For May sweeps, a three-way tie
ABC, Fox and CBS take the top spot with a 1.8 in 18-49s
May 28, 2013
You can’t get much tighter than the Big Four networks’ May sweeps standings.
ABC, CBS and Fox tied for first place among adults 18-49 in the four-week period used to set local ad rates, and NBC was just a tenth behind in a month where no network finished above a 2.0 Nielsen rating.
The three top networks tied with a 1.8 in 18-49s, and NBC was right behind with a 1.7.
Univision finished fifth with a 1.4.
It marked the first time since 2000 that ABC won a May sweeps, which in recent years has been dominated by Fox and “American Idol.”
For the first time in 10 years, “Idol” was not the month’s No. 1 show. Instead CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” finished first with an average 4.8 for four telecasts.
No other show finished above a 4, another reminder of how diluted broadcast ratings have become the past few years.
NBC had both the No. 2 and 3 shows with “The Voice” (3.9) and “The Voice Results” (3.7). ABC’s “Modern Family” was fourth with a 3.5.
And CBS’s “NCIS” and “Two and a Half Men” tied for fifth with a 3.2 apiece.
If CBS had aired more originals during the month, perhaps it would have finished No. 1 outright. But several of its shows, including “NCIS,” “Men” and “How I Met Your Mother,” wrapped up before the sweeps period was over, meaning CBS was airing reruns in the final days, pulling down its ratings.
ABC’s strong finish was perhaps the month’s biggest surprise. The network lagged in fourth place much of the season.
But the other networks had some season-long lift from sports, whether it was NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” Fox’s Sunday NFL overrun or CBS’s Super Bowl.
ABC doesn’t have any NFL rights, and so in May, when the NFL isn’t playing and ABC has specials like the Billboard Music Awards, the network stacks up a lot better.
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