For NBC, a big payout for taking risks

For NBC, a big payout for taking risks 1At first glance, ABC is the big surprise network after two weeks in the new season, having held onto No. 1 in adults 18-49 without the annual fall boost it typically got from “Monday Night Football,” which has moved to ESPN.

But the real surprise this season is NBC.

Coming off two straight fourth-place finishes, the network is up 18 percent in adult 18-49 viewers, averaging a 3.9 rating and 11 share for the first two weeks, compared with a 3.3/9 last year, and tying it with CBS for second behind ABC’s 4.2/12. Indeed, NBC is the only network showing gains in the demo.