And just like that, NBC is back on top.
It’s been 16 years since the last time the broadcast network could claim a total-viewer lead in a season’s ratings race, but thanks to a reinvigorated line-up that includes the unstoppable This Is Us, the return of Will & Grace, and TV’s No. 1 alternative series, The Voice—as well as the one-two punch of Super Bowl LII and the 2018 Winter Olympics in Peyongchang, South Korea—they’re finally able to make that claim once again. With an average of 9.569 million viewers for the season in “most current” results from Nielsen Media Research, including fast-official results for Feb. 9-11, the Peacock is No. 1.
In the time that’s passed since NBC came out on top at the close of the 2001-02 season, the network has faced its fair share of struggles. For nine long seasons, from 2004-05 to 2012-13, the network routinely came in fourth place in total viewers. But it seems that, for now, those struggles are a thing of the past.
While the fateful combo of the Super Bowl and Winter Olympics has no doubt propelled the network to the prime position, NBC notes that, excluding all sports-related ratings, they are closer to CBS at this point in the season than they ever have been in 15 years, since the 2002-03 season.