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TV Ratings Thursday: 'Big Bang Theory' Leads Night; 'X-Factor' Steady; Solid Starts for 'Whitney,' 'Person of Interest'

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September 23rd, 2011

Scoreboard FOX CBS ABC NBC Uni CW
rating/Share: Adults 18-49 4.1/11 3.6/10 3.4/9 2.4/6 1.6/4 1.0/3
Rating/Share: Adults 18-34 3.4/10 2.1/6 3.0/9 2.7/8 1.8/5 1.1/3
Total Viewers (million) 12.068 13.643 9.792 5.737 3.579 2.268

Fox won the night with adults 18-49 -- its first fall Thursday premiere week win ever, and CBS led with total viewers. The Big Bang Theory's 8p premiere scored a 4.8 rating with adults 18-49, identical to last year's 8pm premiere's preliminary ratings. But the 8:30 episode rose to a 5.0 adults 18-49 rating.

The X Factor slipped a little versus Wednesday's final numbers but was steady versus yesterday's preliminary numbers. Update: X Factor was adjusted up to a 4.3 rating (and 12.5 million viewers) in time zone adjusted numbers, down only 2% from Wednesday.  Grey's Anatomy slipped a lot versus last year with its two-hour premiere scoring a 4.1 adults 18-49 rating, down 23% from the 5.3 preliminary rating for last season's one hour premiere. . Good starts for Whitney with a 3.2 adults 18-49 rating. Whitney fans should be cautious though as the Whitney haters will remind them that Outsourced premiered to a 3.5 rating a year ago.

and an OK start for Person Of Interest with a 3.1 adults 18-49 rating, but it was lukewarm for Charlie's Angels (2.1) and Prime Suspect (1.7). Prime Suspect had the lowest-rated fall Thursday series premiere ever for NBC.

The Office without Steve Carrell didn't fall far, slipping 11% from last fall's premiere to a 3.9 adults 18-49 rating, but still its lowest-rated premiere since the first season. Community fell 23% from last fall's premiere to a 1.7 adults 18-49 rating and Parks & Recreation was 23% lower than last season's premiere of 30 Rock at 8:30p.

Against a full slate of broadcast competition this week The Vampire Diaries slipped 0.3 from last week to a 1.2 adults 18-49 rating and in its second week The Secret Circle fell 31% to a 0.9 adults 18-49 rating. The Vampire Diaries was down 30% from one year ago, and overall the CW was down 23% with adults 18-49 year over year.

Late-night results are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Thursday, September 22, 2011:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 CBS The Big Bang Theory (Season Premiere) 4.8/15 14.06
FOX The X Factor 3.9/11 11.43
ABC Charlie's Angels (Series Premiere) 2.1/6 8.74
NBC Community (Season Premiere) 1.7/5 3.98
CW Vampire Diaries 1.2/3 2.49
8:30 CBS The Big Bang Theory 5.0/14 14.65
NBC Parks & Recreation (Season Premiere) 2.0/6 4.11
9:00 FOX The X Factor 4.4/11 12.71
ABC Grey's Anatomy (Season Premiere) 3.9/10 10.11
NBC The Office (Season Premiere) 3.9/10 7.63
CBS Person Of Interest (Series Premiere) 3.1/8 13.22
CW The Secret Circle 0.9/2 2.05
9:30 NBC Whitney (Series Premiere) 3.2/8 6.71
10:00 ABC Grey's Anatomy (Season Premiere) 4.2/11 10.53
CBS The Mentalist (Season Premiere) 2.8/4 13.36
NBC Prime Suspect (Series Premiere) 1.8/5 6.00

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

Via NBC press notes:

In Late-Night Metered Markets Thursday night:

  • In Nielsen's 56 metered markets, household results were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 2.9/8; CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," 2.8/7; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 3.0/7; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 1.5/5.
  • In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 0.9/4; "Late Show," 0.7/3; "Nightline," 1.1/5; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.6/4.
  • At 12:35 a.m., "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.4/5 in metered-market households) tied CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (1.4/5).  In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late Night" (0.5/3 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 0.4/3 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters

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.

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 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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