America's Most Watched: The Top 25 Shows of the 2012-2013 TV Season

TV Guide
Mark Harmon, Cote de Pablo | Photo Credits: Sonja Flemming/CBS

America loves its football, but the top action on TV this season wasn't on the field - it came via CBS' still-potent NCIS. In its tenth season, NCIS managed to beat NBC's Sunday Night Football as the year's No. 1 program among total viewers.

CBS' The Big Bang Theory was the highest-rated comedy this past season, while AMC's The Walking Dead broke into the Top 10, a rare feat for a cable series. Even more impressive, besides football, The Walking Dead was the No. 1 show of the season among adults 18-49, followed by The Big Bang Theory.

Among new series, CBS' Elementary was the highest-rated in total viewers, while the Fox thriller The Following led all freshmen in the 18-49 demographic.

CBS aired 12 of the top 25 shows, more than any other network. CBS has such an embarrassment of riches when it comes to hit series that freshman drama Vegas was canceled even though it made the top 25 list. (To be fair, Vegas did not perform well with adults 18-49.)

Meanwhile, how big is A&E's Duck Dynasty? So big that the reality sitcom attracted more viewers this past season than all but the top 3 scripted comedies on television.

With seven days' worth of DVR usage included in their season averages, here are the most-watched shows of the 2012-13 TV season.

1. NCIS CBS 21.6 million


3. THE BIG BANG THEORY CBS 19.0 million

4. NCIS: LOS ANGELES CBS 17.5 million

5. PERSON OF INTEREST CBS 16.2 million

6. AMERICAN IDOL (Wednesday) Fox 15.1 million

7. DANCING WITH THE STARS (Monday) ABC 15.0 million

8. AMERICAN IDOL (Thursday) Fox 14.8 million

9. THE VOICE (Monday) NBC 14.4 million*

10. THE WALKING DEAD AMC 14.3 million

11. DANCING WITH THE STARS (Tuesday) ABC 14.0 million

12. TWO AND A HALF MEN CBS 13.9 million

13. THE VOICE (Tuesday) NBC 13.5 million

14. BLUE BLOODS CBS 13.3 million

15. ELEMENTARY CBS 13.0 million


17. MODERN FAMILY ABC 12.7 million

18. CRIMINAL MINDS CBS 12.6 million

19. THE OT Fox 12.5 million

20. CASTLE ABC 12.5 million

21 DUCK DYNASTY A&E 12.4 million

t. 60 MINUTES CBS 12.4 million

22. VEGAS CBS 12.0 million

23. THE FOLLOWING Fox 11.9 million


t. CSI CBS 11.9 million

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