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TV Ratings Wednesday: 'Law & Order: SVU,' 'The Middle,' 'Better With You,' 'Breaking In,' & 'Cougar Town' Inch Up; 'Survivor,' 'Happy Endings' Fall to Lows

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May 5th, 2011

Scoreboard FOX CBS ABC NBC Uni CW
Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 5.4/15 2.8/7 2.1/6 1.5/4 1.4/4 0.7/2
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 3.7/12 1.6/5 1.9/6 1.1/3 1.4/4 0.7/2
Total Viewers (million) 17.228 10.743 5.861 5.034 3.528 1.501

Of course Fox won the night in adults 18-49 and total viewers, fueled by 90 minutes of American Idol that averaged a 6.4 adults 18-49 rating.  That's down 10% from last week, but Idol has typically seen adjustments up of two or three tenths of a ratings point in the finals, and Fox is projecting Idol will be 6% higher than the comparable telecast last year once the adjustments are made.  Breaking In was up 4% from last week to a 2.5 adults 18-49 rating.

Survivor was down 6% from last week to a series low 3.0 adults 18-49 rating, however, Survivor too has typically seen an adjustments up of one or two tenths, so when all is said and done it could be even with last week.  Criminal Minds saw declines of 9% from its last original, down to a 23.2 adults 18-49 rating, and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior fell 15% to a 2.2 adults 18-49 rating.

ABC's comedies were a mixed bag, with The Middle and Better With You up a little, and Modern Family flat.  Cougar Town was up a tenth from last week, but last week it had a repeat Modern Family as a lead-in. Happy Endings took it on the chin though, its 10pm episode was down 19% from last week to a series low 1.7 adults 18-49 rating.

I guess NBC doesn't want to wear out The Voice's welcome, but it sure seems like a repeat of Tuesday's episode would've done at least double Minute To Win It.  At 10pm Law & Order: SVU was up 4% from its last original to a 2.5 adults 18-49 rating, comfortably winning the 10pm hour.

Late-night results are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for May 4, 2011:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 FOX American Idol 6.0/18 19.43
CBS Survivor: Redemption Island 3.0/9 10.66
ABC The Middle 2.0/6 7.74
NBC Minute To Win It 1.0/3 3.38
CW America's Next Top Model (R) 0.4/1 1.15
8:30 ABC Better With You 1.6/5 5.50
9:00 FOX American Idol 7.1/19 22.79
ABC Modern Family 3.8/10 9.64
CBS Criminal Minds 3.2/8 12.82
NBC Minute To Win It (R) 1.0/3 3.41
CW America's Next Top Model 0.9/2 1.86
9:30 FOX Breaking In 2.5/6 7.25
ABC Cougar Town 2.2/6 5.56
10:00 NBC Law & Order: SVU 2.5/6 8.31
CBS Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior 2.2/6 8.75
ABC Happy Endings 1.7/4 4.00
10:30 ABC Happy Endings 1.4/4 3.32

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via NBC press note:

In Late-Night Metered Markets Wednesday night:

• In Nielsen's 56 metered markets, household results were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 3.0/7; CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," 3.1/7; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 3.4/7; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 1.5/4.

• In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 1.0/4; "Late Show," 0.8/3; "Nightline," 1.2/5; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.7/3.

• At 12:35 a.m., "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.6/5 in metered-market households) tied CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (1.6/5). In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late Night" (0.6/3 in 18-49) tied "Late Late Show" (0.6/3).

• At 1:35 a.m., Last Call with Carson Daly" averaged a 1.0/4 in metered-market households and a 0.4/3 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters.

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NOTE: All ratings are "live plus same day" from Nielsen Media Research unless otherwise indicated. Starting with data for Mon 3/28/11, all program ratings will now include multiple viewings of a telecast on a DVR. Previously only the first viewing was counted. HUT/PUT will now consist of Live TV viewing and DVR playback at time of play. Previously, HUT/PUT consisted of live viewing and DVR playback credited to time of live telecast.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2011 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. 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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