TV Ratings Thursday: 'American Idol' Rises, Dominates Repeats; 'Rules Of Engagement' Slips

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March 4th, 2011

Scoreboard FOX CBS Uni NBC ABC CW
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 8.1/23 2.0/6 1.6/5 1.4/4 1.2/3 0.4/1
Rating/Share: Adults 18-34 6.0/20 1.2/4 1.7/6 1.5/5 0.9/3 0.4/2
Total Viewers (million) 24.961 9.301 3.922 3.008 4.042 1.155

Against almost a complete slate of repeats on broadcast television, American Idol dominated the ratings Thursday night.

American Idol's 8.1 adults 18-49 rating was up 13% vs. last Thursday. That was also up 29% vs. the comparable telecast last season (3/11/10, 6.3 A18-49 rating). Fox also had the highest rated non-sports Thursday night on broadcast TV since 3/8/07.

Flying solo, the only other new show on broadcast TV last night, CBS's Rules of Engagement, tumbled 18% vs. last week to just a 2.3 adults 18-49 rating.

Against the English broadcast repeats, Univision finished third for adults 18-49, ahead of both NBC and ABC. I don't typically comment on repeats, but interesting to note that NBC's "All Office" repeat Thursday at least beat ABC's line up.

Late-night results are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Thursday, March 3, 2011:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (Millions)
8:00 FOX American Idol 10 RESULTS 6.9 22 21.681
CBS The Big Bang Theory - R 2.5 8 9.174
ABC Wipeout - R 1.3 4 4.793
NBC The Office - R 1.1 4 2.987
CW THE Vampire Diaries - R 0.5 2 1.261
8:30 FOX American Idol 10 RESULTS 8.3 24 25.539
CBS Rules of Engagement 2.3 7 8.317
ABC Wipeout - R 1.5 5 5.232
NBC The Office - R 1.3 4 3.002
CW THE Vampire Diaries - R 0.4 1 1.087
9:00 FOX AMERICAN IDOL 10 RESULTS 8.5 24 25.961
CBS CSI - R 1.8 5 8.357
NBC The Office - R 1.6 4 3.242
ABC GREY'S ANATOMY - R 1.2 3 4.079
CW Nikita - R 0.4 1 1.205
9:30 FOX AMERICAN IDOL 10 RESULTS 8.9 24 26.664
CBS CSI - R 1.9 5 9.104
NBC The Office - R 1.5 4 3.092
ABC GREY'S ANATOMY - R 1.2 3 3.866
CW Nikita - R 0.3 1 1.069
10:00 CBS THE Mentalist - R 1.9 5 10.435
NBC The Office - R 1.4 4 2.993
ABC Private Practice - R 1.0 3 3.291
10:30 CBS THE Mentalist - R 1.8 6 10.416
NBC THE OFFICE - R 1.2 4 2.729
ABC Private Practice - R 0.9 3 2.990

Via NBC press note:

In Late-Night Metered Markets Thursday night:

Nielsen's 56 metered markets, household results were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 2.6/7; CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," 3.1/8; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 2.7/7; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 1.3/4.

In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 0.8/4; "Late Show," 1.0/4; "Nightline," 0.8/3; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.4/2 with an encore.

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" (0.6/4 in 18-49) tied "Late Late Show" (0.6/4).

At 1:35 a.m., Last Call with Carson Daly" averaged a 0.9/4 in metered-market households and a 0.5/4 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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