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CBS boss Les Moonves king of network TV with 2012-13 ratings win

May 21, 2013|By Scott Collins
  • Leslie Moonves, boss at No. 1-rated CBS, has bragging rights.
Leslie Moonves, boss at No. 1-rated CBS, has bragging rights. (Jonathan Alcorn / Bloomberg…)

Last week, CBS boss Leslie Moonves told ad buyers his network was at the "center" of the media universe. On Tuesday, he proved why.

CBS wrapped the 2012-13 TV season with a commanding victory in every single ratings category, according to Nielsen.

That includes the key demographic of viewers ages 18 to 49, which CBS -- long the oldest-skewing of the four major broadcast networks -- had not won since the 1991-92 season.

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Actually, CBS was down 3% in that category compared with the previous season. But all of its competitors dropped, too. Fox, hard hit by erosion at "American Idol," slid 22% and barely scraped past No. 3 NBC.

Among total viewers, CBS was easily No. 1, averaging 11.8 million total viewers -- a 1% uptick.

Of course, a big part of CBS' success was its broadcast of the Super Bowl, far and away the most-watched show on TV every year. But the home of "NCIS" and "The Big Bang Theory" was strong enough that it would have won even without the big game.

Last week, Moonves pitched ad buyers by saying, "We are the center of the universe" -- a line that was immediately seized upon by some wags who believe broadcast TV is an aging legacy business.

What do you think of CBS' shows and its ratings?

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Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT

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