We tend to focus most of our attention on cable dramas like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and Justified, as well as under-watched, perpetually-on-the-bubble comedies like Community, Parks & Recreation, and Happy Endings (R.I.P.). We do this because we like nice things. The fact remains, however, despite other shows on other networks piling awards and positive reviews up to the ceiling, that CBS continues to lay waste to everyone when it comes to total eyeballs pointed at televisions.
How much of a stranglehold does CBS have on the top spot? Well, I could give you facts like “CBS had 12 of the 25 highest-rated shows of the most recent TV season” or “CBS had both the highest-rated drama (#1 overall NCIS) and the highest-rated comedy (#3 overall The Big Bang Theory),” but I think this little tidbit sums up their dominance best.
CBS’s drama Vegas finished its freshman season as the 22nd highest-rated show of the year, averaging 12 million viewers between the live broadcast and seven days of DVR viewership. It came in ahead of every single non-CBS scripted show on television except for The Walking Dead, Modern Family, and Castle. AND CBS CANCELED IT. Yes, it wasn’t performing quite as well in the 18-49 demo, but still, it got better ratings than every single show on NBC that didn’t feature football or singing, and CBS still took it out back and put a bullet in its head. Think about that one for a while.
At this point, CBS is basically the network television equivalent of the episode of MTV Cribs where Birdman and Lil Wayne showed off all their cars.