ABC is on track to win the November sweep in adults 18-49, and CBS will be first in viewership, while Fox and Univision are the only big networks to show year-over-year increases.
The sweep, which ended Wednesday, took place this year against the backdrop of the writers' strike. The Writers Guild of America's work stoppage caused some shuffling of programs, including a quick end to original episodes of NBC's The Office and repeats of other key shows.
Fox still was stuck in fourth place among the Big Four, a tenth of a point away from NBC in adults 18-49, but was the only network to show an increase. Fox (3.1 rating/8 share) was up 3 percent year over year in the November sweep, while first-place ABC (3.7/10) was down 8 percent, CBS (3.4/9) was down 8 percent, and NBC (3.2/9) was down 14 percent. The CW (1.1/3) was down 21 percent in adults 18-49 and even further in adults 18-34.
In viewership, CBS (12 million) edged ABC (11.5 million) for the lead, while CBS was down 7 percent, and ABC was flat. NBC averaged 8.6 million viewers, down 18 percent, while Fox's 7.9 million viewers was up 9 percent, and the CW (2.7 million) was down 22 percent. Fox is the No. 1 network among adults 18-34.
NBC took a particular hit in the month compared with last year, when Deal or No Deal was in its ratings ascendancy. The network also trended downward for the first three weeks of the sweep with Sunday Night Football. (This past Sunday's SNF matchup featuring the undefeated New England Patriots was a boost.)
Fox was aided by the strong performance of House on Tuesdays, as well as football overrun on one Sunday night and some strong adults 18-49 ratings for The Simpsons and Family Guy, also on Sunday nights. The network also has seen some improvement on Thursday nights with the reality duo of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? and Don't Forget the Lyrics! plus the introduction of reality series Kitchen Nightmares. The CW has experienced tough sledding so far this season for all but America's Next Top Model.
CBS saw increases in November for 14 of its series, compared with its performance in the beginning of the season. ABC rode the wave of Dancing With the Stars and The Bachelor as well as heavyweights Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives.
Spanish-language network Univision had a strong November sweep, with a 14 percent year-over-year increase in adults 18-49 and a 12 percent increase in adults 18-34. It was led in the month by the novella The Essence of Love, which averaged about 2 million adults 18-34, as well as the telecast of the Latin Grammys, which averaged 6.2 million viewers.