This Is Us can add another jewel to NBC's crown — but it's still not the top prize.
There are still three days left in the 2016-17 TV season but both NBC and CBS have already released their season-ending numbers along with their bragging rights. And each are claiming top status, but for different reasons.
NBC, thanks to the phenomenon of This Is Us, clinches a No. 1 ranking in the key demo (Adults 18-49) for the third time in four years. The peacock network is rocking a solid 2.1 average rating in the key demo forthe 2016-2017 season, with Fox in second with 1.9, CBS in third with 1.8 and ABC bringing up the rear with a 1.6.
This Is Us is also top dog in the demo for broadcast dramas — both new and overall. The Voicemaintains its reign as the top alternative series and the Monday and Tuesday night ratings winner. NBC was also sure to mention that it pulled off this feat without a Super Bowl or Olympics to boost its standing — something that hasn't been done by any network in over 13 years. (Fox aired the Super Bowl this year.)
That's definitely reason to celebrate, but CBS also made sure to parade its No. 1 status as well. The network clinches the top prize of most overall viewers with a 9.6 million weekly average. NBC comes in a distant second with 8.1 million.
Bull does double duty as the most-watched new drama and new scripted series. The Big Bang Theory also continues to be the No. 1 comedy and scripted series in viewers. If that weren't enough, Big Bang is the top broadcast show in the key demo as well. NCIS also repeats another year as the top broadcast drama in overall viewers for the eighth season in a row. CBS didn't have the Super Bowl or the Olympics this year, either.
What does all of this mean, exactly? Let's break it down. CBS can keep its tagline "TV's Most-Watched Network" for another season because, overall, more people tune in to CBS' programming than any of the other broadcast channels. However, NBC has a lot more younger viewers, which is the most important thing to advertisers looking to spend their marketing dollars.
Looking ahead, while NBC is tooting its horn about locking down the key demo without an Olympics or Super Bowl boost, it'll have both in the upcoming television season. NBC is boosting the already popular This Is Us with a post-Super Bowl slot in early 2018. Plus, The Voice has locked down all-stars Jennifer Hudson and Kelly Clarkson as judges for Seasons 13 and 14 respectively, practically guaranteeing to see the singing competition continue to dominate its time slot in the fall and spring.
CBS is still top dog for now, but NBC is coming for them with the big guns. Despite ABC's American Idol reboot and a Grey's Anatomyspin-offor Fox's ambitious new Marvel series The Gifted, it doesn't look like anyone has something to put in NBC's way of claiming both prizes next season.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)