CBS is the most popular TV station for the 15th year in a row | Entertainment

NEW YORK (AP) — CBS has clinched the award for most-watched television network for the 15th straight year, though that boast no longer means what it used to do.

The broadcaster reached an average of almost 6 million viewers in a typical moment during prime time of the season that has just ended, the company announced on Friday. NBC was the second most popular station, followed by Fox and ABC – the same pecking order as last year.

All stations lost viewers from the previous year, with NBC seeing the largest 13% drop and Fox seeing the smallest 1% drop, Nielsen said.

CBS’s winning streak began in a different era, when the mention of streaming or cable breakup drew a questioning look. The average viewership for the 2008/09 season was 11.75 million, almost double that of this year.

By comparison, both ABC and Fox lost more than half of their live viewership in the 2008-09 season, while NBC saw a 33% drop from when it was at its lowest point, Nielsen said.

Quite simply: viewers today have much more choice and are used to creating their own entertainment programme. Broadcasters also benefit from this; CBS said that within 35 days, a typical episode of “CSI: Vegas” more than doubled its viewership from the first night it aired.

But increasingly, it’s live events, such as sporting events, that draw viewers to network television. NBC’s Sunday Night Football was the most popular show last season, averaging 18.5 million live viewers, Nielsen said.

“Sunday Night Football” first aired on NBC in 2006. Longevity has been a key element in other popular shows. The most-watched drama on the night of its premiere, CBS’s “NCIS” has been on the network’s schedule since 2003. Its most popular comedy, CBS’ Young Sheldon, first aired in 2017 but was a spin-off of The Big Bang Theory, which began a decade earlier.

The most-watched prime-time news program, CBS’s “60 Minutes” has aired since 1968. The most-watched reality show, NBC’s The Voice, launched in 2011.

All but two of the top ten screenplay shows have been dramas. CBS’s “Young Sheldon” and “Ghosts” were the two exceptions.

CBS had seven out of the ten most popular scripted shows. The others were producer Dick Wolf’s “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med,” and “Chicago PD” trilogy on NBC.

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