TV Ratings Tuesday: 'American Idol' Performance Finale Drops; 'Glee' Finale Rises; 'Dancing' Finale Mutes 'The Voice'

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May 25th, 2011

Scoreboard FOX ABC NBC CBS Uni CW
Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 5.4/15 3.7/10 3.3/9 1.7/4 1.6/4 0.2/1
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 4.4/13 2.3/7 2.7/8 1.1/3 1.7/5 0.3/1
Total Viewers (million) 16.033 17.413 8.238 9.292 3.838 0.673

A last minute vocal illness for one of the final contestants apparently resolved, American Idol's performance finale move to Tuesday (so that the decision finale could fit within the 2010-11 broadcast season) saw it drop to a series low for a performance finale 6.2 adults 18-49 rating vs. a 7.4 rating for last week's 2 hour Wednesday show. That's also down 7% from last season's performance finale. However, typical upwards adjustments in the final ratings will likely partially close those gaps. Following Idol, the Glee season finale drew a 4.6 rating, up 28% from last week's 8pm episode, and its best rating since early March.

Of course Fox topped the adults 18-49 ratings on the night.

The two hour season finale of ABC's Dancing with the Stars scored a 4.5 adults 18-49 rating, up 29% vs. last week, and up 15% from last Spring's finale (which was a series finale low).

The season finale of NBC's The Biggest Loser drew a 3.1 adults 18-49 rating, up 11% from last week, but it was a series low for a finale episode, down 21% from last Spring's finale. Perhaps muted by the Dancing with the Stars finale, NBC's latest great hope, The Voice, fell to a 3.8 adults 18-49 rating, down 16% from last week. That's not a good omen for next season, when theyr're currently scheduled to go head to head.

Late-night ratings are below the primetime data.

Broadcast primetime ratings for Tuesday, May 24, 2011:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
8:00 FOX American Idol 10 RESULTS 5.6 18 18.511
NBC THE Biggest Loser:  COUPLES 2.6 8 7.102
CBS NCIS - R 1.7 5 9.948
CW One Tree Hill - R 0.2 1 0.676
8:30 FOX American Idol 10 RESULTS 6.7 18 21.416
NBC THE Biggest Loser:  COUPLES 2.9 8 7.578
CBS NCIS - R 1.9 5 10.531
CW One Tree Hill - R 0.2 1 0.596
9:00 FOX Glee 4.8 12 12.542
ABC Dancing with the Stars RESULTS 4.2 11 19.819
NBC THE Biggest Loser:  COUPLES 3.3 8 8.596
CBS NCIS:  LOS ANGELES - R 1.7 4 9.379
CW HELLCATS - R 0.2 1 0.619
9:30 FOX Glee 4.5 11 11.663
ABC Dancing with the Stars RESULTS 4.2 10 20.029
CBS NCIS:  LOS ANGELES - R 1.8 4 9.161
CW HELLCATS - R 0.3 1 0.802
NBC The Voice 3.8 9 8.684
CBS NCIS - R 1.7 4 8.631
NBC The Voice 3.8 9 8.412
CBS NCIS - R 1.6 4 8.099

via NBC press note:

In Late-Night Metered Markets Tuesday 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," 2.5/6; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 5.0/11; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 2.4/7.

In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 1.1/5; "Late Show," 0.7/3; "Nightline," 1.7/6; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.9/5.

At 12:35 a.m., "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.5/5 in metered-market households) beat CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (1.3/4). In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late Night" (0.7/4 in 18-49) topped "Late Late Show" (0.4/2).

At 1:35 a.m., Last Call with Carson Daly" averaged a 0.9/4 in metered-market households and a 0.4/3 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters.

NOTE: All national ratings are "live plus same day" from Nielsen Media Research unless otherwise indicated.

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

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 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 and Numbers 102.

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