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by Peter Knegt
October 31, 2012 1:25 PM
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TV Ratings: Winners ("NCIS," "Once Upon a Time") and Losers (The World Series, "Happy Endings")

"Once Upon a Time"
The 2012-13 television season just finished up its fifth week, and for the first time this season NBC did not lead in the 18-49 demographic, and CBS didn't lead in viewers. Instead, Fox did -- but it was likely a World Series-influenced fluke, and one that could have been more impressive.  More on that, as well as other winners and losers from the week, as Indiewire offers up highlights from the just-in ratings:

Winner: Fox
After four straight weeks of NBC taking the 18-49 crown (the first time they'd done so in a decade) and CBS finding the most total viewers, Fox -- having a generally dismal season so far -- turned things around in large part due to the World Series. The network won the week in both 18-49 (with a 3.3 rating average) and overall viewers (averaging 10.69 million). But don't expect next week to be the same scenario...

Loser: The World Series
While it helped Fox become the week's ratings champion, the World Series was hardly an overall ratings winner. The San Francisco Giants' sweep of the Detroit Tigers set a record low for the World Series' television ratings.  The four game series saw Fox average 12.7 million viewers, the smallest number since Nielsen began using its "People Meters viewing counter" in 1987.

Winner: Once Upon a Time
ABC's fantasy series continued to earn very impressive ratings this week, which found it the top-rated broadcast drama series in the 18-49 demo, taking a 3.4 rating (that rating, FYI, means that 3.4% of all people aged 18-49 with a television were watching "Once Upon a Time"). That's up from the previous airing for the second straight week, and made it Sunday's #1 scripted broadcast series for the fifth week in a row.

Loser: Happy Endings and Don't Trust The B In Apartment 23
ABC had less luck with some of its comedy series this week, most notably the premieres of "Happy Endings" and "Don't Trust The B In Apartment 23." The former took a 1.9 rating in 18-49, way down from the 3.1 it premiered to last year. The latter managed a worse 1.7, down from the 2.9 it found for its premiere. This doesn't bode well for fans of either show...

Winners: NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles
Despite being a show that -- let's face it -- no one seems to even be aware of, "NCIS" was somehow the most watched show on broadcast network television last week, finding 17.7 million viewers. Its spinoff, "NCIS: Los Angeles," was two spots behind, taking 16.5 million. While neither show ranked as high in the coveted 18-49 demographic, they still managed to both place in the overall top 25 there too.

Losers: CSI and CSI: NY
Remember when "CSI" was the top-rated show for like four years running? And all its spinoffs (R.I.P. "CSI: Miami") consistently ranked among the top shows as well? Well, clearly "NCIS" is the new acronym in town, while "CSI" and its remaining spinoff "CSI: NY" are struggling this season (though you have to hand it to the original for staying on the air for 13 seasons now).  The former managed just 9.9 million viewers last week, while "NY" nabbed a slightly better 10.09 million (on Friday night, no less, which is somewhat impressive). But in 18-49, the numbers were much worse. "CSI" took a 2.4, while "CSI: NY" managed only a 1.4.  In its best years, "CSI" would often manage 25 million viewers or more for each episode, and 18-49 ratings above 10.0.

Winner: Wheel of Fortune
Finally, while "CSI" making it to 13 seasons might be impressive, what about the 30 years "Wheel of Fortune" has been airing in syndication, with Pat Sajak and Vanna White there the entire time (a daytime network version previously aired since 1975)? And remarkably, 30 years later the show remains the highest rated regular syndicated program in total viewers. It topped the likes of "Judge Judy" and "Jeopardy" last week to lead all syndicated series with 9.8 million viewers.

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1 Comment

  • Jenny | November 4, 2012 5:30 PMReply

    I’m surprised the World Series didn’t do very well. I know a bunch of my DISH coworkers and family watched it. I don’t like watching sports, so I skipped it and ended up watching Once Upon A Time, which is one of my favorite shows. I forgot that it was on, but my DISH Hopper is set to auto-record the prime time shows on the four major networks using Primetime Anytime, so I was able to watch the show even though I missed it when it aired. It was pretty good, and I think it will continue to do well in the ratings.