As far as the television industry is concerned, the end of each viewing year occurs at the end of May, and the latest numbers from the 2011-2012 television season are now in and have been counted. Of the major networks, CBS averaged nearly 12?million viewers each week, making it the nation’s most-watched network for the ninth time in the past 10 years. The seasonal statistics also show that nearly half of the country’s 10 most-watched programs were reality “competition” shows, but there are signs that America’s love affair with reality TV shows is waning.
“American Idol” and “Dancing With the Stars,” along with NBC’s “The Voice” all did well for another year, but both “Idol” and “Dancing” lost about 4?million viewers compared with last season, and “Idol” lost about 6 million. “American Idol’s” eight-season long winning streak as the country’s most TV watched program ended this year as the show came in behind NBC’s Sunday football in total viewership numbers. In terms of the season’s most-watched TV shows, it is interesting to note that four scripted shows on CBS Made it into the top ten.
Here’s how the list of the 2011-12 TV season’s Top Ten most-watched programs turned out:
1 - “NBC Sunday Night Football” earned the top spot by averaging 20.7 million viewers during the season.
2 - “American Idol” performance “competition” show came in second place with an average of 19.7 million viewers, losing the top spot it held for eight years in a row.
3 - “NCIS” earned third place with 19.5 million viewers.
4 - “American Idol” averaged a respectable 18.2 million viewers each week, earning it fourth place in its 11th incarnation.
5 - “Dancing With the Stars” averaged just slightly over 18 million viewers for fifth place in its 14th season.
6 - “NCIS: Los Angeles” was a surprise in sixth place as the “NCIS” spinoff garnered about 16.5 million viewers in just its third season.
7 - “Dancing With the Stars - Results Show” was a honest seventh with an average of 16.2 million viewers even though it had to compete with its own original show series at the same time.
8 - “The Big Bang Theory” averaged 15.9 million viewers per week for eight place in its fifth season.
9 - “The Voice” averaged 15.7 million viewers for ninth place as the only truly “new” show in this season’s Top Ten.
10 - “Two and a Half Men” was the surprise of the season in tenth place after the new incarnation of the show featuring Ashton Kutcher grabbed 16 percent more viewers than last season.