Final Rankings for 2010-11 Television Season
It hasn't exactly been the strongest year for television. The increasing presence of technology has dramatically reduced the amount of time people sit around and actually watch TV, and that's definitely starting to take it's toll on the ratings.
PVRs, online watching, Netflix, and other means of watching the latest shows aren't being measured properly by Nielsen, and the result is low numbers for actual original broadcasts, especially of scripted show. Another effect is the fact that reality shows are sticking around at the top, despite the fact that more and more people are seemingly fed up with all these watered down reality shows and non-scripted competitions.
American Idol had one of it's worst seasons yet, but still managed to take two of the top three spots, both in the key demo and total viewers. NBC is once again the worst of the four networks, but they still managed two spots in the top five in ratings, thanks to football and their new singing competition, "The Voice".
As a whole, most shows were down from previous peaks, but that won't stop us from ranking this year's shows, based on the ratings accumulated by Nielsen, which, of course, are meant to benefit advertisers - as the only thing they care about is who watched their commercials between the actual shows. So, keeping in mind that I refuse to post these as entirely "accurate", the following are the final rankings for the top twenty TV shows from September 2010 through to May 2011:
Please note that there are two lists that follow. The first for actual Nielsen ratings (and share) for the "key" demographic of 18-to-49 individuals, and the second is for total viewers, and the differences can very fairly greatly.
18-to-49 Demographic Rankings (ratings/share)
1. American Idol (Wednesday) - FOX - 8.8/24
2. Sunday Night Football - NBC - 8.0/20
3. American Idol (Thursday) - FOX - 7.7/22
4. The Voice - NBC - 5.4/14
5. Modern Family - ABC - 4.8/12
6. Dancing With the Stars - ABC - 4.8/12
7. The Big Bang Theory - CBS - 4.4/13
8. Grey's Anatomy - ABC - 4.3/11
9. Survivor: Nicaragua - CBS - 4.3/12
10. NCIS - CBS - 4.1/11
11. Glee FOX 4.0/11
12. The Office - NBC - 4.0/10
13. Two and a Half Men - CBS - 3.9/10
14. Dancing With the Stars (results show) - ABC - 3.9/10
15. Family Guy - FOX - 3.9/ 9
16. House - FOX - 3.9/10
17. Football Night in America - NBC - 3.8/11
18. Desperate Housewives - ABC - 3.8/9
19. Survivor: Redemption Island - CBS - 3.8/11
20. The Amazing Race - CBS - 3.8/9
- As you can see, the only new show in the top 20 is "The Voice", an impressive feat for NBC. The only other new shows even close are three CBS shows, "Mike & Molly", "Hawaii Five-O", and "Shit My Dad Says".
- The only shows to rise from last year were Glee, Dancing With the Stars, Modern Family, and football, which of course implies that less and less young people are watching TV.
- For the sake of hilarity, the worst rated show was "Shedding for the Wedding" (.5/1) on the CW. The CW held most of the bottom rankings, in fact.
Total Viewership Rankings (thousands)
1. American Idol (Wednesday) - FOX - 25,864
2. American Idol (Thursday) - FOX - 23,798
3. Dancing With the Stars - ABC - 21,927
4. Sunday Night Football - NBC - 21,025
5. NCIS - CBS - 19,377
6. Dancing With the Stars (results) - ABC - 18,612
7. NCIS: Los Angeles - CBS - 16,467
9. The Mentalist - CBS - 15,328
10. Criminal Minds - CBS - 14,026
10. CSI - CBS - 13,626
11. Survivor: Nicaragua - CBS - 13,611
12. 60 Minutes - CBS - 13,347
13. The Big Bang Theory - CBS - 13,212
14. Body of Proof - ABC - 13,060
15. The Good Wife - CBS - 12,906
16. Two and a Half Men - CBS - 12,718
17. Blue Bloods - CBS - 12,709
18. Survivor: Redemption Island - CBS - 12,585
19. Undercover Boss - CBS - 12,158
20. The Voice - NBC - 11,973
- No surprise that nearly all of CBS's line-up dominates the top 20, with their median age near the retirement age. They have 13 shows in the top 20, with another 10 in the top 40, absolutely ridiculous numbers when you consider that the number they have in the top 20 here is the number they have in the top 40 in 18-49.
- Interesting to note that the top 5 is actually exactly the same as last year's list.
- The least-viewed show was, once again, "Shedding for the Wedding".
You can view the entire list and see where your favorite shows rank over at Deadline.