Boat. Looking at how things pan out among total viewers, Fire Country is tops among other freshman shows with 6.4 million viewers tuning in each Friday night. East New York is scoring a little under 6.4 million while So Help Me Todd sits in third at 5.4 million.

CBS Scores High Among Non-Sports Programming

Let’s take a look at shows gaining some serious viewership numbers. We’ll start out with the CBS show FBI with 8.6 million viewers on average. NBC’s Chicago Fire comes up next. That’s followed by CBS hits NCIS, The Equalizer, and Young Sheldon. Chicago Med follows those shows, then comes Ghosts on CBS, Chicago P.D. on NBC, and the CBS favorite Blue Bloods. Meanwhile, the CBS network did send out a press release. It states that 17 of the top 25 most-watched non-sports programs this fall are on the network, Variety reports.

Fire Country, East New York, and So Help Me Todd have been given full-season episode orders. Other shows to have their first season stretched out include The Rookie: Feds over on ABC and Quantum Leap on NBC. Those three shows that are hot for CBS are based on homegrown ideas. The same goes for the ABC show Alaska Daily starring Hilary Swank, which also is reportedly off to a good start.

Taking a long-lens look at the programming, it’s very clear that Dick Wolf still has a good thing going. Through three different franchises of programs, Wolf has four top 10 and seven top 20 shows in total viewership and ad demographic. Football, though, remains king this fall thanks to Sunday Night Football over on NBC. It pulls in a 1.2 rating for the 18-49 demographic and 6.5 million viewers every single week. In that 18-49 demo, taking out sports and news, the top three entertainment-based shows are The Bachelorette on ABC at 1.1, and Survivor and Sunday’s episode of Big Brother for a 1.0 rating.