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TV Ratings: March Madness Upsets Thursday; FlashForward Return Fizzles

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March 19th, 2010


Due to the nature of live programming the ratings for CBS (NCAA Basketball) are approximate and subject to significant revisions in the final numbers. See below for more information on these Fast Affiliate Ratings.

Scoreboard CBS NBC ABC Uni FOX CW
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 3.7/11 2.7/8 1.6/5 1.4/4 1.4/4 0.6/2
Rating/Share: Adults 18-34 3.3/11 2.7/9 1.4/5 1.5/5 1.0/4 0.5/2
Total Viewers (million) 10.331 6.587 5.783 3.319 5.315 1.434


CBS' First round coverage of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament had an easy time upsetting the Thursday ratings race. While the return of ABC's FlashForward fizzled, dropping to just a 1.9 adults 18-49 rating. NBC's line up of new episodes were all over the map vs. last week, but its nightly 18-49 ratings average was exactly the same.

FlashForward's new episode return FellFlat on Thursday night, down 10% from the 2.1 adults 18-49 rating it ended its fall run with to just a 1.9 rating. On the show's "Now, Or Never" question, "Never" seems to be the early answer.

With all the caveats about measuring live events with these preliminary fast affiliate ratings, the CBS coverage of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament averaged a 3.7 adults 18-49 rating in the 8-11pm primetime segment, that's up 3% from last year's first night fast affiliate ratings, but until we see more accurate time zone adjusted numbers (likely in a CBS press release) I wouldn't make much of either the number or the comparison vs. last season.

NBC had the yin and the yang going last night, as Community was up 11% to a 2.1 adults 18-49 rating, while Parks & Recreation was down 5% to a 2.0 rating. The Office fell 5% to a season low 3.6 rating, but 30 Rock was up 3% to a 3.0 rating. Finally, The Marriage Ref was up 8% to a 2.8 adults 18-49 rating. Note that The Office overran until 9:31pm last night, increasing the likelihood its ratings will be adjusted upward and 30 Rock ratings will be adjusted downward in the final ratings.

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (Millions)
8:00 CBS NCAA Tournament: First Round 3.3 11 9.148
NBC Community 2.1 7 5.211
ABC FlashForward 1.9 7 6.870
FOX Bones (repeat) 1.5 5 5.883
CW The Vampire Diaries (repeat) 0.5 2 1.429
8:30 CBS NCAA Tournament: First Round 3.7 12 10.323
NBC Parks & Recreation 2.0 6 4.703
ABC FlashForward 1.8 6 6.343
FOX Bones (repeat) 1.6 5 6.609
CW The Vampire Diaries (repeat) 0.5 2 1.432
9:00 CBS NCAA Tournament: First Round 4.1 12 11.671
NBC The Office 3.6 10 7.630
ABC FlashForward 1.9 5 6.476
FOX Fringe (repeat) 1.3 4 4.515
CW Supernatural (repeat) 0.6 2 1.489
9:30 CBS NCAA Tournament: First Round 4.2 12 11.707
NBC 30 Rock 3.0 9 6.857
ABC FlashForward 2.0 6 6.502
FOX Fringe (repeat) 1.2 3 4.253
CW Supernatural (repeat) 0.6 2 1.384
10:00 CBS NCAA Tournament: First Round 3.9 11 10.505
NBC The Marriage Ref 2.9 9 7.727
ABC Private Practice (repeat) 1.2 4 4.529
10:30 CBS NCAA Tournament: First Round 3.3 10 8.634
NBC The Marriage Ref 2.8 8 7.392
ABC Private Practice (repeat) 1.0 3 3.977

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Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2010 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

You can see TV ratings from other recent Overnight ratings reports here.

Definitions:

Fast Affiliate Ratings: These first national ratings, including demographics, are available at approximately 11 AM (ET) the day after telecast, and are released to subscribing customers daily. These data, from the National People Meter sample, are strictly time-period information, based on the normal broadcast network feed, and include all programming on the affiliated stations, sometimes including network programming, sometimes not. The figures may include stations that did not air the entire network feed, as well as local news breaks or cutaways for local coverage or other programming. Fast Affiliate ratings are not as useful for live programs and are likely to differ significantly from the final results, because the data reflect normal broadcast feed patterns. For example, with a World Series game, Fast Affiliate Ratings would include whatever aired from 8-11PM on affiliates in the Pacific Time Zone, following the live football game, but not game coverage that begins at 5PM PT. The same would be true of Presidential debates as well as live award shows and breaking news reports.

Rating: Estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.

Share (of Audience): The percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. (See also, Rating, which represents tuning or viewing as a percent of the entire population being measured.)

Time Shifted Viewing – Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data – Live, Live+Same Day (Live+SD) and Live+7 Day. Time shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs which are currently in approximately 24.4% of all U.S. TV households. Live+Same Day (Live+SD) include viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3:00AM local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live+7 Day ratings include incremental viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

For more information see Numbers 101.

 
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