TV Ratings Thursday: NBC Comedy Night Begins Well, Idol’s Thursday Start Falls, CBS Down Across the Board

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Of course Fox topped the adults 18-49 ratings on Thursday night, but Idol’s timeslot move took its toll on the ratings. CBS was pushed down across the board, interestingly CBS’s declines vs. Idol weren’t the worst of the night. While NBC’s “Comedy Night Done Right” exceeded its 2 hour comedy block ratings from the fall.

NBC’s “Comedy Night Done Right” ratings started better than most of our readers expected, averaging a 2.8 adults 18-49 rating on the night. Community’s 2.2 adults 18-49 rating tied its second best mark of the season, up 16% from its last new episode. Perfect Couples’ 2.1 rating was far better than its December “preview’s” 1.3 rating. The Office’s 4.5 adults 18-49 rating was a season high, up 22% from its last new episode. Parks & Recreation returned with a pop, its 3.2 adults 18-49 rating was a series record. 30 Rock’s 2.7 rating at 10pm was 29% above its last new episode. Its skeptics will feast on the fact that Outsourced tumbled to a 1.8 adults 18-49 rating, a series low, down 28% from its last new episode.

American Idol’s Thursday premiere scored a 7.8 adults 18-49 rating, that’s down 23% from last season’s second night’s 10.1 rating (on a Wednesday, somewhat apples/oranges). Its 22.9 million viewers was down from last season’s Wednesday start of  26.4 million. Following Idol, Bones drew a 3.6 adults 18-49 rating. That’s Bones’ best rating since 1/28/10. Note that the Fox ratings are time-zone adjusted (no other nets yet) and are unlikely to change in the final adjustments.

CBS’s The Big Bang Theory weathered the Idol storm quite well, its 4.2 adults 18-49 rating was down just 5% from its last new episode. $#*! My Dad Says’ 2.7 rating was a series low, and down 7% vs. its last new episode. CSI’s 3.1 rating was down 6% from its last new episode, while The Mentalist’s 2.8 rating was down 10% from its last new episode.

ABC’s Wipeout’s 2.6 rating, still impressive for reality vs. Idol (and the NBC 8pm comedies), tumbled 28% vs. last week.

Late-night results are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Thursday, January 20, 2011:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
8:00 FOX AMERICAN IDOL 10 7.0 19 20.586
ABC WIPEOUT 2.3 6 7.879
NBC COMMUNITY 2.2 6 4.740
8:30 FOX AMERICAN IDOL 10 8.4 22 24.672
ABC WIPEOUT 2.8 8 8.624
CBS $#! MY DAD SAYS 2.7 7 10.292
9:00 NBC THE OFFICE 4.5 12 8.285
FOX BONES 3.9 10 11.906
CBS CSI 3.1 8 14.025
ABC GREY’S ANATOMY – R 1.7 4 5.034
CW NIKITA – R 0.5 1 1.295
9:30 FOX BONES 3.3 9 9.986
CBS CSI 3.0 8 14.555
ABC GREY’S ANATOMY – R 1.5 4 4.379
CW NIKITA – R 0.5 1 1.335
10:00 CBS THE MENTALIST 2.8 7 14.770
NBC 30 ROCK 2.7 7 5.281
10:30 CBS THE MENTALIST 2.8 8 14.556
NBC OUTSOURCED 1.8 5 3.953

Via NBC press note:

In Late-Night Metered Markets Thursday night:

In Nielsen’s 56 metered markets, household results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 2.9/7; CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman,” 3.2/8; and ABC’s combo of “Nightline,” 2.9/7; and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” 1.4/4

In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 1.1/5; “Late Show,” 0.9/4; “Nightline,” 0.9/4; and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” 0.5/3.

At 12:35 a.m., “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” (1.4/5 in metered-market households) trailed CBS’s “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” (1.5/5). In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, “Late Night” (0.7/4 in 18-49) tied “Late Late Show” (0.5/3).

At 1:35 a.m., Last Call with Carson Daly” averaged a 0.7/3 in metered-market households with an encore and a 0.4/3 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2011 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

NOTE: All national ratings are “live plus same day DVR viewing” from Nielsen Media Research unless otherwise indicated.

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


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 baseball 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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