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NBC Wins Septemer-to-May Primetime Season in 18-49 for Third Time in 4 Years

NBC has clinched first place for the traditional September-to-May season in primetime's key demographic of adults 18-49, marking the network's third win in four years. It's the first time any network has won the September-to-May season without benefit of the SUPER BOWL or an in-season Olympics in five years. Among NBC's three wins over the last four seasons, this is the first that didn't include a boost from either of those major events.

"Broadcast television is thriving, and on behalf of everyone at NBC we are grateful to have won the season again in all the valuable key demos," said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. "Sports is a vital part of our lineup and contributes to our #1 position, but I'm also very proud of the fact that this is the first time in 13 seasons we've also won on an entertainment program-only (non-sports) basis. In addition, our scripted shows - featuring the phenomenon 'This Is Us' - and our reality shows - led by the 'The Voice' - are #1 in those respective areas as well. Presidents Jennifer Salke and Paul Telegdy and their remarkable teams have done the impossible this year and I congratulate all of them."

With three nights left to count in the traditional season, NBC is averaging a 2.1 rating in adults 18-49, versus a 1.9 for Super Bowl-boosted Fox, 1.8 for CBS and 1.6 for ABC, according to "most current" averages from Nielsen Media Research through 35 completed weeks of the season. The traditional season ends this Wednesday, May 24. NBC's primary focus remains on the full 52-week season that ends in September, with NBC well-positioned to win that full season this year for a fourth year in a row.

NBC not only wins the September-to-May season in 18-49 counting all programs, it also ranks #1 counting just entertainment programming and also leads in scripted programs only and alternative programs only.

It's the first time in 13 years NBC has led the traditional season among 18-49 viewers in either entertainment programs only or scripted programs only, dating back to 2003-04, the final seasons of "Friends" and "Frasier." It's the fourth season in a row NBC has finished #1 in alternative programs.

Leading NBC's dominant season were the #1 new series and #1 broadcast drama, "This Is Us"; the #1 and #2 primetime series on broadcast television, NBC Sports' "Sunday Night Football" and "Thursday Night Football"; consistent Monday and Tuesday wins keyed by "The Voice"; slot wins in 18-49 or total viewers delivered by each of the network's "Chicago" dramas; and time-period improvements generated by the relocated series "The Blacklist," "Shades of Blue," "Superstore" and "Blindspot."

In total viewers, NBC will finish the conventional season ranking #2 and is currently up +0.2% versus its year-ago average (8.121 million vs. 8.108 million). "Most current" total-viewer averages with three days left to count in the season are: CBS, 9.6 million, NBC, 8.1 million; ABC, 6.2 million; Fox, 5.8 million; CW, 1.8 million.

Among entertainment programs, NBC is averaging 7.215 million total viewers, within 2.005 million of first-place CBS (9.220 million), the closest NBC has run to CBS at the conclusion of the season in 13 years (since the 2003-04 season, when NBC trailed by 1.635 million (11.057 million for NBC entertainment programs vs. 12.692 million for CBS).

Among all programs, NBC has won the season not only in adults 18-49, but also ranks #1 among ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX in adults, men and women 25-54; men 18-49 (tie) and women 18-49; adults 18-34 (tie) and women 18-34.

In late-night, NBC leads all key demographic categories for the season, with "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" and "Late Night with Seth Meyers" outdelivering their ABC and CBS time-period competition in adults, men and women 18-34; adults, men and women 18-49; and adults, men and women 25-54.

Leading late-night overall is "Saturday Night Live," which has delivered its most-watched season in 23 years (in "live plus seven day" ratings for originals only), with an average 11.0 million viewers, best since 11.3 million in 1993-94. In 18-49, it's the top-rated "SNL" season (3.51) in seven years, since 2009-10 (3.51). "SNL" is up +34% or +2.8 million persons versus last season in total viewers (11.0 million vs. 8.2 million) and up +28% in 18-49 (3.51 vs. 2.74).

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