CBS Tops Broadcast Rivals for 2021-2022 Season With Landmark Ratings

There are still a few weeks left in the 2021-2022 television season, but CBS is already claiming victory as the most-watched network on television. The eye network beat out NBC, ABC, and Fox for the 14th consecutive year and for the 19th time in the past 20 seasons. CBS also reigns supreme in late-night for the sixth consecutive season and daytime for the 36th year in a row.

NCIS once again the most-watched scripted series and drama for the fourth consecutive season, despite losing Mark Harmon four episodes into Season 19. The show has been the most-watched drama in the U.S. 12 times in 13 seasons and was the most-watched drama for 19 of the first 21 television seasons in the 21st Century. NCIS: Hawai'i, which airs after the main NCIS, was the most-watched new drama of the year and has already been renewed.

Ghosts is the number one new comedy and was picked up for a new season. The Big Bang Theory prequel series Young Sheldon is the most-watched comedy. CBS boasted that it has had the most-watched comedy every season since NBC's Friends ended in 2004.

CBS is also home to the most-watched news show, 60 Minutes. NCIS and FBI are also the only two non-sports shows to average 10 million or more viewers this past season. NCIS averaged 11.1 million viewers and FBI drew 10.3 million viewers on average.

CBS averaged 6.35 million viewers overall, about 100,000 viewers more than NBC. Fox finished third with 4.68 million, while ABC finished fourth with 4.19 million. NBC did lead CBS in the 18-49 age demographic though, thanks in part to Super Bowl LVI and the Winter Olympics. The peacock network averaged a 1.2 rating, while Fox had a 1.1 rating, reports The Hollywood Reporter. CBS finished with a 0.8 rating and ABC had a 0.7 rating, which shows how the younger demographic isn't watching linear television as much as they used to.


"The strength and depth of our core CBS series, the top new comedies, and dramas on television, our iconic alternative programming, world-class sports franchises, plus the finest news program in the history of television, provided us with the power to surge to the top of the broadcast landscape for the 14th consecutive season. That's a huge testament to our talent, producers, and the CBS team," Kelly Kahl, president of CBS Entertainment, said in a statement. "Additionally, these incredibly popular series have been a key driver in the growth and success of our streaming service, Paramount+."

"A winning streak of this scale is quite unprecedented in the history of media, linear or digital," Radha Subramanyam, chief research and analytics officer at CBS, and president of CBS Vision, added. "While consumers have an increasing range of options to choose from, CBS continues to engage the broadest range of audiences and delivers sustained levels of viewership year after year across linear and streaming."