In a development that’s being trumpeted in newspapers, broadsides, and other forms of media no longer preferred by the viewership of CBS, preliminary reports have the Tiffany Network unseating Fox from the ratings throne it has occupied for eight years. As reported by Entertainment Weekly, CBS will take the Nielsen crown among adults under 50 for the 2012-13 season—a victory that will definitively put an end to years of jokes about CBS being watched exclusively by the old and irrelevant. Yes, this confirms that the network of Blue Bloods, 60 Minutes, and the silver-fox triumverate of Mark Harmon, Ted Danson, and Morley Safer is the choice of a new generation, with their skateboards and hip-hop raps and standing appointments to watch NCIS at a time appointed by CBS. (EXTREMELY RIGID VIEWING HABITS! [Guitar lick.]) The victory certainly has nothing to do with the fact that the Nielsen ratings skew toward viewers who watch the majority of their TV live, rather than via DVR, streaming services, or that Roku box that the nice young man at the Best Buys said would so easy to hook up, but damned if I know how to put the Internet in my TV. (Or the fact that, if CBS is the only network that can maintain steady numbers among viewers near the older end of the 18 to 49 spectrum, it was bound to win this thing eventually.) No, CBS is the network of the young! All other broadcast outlets are out-of-touch and decrepit and lacking the two biggest shows on network TV!
The story being swallowed in this shakeup: NBC’s tumble from the top position in the demo at midseason, a fall the network would like to paper over by placing Michael J. Fox in your line of sight and repeatedly asking “But remember Back To The Future?”