12/04/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

CBS Attracting Young Viewers With "Comfort Food" Programming

When did CBS, the network awash in cop shows featuring leading men in their 50s, become the hot network with young audiences?

This is how topsy-turvy the fall television season has become: Five weeks in, CBS has twice as many shows in the Top 20 ranking among young adult viewers as any of its network competitors.

CBS is supposed to be the network that does not fixate on the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, which many advertisers pay a premium to reach. But the network has been beating ABC, NBC and Fox, in that ratings competition every week this fall.

Of course, CBS has also been winning in the somewhat older group, 25-to-54-year olds, just as it has been attracting the most viewers over all.

This has not occurred since the antediluvian days before the installation of so-called people meter ratings system in 1987.

The secret, at least as the chairman of CBS, Leslie Moonves, sees it: comfort food.

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