CBS isn’t supposed to jockey for the much-coveted 18-to-49-year-old demographic—it’s supposed to be the network of cop shows starring 50-year-olds. But it’s creaming its rivals during the fall TV season, the New York Times reports, and exec Les Moonves has a theory: “comfort food.” Moonves thinks his network’s simple diet of cop dramas and traditional sitcoms is just what audiences want in times of crisis.
But CBS is only succeeding in contrast to its rivals, which have lost even more viewers. Part of that is because CBS recovered quickly from the strike, Moonves says, but other networks point to DVR viewings and boosted cable ratings to explain their slides. “The economy and the election are the two most important shows in America right now,” an NBC co-chair notes.