The 2012/2013 Television Season: The More Things Change…

The recently concluded TV season proved something remarkable – real stability. Once again, broadcast television dominates the American television landscape.

Broadcast closed another season as the mainstay of home entertainment. Among Adults 25-54, Broadcast claimed 96 of the Top 100 programs with its mix of entertainment, sports and news programming.

Cable’s four entries in the Top 100 were three ESPN football games (BCS and regular season). Despite a plethora of original cable offerings, only one program cracked the Top 100 for the season – AMC’s Walking Dead (#95, with a 4.6 A25-54 rating).

When the ranker is extended to 200 programs, cable only adds a handful of entries – four more in sports, eight in election coverage, and one scripted miniseries, History Channel’s The Bible.

Duck Dynasty, cable’s most recent headline-grabbing program, followed the trend of having more chatter than viewers. It finished the season at #225.

“Despite an abundance of entertainment options on air and online, broadcast television content continues to dominate viewer choices,” commented Stacey Lynn Schulman (formerly Koerner), Chief Research Officer of the TVB. “Viewers today are seeking content that is not only compelling but immediately shareable among the widest possible audience. This season’s performance confirms that only broadcast can provide that.”

182 of the Top 200 Shows in the 2012-’13 Season Were Broadcast

Top 10 Shows 2012-13 Season

Top 10 Cable Shows 2012-13 Season

Top 10 Broadcast Series (10+ Telecasts, Non-Sports) 2012-13 Season

Top 10 Broadcast Specials (Non-Sports or Series) 2012-13 Season

Source: The Nielsen Company, 9/24/12-5/22/13, Ranked by A25-54 Live+SD US AA % (ties broken by 000’s)


TVB Season to Date Anaylsis (PPT)
TVB Top 200 A25-54 Season 2012-13 Ranker (PDF)
TVB Commentary


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