It's been two weeks since Super Bowl 50, but CBS is still on a ratings roll. For the week ending Feb. 21, CBS aired all of the top 11 broadcast shows in total viewers, marking the second consecutive week that the network claimed the 10 most-watched broadcast programs.
It's the first time any network has accomplished that feat since Nielsen began reporting live-plus-same-day ratings in December 2005.
The network kicked off last week with Monday's Grammy Awards, which drew the lowest ratings for the telecast in seven years—25 million total viewers—but was still large enough to be the most-watched program. The other top broadcast shows from last week: NCIS (17.3 million), The Big Bang Theory (15.2 million), NCIS: New Orleans (13.4 million), Blue Bloods (10.7 million), Madam Secretary (10.7 million), 60 Minutes (10.7 million), Life in Pieces (9.3 million), Hawaii Five-O (8.9 million), Mom (8.7 million) and Survivor (8.3 million).
A couple notable caveats to CBS' win. While it swept the ratings in terms of total viewers, in the 18-49 demographic only five CBS shows made the top 10: the Grammy Awards (first, 7.7 rating in 18-49), Big Bang (second, 3.8), NCIS (fourth, 2.3), Life in Pieces (tied for seventh, 2.1) and NCIS: New Orleans (tied for ninth, 2.0). ABC's Modern Family, The Bachelor, Grey's Anatomy and The Goldbergs, along with Fox's The X-Files and American Idol, also made it onto the 18-49 lineup. And the broadcast ratings omit AMC's The Walking Dead, which topped all broadcast series last week in live-plus-same day results in both total viewers (13.5 million) and the 18-49 demo (6.6 rating).
CBS won the week in viewers, adults 18-49 and adults 25-54 for the third week in a row, which the network hasn't done in almost two years.
It's unlikely that CBS's top 10 streak will make it to a third week, however, because The Voice returns Monday on NBC. "We always know January and February are tough because The Voice is off, but we're working really hard," NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt told Adweek in this week's issue, as his network looks to fend off CBS and claim the 18-49 demo win for the third season in a row. (While NBC led for most of the season among viewers ages 18-49, CBS surged ahead thanks to Super Bowl 50 and now is in front, with a 2.5 demo rating to NBC's 2.4. NBC now has three months to try and retake the lead.)
As CBS celebrated its ratings victory, it also released a statement looking ahead to this year's upfront in light of its recent Super Bowl and Grammy successes: "Super Bowl 50 and the Grammys delivered results that exceeded our client's expectations and surpassed our financial targets. The success of these big events, along with the strength we're seeing in scatter, provide an excellent market indicator as we head into the upfront."