I’ve gotten a couple of questions about a post on EW listing the top 50 mid-season shows in adults 18-49.  The question is basically “What trickery is this, how can the ratings their posting be so high?”

It’s a very good question, and there’s a very simple answer. Those are Nielsen’s “Most Current” ratings which are Live+7  (include a week’s worth of DVR viewing) where available blended with Live+SD (same night of telecast DVR viewing)  for the weeks where the Live+7 numbers are not yet available.  So for shows that premiered in September, it’s almost all Live+7.

I’m including the data below.  These are season-to-date ratings through last Sunday (February 13)  for regular time slot airings not designated “special”.  Airings outside the normal time period like Glee’s post-Super Bowl show are not included.

The very discerning among you will notice that there are some differences in the sorting at the bottom of the list and that American Dad is in the list below, but not the EW list, and that Brothers & Sisters is in the EW list (and not on the list below, having been pushed out by American Dad).

EW’s list isn’t wrong, it’s just how it shook out based on the sorting of the data if you sorted by only adult 18-49 rating.  I simplified by sorting by the # of actual adult 18-49 viewers, which seemed to me an appropriate tiebreaker (i.e. Brothers & Sisters and American Dad both had a 2.8 rating in adults 18-49, but American Dad averaged a few more 18-49 viewers).

PROGRAMS NET P18-49 RATING (MOST CURRENT) # OF PERSONS 18-49 (MOST CURRENT) (000)
AMERICAN IDOL-WEDNESDAY FOX 9.9 12,986
AMERICAN IDOL-THURSDAY FOX 8.2 10,740
NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL NBC 8.1 10,716
SUNDAY NIGHT NFL PRE-KICK NBC 5.8 7,566
MODERN FAMILY ABC 5.0 6,518
OT, THE FOX 4.7 6,147
DANCING WITH THE STARS ABC 4.6 6,100
TWO AND A HALF MEN CBS 4.6 6,083
GREY’S ANATOMY ABC 4.6 6,048
BIG BANG THEORY, THE CBS 4.5 5,940
SURVIVOR: NICARAGUA CBS 4.3 5,672
NCIS CBS 4.3 5,602
FAMILY GUY FOX 4.1 5,455
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES ABC 4.1 5,451
OFFICE NBC 4.1 5,349
GLEE FOX 4.0 5,303
DANCING W/STARS RESULTS ABC 4.0 5,259
FOOTBALL NT AMERICA PT 3 NBC 4.0 5,256
CRIMINAL MINDS CBS 3.9 5,143
HOUSE FOX 3.9 5,099
NCIS: LOS ANGELES CBS 3.8 5,055
SIMPSONS FOX 3.8 5,050
AMAZING RACE 17 CBS 3.8 4,969
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER CBS 3.7 4,929
UNDERCOVER BOSS CBS 3.7 4,889
MR. SUNSHINE ABC 3.7 4,878
MIKE & MOLLY CBS 3.7 4,824
HAWAII FIVE-0 CBS 3.4 4,516
COUGAR TOWN ABC 3.4 4,435
BIGGEST LOSER 11 NBC 3.4 4,433
CSI CBS 3.3 4,340
HELL’S KITCHEN FOX 3.3 4,297
BONES FOX 3.2 4,239
MENTALIST, THE CBS 3.2 4,208
BACHELOR, THE ABC 3.2 4,187
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT CBS 3.2 4,166
WIPEOUT-THURS ABC 3.2 4,165
BIGGEST LOSER 10 NBC 3.1 4,121
$#*! MY DAD SAYS CBS 3.1 4,089
EVENT NBC 3.1 4,054
PRIVATE PRACTICE ABC 3.1 4,051
CLEVELAND FOX 3.1 4,041
PARKS AND RECREATION NBC 3.0 3,964
RAISING HOPE FOX 3.0 3,950
BOB’S BURGERS FOX 3.0 3,926
HELL’S KITCHEN-WED 8P FOX 3.0 3,904
CSI: MIAMI CBS 3.0 3,901
PARENTHOOD NBC 2.9 3,779
AMERICAN DAD FOX 2.8 3,669
LAW AND ORDER:SVU NBC 2.8 3,652
Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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