Biggest Winners, Losers of 2018-2019 TV Season plus top 100 watched

2018 2019 tv season biggest winners losers plus top 100 images

NBC may have lost both the Super Bowl and Olympics, but it was able to hold onto that ever important 18-49 demographic. It even slipped by 27 percent in that demo along with 19 percent in total viewers, but that was still a major win for network tv. CBS was the winner in total viewers. That says a lot of how shaky the network TV market has become without any sign of leveling out.

TV ratings continue to be in a steady decline as programming gets better on so many other channels. It’s nothing to have your DVR recording four shows at the same time, but this doesn’t help the traditional networks. This year’s television upfronts were more about ‘reach’ than ratings since the landscape is continually shifting.

Now, rather than just saying we’re number 1, some are touting live plus 7 day stats to include the every important viewing on demand or through DVRs. That’s a lot of combos which is forcing advertisers to continually reassess their budgets.

“We went from households to demos and now we’re going from demos to more data-driven decisions,” said CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl. “The business has always been more complex than melting a network’s health down to an 18-49 number. This is the industry saying, yeah, there’s something more than just boiling things down to one number.”

Fox executive vice president/head of research Will Somers said as ratings diminish, he still sees them as “part of what’s an increasingly fragmented puzzle, but an incomplete one. What you’re seeing is continued progression away from conventional metrics.”

“Reach” is one way to guide advertisers, he added, but it’s not a perfect stat either.

HBO Game of Thrones big winner for 2019 season.


The Masked Singer: The season’s biggest breakout hit, Fox’s costumed singing competition is the No. 1 new series in adults 18-49 by a wide margin: Its 3.8 rating in the demo, including a week of delayed viewing, is a full point ahead of NBC’s Manifest. It is tied with This Is Us and The Big Bang Theory for the top entertainment series overall. Fox is betting big on the show next season, with two cycles and a post-Super Bowl premiere for the second.

The Big Bang Theory: Although it declined in its 12th and final season, the CBS comedy is going out as network TV’s most-watched series, averaging 17.5 million viewers. The series finale clocked in with 18.5 million viewers, growing to a massive 23.44 million after three days.

The Oscars: After four straight years of declining audiences and an all-time low in 2018, the host-less awards show bounced back some, growing by double digits in both viewers (29.56 million, +11.5 percent over 2018) and the 18-49 demographic (7.7, +13 percent).

The Chicago franchise: Stacking Dick Wolf’s Windy City-set shows on Wednesday nights proved to be a boon for NBC: All three are steady in adults 18-49 — no small thing in a season when the vast majority of broadcast shows declined — and Chicago Med, Fire and PD are also having their most-watched seasons ever, averaging better than 11 million viewers apiece.

The CW‘s Sunday night: Supergirl and a remake of Charmed didn’t make the Big Four sweat, but they accomplished their goal for The CW in providing a starting point for more original programming across its linear and digital platforms.

The NFL: Despite a down Super Bowl, the safest bet on broadcast TV improved across the board in 2018-19. Every regular-season broadcast window and all three rounds of the pre-Super Bowl playoffs improved on the prior year.

Game of Thrones: Plenty has been written about the success of the final season of HBO’s juggernaut, but nonetheless it’s remarkable to see a show available to a fraction of TV households — about 35 to 40 percent of the country — rank No. 1 among adults 18-49, and beat all but two broadcast shows (available in nearly 100 percent of the country) in total viewers.


The Voice and American Idol: While The Masked Singer took off, these two veteran singing competitions took it on the chin. The Voice‘s two weekly shows declined by double digits in adults 18-49 (16 percent on Mondays, 13 percent on Tuesdays in live-plus-7 ratings). Idol fell by 19 percent on Sundays and 25 percent on Mondays.

Will & Grace and The Gifted: In a season where most shows were down, the NBC sitcom and Fox’s Marvel drama were the most down: Will & Grace declined by a massive 46 percent in adults 18-49 (2.8 to 1.5 in live-plus-7), and The Gifted fell by 45 percent (2.0 to 1.1). The former will return in the back half of 2019-20 thanks to a very early renewal, while The Gifted was axed after two seasons.

CBS’ 9:30 p.m. Thursday time slot: The network went 0-for-3 with the last piece of its Thursday comedy block: The Murphy Brown revival arrived with a lot of hype and not enough viewers, ending after its initial 13 episodes and getting canceled in May. Midseason entry Fam came and went with scarcely a blip, despite marketable young stars Nina Dobrev and Tone Bell. Now Life in Pieces is a dead show walking.

Marginal second-year series: Some eyebrows rose a year ago when the likes of ABC‘s For the People and Splitting Up Together and NBC’s AP Bio were renewed despite mediocre-to-poor ratings. It was possible to make a case for all three — For the People (Shonda Rhimes) and AP Bio (Lorne Michaels) were backed by big-name producers, Splitting Up Together put up OK numbers thanks to the Roseanne halo. As these things tend to go, however, all three suffered sizable declines their second time out: For the People and Splitting Up Together were canceled superb, and AP Bio, while still playing out its season, is the longest of shots.

Superheroes: In addition to the aforementioned The Gifted, the five DC Comics shows on The CW were down a collective 25 percent in adults 18-49 vs. last season. The final run for Gotham on Fox declined by 15 percent year to year. Agents of SHIELD‘s future is safe on ABC, as it received an early seventh-season pickup, but it’s likely to come in below last season as it runs into the summer.

Comedy: As TV’s No. 1 comedy, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, goes away, the networks are finding it difficult to make viewers laugh. Among adults 18-49, CBS’ Young Sheldon and ABC’s Modern Family and The Conners are the only other sitcoms in the top 25, while the total viewers top 25 only features Big Bang, Young Sheldon and Mom in the top 25. Perhaps it’s another example of audiences shifting to other platforms: At the upfronts, NBC proclaimed that The Good Place is actually its most-viewed series — thanks to non-linear viewership. In the traditional total viewers ranker, which does feature seven days of time shifting, the comedy barely squeaks into the top 100.

“Comedy is something we’re all trying to figure out,” said one network exec. “That’s been a recurring theme for a long time. We’re trying to break the comedy code, and we’re all going to give it a shot in our own way next season. Hopefully someone finds the right DNA for a comedy hit.”

The remake trend: Last year’s No. 1 show, Roseanne, didn’t return — for reasons everyone’s pretty familiar with by now. Its replacement, The Conners, did very well, all things considered: It’s broadcast TV’s top-rated new comedy, if you consider it a brand-new show, averaging a solid 2.3 rating in the demo — justifying ABC’s desire to bring the show back even without star Roseanne Barr. But it’s no Roseanne, which ended the 2017-2018 TV season with a 6.2 rating.

Still, that number was destined to come back to earth, similar to NBC’s high-flying launch of its Will & Grace reunion, followed by that show’s sharp downward turn. Will & Grace averaged a 1.5 rating in the demo, vs. 2.8 last year. Meanwhile, CBS’ Murphy Brown return never got off the ground, averaging a 1.3.

“The Passage” and “Life in Pieces”: The Fox drama The Passage was this season’s highest-rated series in adults 18-49 not to secure a renewal, while CBS’ comedy Life in Pieces is so far the most-watched series to be canceled. (Some shows, however, remain on the bubble, as the networks haven’t announced the fates of several late-season series.)

R. Kelly: The disgraced pop crooner is finally getting his due in the court of public opinion. Accused by multiple women of sexual assault and statutory rape, Kelly was the subject of Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly, a six-part series that told the story of his victims and was a smash for the channel. Surviving R. Kelly was the No. 3 non-sports series on cable this season among adults 18-49, behind just AMC’s The Walking Dead and FX’s American Horror Story.

Appointment TV: It might sound harsh, but it is a sign of the times that two of linear TV’s biggest hits, Game of Thrones and The Big Bang Theory, are both departing in the same year. In other words, this ranker will look much different next season.

“I don’t believe this is the end of mass appeal shows,” Kahl said. “There are still plenty of shows in the top 20 that are getting tens of millions of viewers every week. Perhaps this opens the door for the kind of next cultural phenomenon show to step up and get some traction. Is it harder these days with so many choices? Yeah, it probably is. But I don’t think by any means it’s the end of an era.”

tv 2019 biggest losers and winners series

TOP 102 SHOWS OF 2018-2019, ADULTS 18-49

America’s most-watched series of the 2018-2019 season in the key advertising demographic (measured in ratings points)

1. Game of Thrones (HBO) 6.4/25
2. NFL Sunday Night Football (NBC) 6.1/24
3. NFL Thursday Night Football 
(Fox/NFL Network)
4. NFL Monday Night Football (ESPN) 4.0/17
5. This Is Us (NBC) 3.8/16
6. The Masked Singer (Fox) 3.8/16
7. The Big Bang Theory (CBS) 3.7/17
8. The Walking Dead (AMC) 3.2/12
9. Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) 2.9/13
10. Manifest (NBC) 2.8/12
11. Young Sheldon (CBS) 2.6/11
12. 9-1-1 (Fox) 2.5/10
13. The Good Doctor (ABC) 2.5/11
14. The Bachelor (ABC) 2.4/10
15. American Horror Story (FX) 2.4/11
16. Modern Family (ABC) 2.4/10
17. The Conners (ABC) 2.3/10
18. New Amsterdam (NBC) 2.2/10
19. America’s Got Talent: Champions (NBC) 2.2/9
20. Survivor (CBS) 2.2/10
21. Chicago PD (NBC) 2.1/10
22. Chicago Fire (NBC) 2.1/9
23. The Voice — Monday (NBC) 2.1/9
24. Empire (Fox) 2.0/9
25. A Million Little Things (ABC) 2.0/9
26. Chicago Med (NBC) 1.9/9
27. NCIS (CBS) 1.9/9
28. The Voice — Tuesday (NBC) 1.9/8
29. Law & Order: SVU (NBC) 1.8/9
30. Surviving R. Kelly (Lifetime) 1.8/8
31. Mom (CBS) 1.8/8
32. The Goldbergs (ABC) 1.7/8
33. Last Man Standing (Fox) 1.7/9
34. The Passage (Fox) 1.7/7
35. Criminal Minds (Fox) 1.7/8
36. Titan Games (NBC) 1.7/7
37. American Idol — Sunday (ABC) 1.7/7
38. Ellen’s Game of Games (NBC) 1.7/7
39. Station 19 (ABC) 1.6/7
40. FBI (CBS) 1.6/7
41. The Good Place (NBC) 1.6/7
42. Mayans M.C. (FX) 1.6/8
43. The Amazing Race (CBS) 1.6/7
44. The Resident (Fox) 1.6/7
45. The Neighborhood (CBS) 1.5/7
46. Star (Fox) 1.5/7
47. Family Guy (Fox) 1.5/6
48. The Rookie (ABC) 1.5/7
49. How to Get Away With Murder 
50. S.W.A.T. (CBS) 1.5/7
51. The Orville (Fox) 1.5/7
52. Will & Grace (NBC) 1.5/6
53. Bull (CBS) 1.5/7
54. American Idol — Monday (ABC) 1.5/6
55. The Simpsons (Fox) 1.4/6
56. Bob’s Burgers (Fox) 1.4/5
57. Seal Team (CBS) 1.4/6
58. The World’s Best (CBS) 1.4/6
59. Blue Bloods (CBS) 1.4/7
60. 24 Hours to Hell & Back (Fox) 1.4/6
61. Saturday Night Football (ABC) 1.4/7
62. American Housewife (ABC) 1.4/6
63. NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) 1.4/5
64. Single Parents (ABC) 1.4/6
65. Superstore (NBC) 1.4/7
66. NCIS: New Orleans (CBS) 1.4/6
67. Schooled (ABC) 1.4/6
68. The Enemy Within (NBC) 1.3/6
69. 60 Minutes (CBS) 1.3/6
70. Hawai’i Five-0 (CBS) 1.3/6
71. America’s Funniest Home Videos 
72. Hell’s Kitchen (Fox) 1.3/6
73. Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta (VH1) 1.3/6
74. Magnum P.I. (CBS) 1.3/5
75. Murphy Brown (CBS) 1.3/5
76. Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo) 1.3/5
77. Lethal Weapon (Fox) 1.2/5
78. Black-ish (ABC) 1.2/5
79. Teen Mom II (MTV) 1.2/5
80. The Blacklist (NBC) 1.2/6
81. Life in Pieces (CBS) 1.2/6
82. Whiskey Cavalier (ABC) 1.2/6
83. Dancing with the Stars (ABC) 1.2/5
84. God Friended Me (CBS) 1.2/4
85. World of Dance (NBC) 1.2/5
86. The Real Housewives of Beverly
Hills (Bravo)
87. The Cool Kids (Fox) 1.2/6
88. The Flash (The CW) 1.2/5
89. The Curse of Oak Island (History) 1.2/5
90. Fam (CBS) 1.2/5
91. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC) 1.2/5
92. Shark Tank (ABC) 1.1/4
93. Bless This Mess (ABC) 1.1/5
94. The Kids Are Alright (ABC) 1.1/5
95. Good Girls (NBC) 1.1/5
96. Teen Mom (MTV) 1.1/4
97. Splitting Up Together (ABC) 1.1/5
98. Masterchef Junior (Fox) 1.1/5
99. Man With a Plan (CBS) 1.1/5
100. Gotham (Fox) 1.1/5
101. NBA Saturday Primetime (ABC) 1.1/5
102. The Gifted (Fox) 1.1/5
masked singer big bang theory biggest winners american idol loses
Masked Singer, Big Bang Theory, American Idol


America’s most-watched series of the 2018-2019 season

1. NFL Sunday Night Football (NBC) 19,276
2. The Big Bang Theory (CBS) 17,436
3. NCIS (CBS) 15,914
4. Game of Thrones (HBO) 15,319
5. Young Sheldon (CBS) 14,572
6. NFL Thursday Night Football 
(Fox/NFL Network)
7. This Is Us (NBC) 13,798
8. Blue Bloods (CBS) 12,833
9. FBI (CBS) 12,713
10. The Good Doctor (ABC) 12,642
11. Manifest (NBC) 12,607
12. America’s Got Talent: Champions (NBC) 12,394
13. NFL Monday Night Football (ESPN) 11,935
14. Chicago Fire (NBC) 11,708
15. The Masked Singer (Fox) 11,566
16. Bull (CBS) 11,351
17. Chicago Med (NBC) 11,325
18. Chicago PD (NBC) 11,181
19. New Amsterdam (NBC) 11,096
20. The Voice — Monday (NBC) 10,894
21. NCIS: New Orleans (CBS) 10,864
22. 60 Minutes (CBS) 10,839
23. The Voice — Tuesday (NBC) 10,338
24. Mom (CBS) 10,321
25. 9-1-1 (Fox) 10,300
26. Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) 10,160
27. NCIS: Los Angeles (NET) 10,181
28. Hawai’i Five-0 (CBS) 10,126
29. The Conners (ABC) 9,963
30. Survivor (CBS) 9,708
31. God Friended Me (CBS) 9,618
32. American Idol — Sunday (ABC) 9,015
33. Dancing With the Stars (ABC) 8,681
34. S.W.A.T.  (CBS) 8,592
35. Murphy Brown (CBS) 8,472
36. Seal Team (CBS) 8,461
37. Magnum P.I. (CBS) 8,361
38. Last Man Standing (Fox) 8,333
39. The Rookie (ABC) 8,314
40. Criminal Minds (CBS) 8,217
41. Madam Secretary (CBS) 8,117
42. American Idol — Monday (ABC) 7,998
43. The Neighborhood (CBS) 7,991
44. The Walking Dead (AMC) 7,928
45. The Bachelor (ABC) 7,923
46. Modern Family (ABC) 7,825
47. A Million Little Things (ABC) 7,779
48. The Resident (Fox) 7,738
49. MacGyver (CBS) 7,697
50. Station 19 (ABC) 7,686
51. Law & Order: SVU (NBC) 7,412
52. The Enemy Within (NBC) 7,359
53. The Code (CBS) 7,271
54. The Blacklist (NBC) 7,168
55. Life In Pieces (CBS) 7,068
56. Ellen’s Game of Games (NBC) 6,965
57. The Amazing Race (CBS) 6,862
58. Fam (CBS) 6,670
59. The Passage (Fox) 6,622
60. Whiskey Cavalier (ABC) 6,448
61. Man With a Plan (CBS) 6,421
62. The World’s Best (CBS) 6,409
63. The Goldbergs (ABC) 6,375
64. Empire (Fox) 6,370
65. America’s Funniest Home Videos (8pm) (ABC) 6,350
66. The Village (NBC) 6,136
67. Titan Games (NBC) 6,048
68. America’s Funniest Home Videos (7pm) (ABC) 5,855
69. The Orville (Fox) 5,789
70. Bless This Mess (ABC) 5,713
71. The Cool Kids (Fox) 5,709
72. The Fix (ABC) 5,581
73. American Housewife (ABC) 5,530
74. Lethal Weapon (Fox) 5,395
75. Will & Grace (NBC) 5,313
76. Happy Together (CBS) 5,263
77. Dancing With the Stars: Juniors 
78. How to Get Away With Murder 
79. Saturday Night Football (ABC) 5,121
80. The Kids Are Alright (ABC) 5,057
81. Schooled (ABC) 5,046
82. The Red Line (CBS) 5,027
83. American Horror Story (FX) 4,893
84. 20/20 (ABC) 4,892
85. Star (Fox) 4,804
86. World of Dance (NBC) 4,773
87. The Great Christmas Light Fight 
88. Dateline Friday (NBC) 4,722
89. For the People (ABC) 4,703
90. Shark Tank (ABC) 4,692
91. Single Parents (ABC) 4,670
92. Curse of Oak Island (History) 4,664
93. Black-ish (ABC) 4,571
94. The Good Place (NBC) 4,565
95. 24 Hours to Hell & Back (Fox) 4,502
96. 48 Hours (CBS) 4,475
97. Dateline Sunday (NBC) 4,402
98. Superstore (NBC) 4,345
99. Blindspot (NBC) 4,341
100. Hell’s Kitchen (Fox) 4,138