Every year, network programs battle it out in the ratings, enticing young and old viewers alike. But it’s the young viewers that often appeal to advertisers and help to bring in the big bucks for network television to continue to make shows. This year some original dramas and comedies duked it out against sports programs and, yes, some reality shows for the top spots in the ratings. Check out which network programs were the highest rated of the TV season, below.

Here are the top 23 shows of the TV season, as ranked by ratings, according to Deadline. Shows are listed from highest rating to lowest rating in the top bracket.
1.Sunday Night Football (NBC)
2. Empire (Fox)
3. Thursday Night Football (CBS/NFLN)
4. The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
5. SNF Pre-Kickoff (NBC)
6. The OT (Fox)
7. The Big Bang Theory -8:30 PM Mondays (CBS)
8. Modern Family (ABC)
9. Scandal (ABC)
10. The Voice (NBC)
11. Football Night In America (NBC)
12. The Voice – Tuesdays (NBC)
13, How To Get Away With Murder (ABC)
14. The Blacklist (NBC)
15. Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
16. Criminal Minds (CBS)
17. Once Upon A Time (ABC)
18.Big Brother – Wednesdays (CBS)
19. Family Guy (Fox) – Tie
19. Scorpion (CBS) – Tie
19.Survivor (CBS) – Tie
19. Two & A Half Men (CBS) – Tie
23. Thursday Night Football Pre-Kickoff (CBS.NFLN)

As you can probably tell if you are paying the least bit of attention, there are actually 23 shows that made the list. That’s because a whopping four shows battled it out to land the #19 slot, including the now-defunct Two and a Half Men, Scorpion, Survivor and Family Guy. Interestingly, of those four shows, three of them are CBS entries.

While the four-way tie is pretty interesting, some of the top entries are even more intriguing. Anyone who has ever paid an iota of attention to the ratings knows that football is king, and it’s not a real shock that Sunday Night Football has landed the top slot. Interestingly, if the list actually included cable entries, Sunday Night Football would not be the highest ranking program. On five of eight occasions, The Walking Dead actually managed to beat out Sunday Night Football in the 18-49 demographic, which is a huge feat.

Another super surprising thing about this list is how quickly Empire has managed to dominate in the ratings. The soapy hip-hop drama only hit Fox’s schedule this past January, and early on looked to be a ratings winner. But then it just kept pulling in higher and higher numbers, again and again. It’s pretty clear why Fox has the show in its fall lineup next year.

Despite the fact the networks have seen faltering ratings over the last several years, there are still quite a few winners on the list, nearly all of which will be a part of the schedule during 2015 (although some of them will be sans big leads, sorry McDreamy). In the meantime, you can find out what the networks have coming up this summer, as well as next fall.

Photo Credit@CBS

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