TV Ratings Thursday: 'American Idol' Tops; Final Carell 'Office' Up, 'Rules,' 'CSI' Hit Lows

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April 29th, 2011

Scoreboard FOX NBC CBS ABC Uni CW
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 4.2/11 2.5/7 2.5/7 2.3/6 1.3/3 0.9/2
Rating/Share: Adults 18-34 2.8/9 2.7/8 1.6/5 1.9/6 1.2/4 1.0/3
Total Viewers (million) 14.414 5.267 10.975 7.968 3.163 2.169

The first night of the May sweeps period of course had Fox and American Idol on top of the nights ratings, while the final night for Steve Carell on The Office lifted NBC into a tie with CBS for second place in adults 18-49 for the night. The broadcast trend was generally down, the NFL Draft and NBA Playoffs may be to blame.

The 9pm hour on NBC which included 52 minutes of The Office averaged a 4.1 adults 18-49 rating, that's up 24% from last week, and will likely be adjusted up once the 8 minutes of P&R are removed in the final ratings, but it may not reach the season high 4.5 rating (the week ending 1/23/11).

The final ratings are in, and The Office drew a 4.2 adults 18-49 rating up 27% from last week, and Parks & Recreation scored a 2.3 adults 18-49 rating, down a tenth from last week.

Our polled readers turned out to be overly optimistic.

Earlier, Community drew a 1.5 rating, up a tenth from last week. The 10pm half hour, which was 30 of the 38 minute Parks & Recreation averaged a 2.3 rating, while 30 Rock at 10:30 drew a 1.9 rating, down 14% from last week's one hour episode.

CBS got hit with a big downdraft, The Big Bang Theory's 3.2 rating was down 14% from its last new episode. Rules of Engagement fell 12% from its last new episode to a season low 2.3 rating. CSI's 2.3 rating was down 21% from its last new episode to a series low, and The Mentalist's 2.6 rating was down 13% from its last new episode.

ABC's 20/20 Royal Wedding special drew just a 1.3 adults 18-49 rating. At 9pm, Grey's Anatomy's 3.5 rating was down 29% from its last new episode. Private Practice's 2.2 rating was down 19% from its last new episode.

American Idol's 5.5 adults 18-49 rating was down 5% vs. last week, but recent final adjustments have tended to adjust these preliminary ratings upwards. Bones' 2.8 rating was down 12% from last week.

The CW's Vampire Diaries was even with last week's 1.2 adults 18-49 ratings, while Nikita was down two tenths (25%) to a 0.6 adults 18-49 rating.

Late-night results are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Thursday, April 28, 2011:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
8:00 FOX American Idol 10 RESULTS 5.0 16 17.522
CBS The Big Bang Theory 3.2 10 10.480
NBC COMMUNITY 1.5 5 3.589
ABC A SPECIAL EDITION OF 20/20 1.2 4 6.491
CW THE Vampire Diaries 1.2 4 2.569
8:30 FOX American Idol 10 RESULTS 5.9 17 20.513
CBS Rules of Engagement 2.3 6 7.770
ABC A SPECIAL EDITION OF 20/20 1.5 4 7.347
NBC The Office - R 1.5 4 3.154
CW THE Vampire Diaries 1.2 3 2.636
9:00 NBC The Office 4.1 11 8.254
ABC GREY'S ANATOMY 3.5 9 10.309
FOX BONES 3.0 8 10.588
CW Nikita 0.6 2 1.711
9:30 NBC The Office 4.0 10 8.004
ABC GREY'S ANATOMY 3.6 9 10.332
FOX BONES 2.6 7 9.031
CW Nikita 0.6 2 1.761
10:00 CBS THE Mentalist 2.6 7 13.445
ABC Private Practice 2.3 6 7.002
10:30 CBS THE Mentalist 2.5 7 13.109
ABC Private Practice 2.0 5 6.327
NBC 30 ROCK 1.9 5 3.957

Via NBC press note:

In Late-Night Metered Markets Thursday night:

In Nielsen's 56 metered markets (the Birmingham market is delayed), household results were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 2.9/7; CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," 2.7/7; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 3.5/8; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 1.7/5.

In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 1.0/4; "Late Show," 0.7/3; "Nightline," 1.2/5; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.6/3.

At 12:35 a.m., "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.5/5 in metered-market households) tied 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) topped "Late Late Show" (0.4/3).

At 1:35 a.m., Last Call with Carson Daly" averaged a 0.9/4 in metered-market households and a 0.5/3 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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