CBS wins 2012-13 season over Fox

"Person of Interest" is one of CBS' top-rated primetime shows.

Story highlights

  • CBS won the 2012-13 broadcast season in the coveted 18-49 demo
  • The win breaks Fox's eight-year winning streak
  • CBS has led for years in total viewers, but the adult demo win is its first in 21 years
Bazinga: CBS has overthrown Fox to win the 2012-13 broadcast season among the coveted adults 18-49 demographic.
With only two nights left in the season, CBS claimed victory Tuesday given its insurmountable lead. The win snaps Fox's unprecedented eight-year winning streak.
Among total viewers, CBS has led the broadcast field for years, ranking No. 1 during 10 of the past 11 seasons. But this is the first time CBS has won in the 18-49 demo in 21 years. CBS would even win the season if you excluded the network's high-flying Super Bowl coverage. The network claims nine of the top 15 scripted primetime programs, including "Big Bang Theory," "NCIS" and "Person of Interest."
During a press breakfast for reporters last week, CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves relished the current standings. Yet CBS only deserves partial credit for its ranking. The network maintained roughly the same ratings as last year — which is certainly no easy task in an era of increasing DVR use, streaming and competition from cable networks. But it was Fox declining 22 percent due to softening "American Idol" popularity and other factors that gave CBS the trophy.
Fox hopes to surge back next season with its new schedule, including the promising J.J. Abrams-produced action-drama "Almost Human," and the use of short-order limited series, including a rebooted "24." The "Idol" judges panel will be firmed up over the next couple months, and last night Fox announced an experienced new judges panel for "The X Factor."
The rest: NBC slipped slightly this season. But if you were to remove the Super Bowl from its average last year, NBC would have actually been up thanks to "The Voice" boosting its fall (and despite a rather spectacular midseason ratings crash). ABC also fell, and this fall rolls out a whooping eight new shows.