TV Ratings Friday: 'Fringe' Premieres Down; Modest Start for 'A Gifted Man'; A (S)Low Start for 'Nikita' + 'Blue Bloods' & More

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September 24th, 2011

Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 1.7/6 1.6/5 1.6/5 1.0/3 0.7/2
Total Viewers (million) 10.607 5.783 3.685 3.784 1.916

CBS won the night with adults 18-49 edging out Fox and NBC which tied for second. CBS of course dominated in the press release friendly total viewers category.

A Gifted Man got off to a modest start in terms of the adults 18-49 demographic with only a 1.4 rating to go along with its 9.3 million viewers. CSI: New York scored a 1.8 adults 18-49 rating and Blue Bloods a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating. Both CSI: NY and Blue Bloods were down 0.2 with adults 18-49 from last season't premieres.

The CW shows got off to slow starts with Nikita pulling a 0.6 adults 18-49 rating in its Friday debut and Supernatural returning to a 0.8 adults 18-49 rating. Supernatural was down 25% from last season's premiere which scored a 1.2 adults 18-49 rating in the preliminary numbers, but was on par with the two-hour season finale which also scored a 0.8 rating.  Nikita was obviously way down from last season's Thursday premiere and such comparisons aren't fair.  The 0.6 adults 18-49 rating ties its series low on Thursdays.

Fringe returned with a 1.5 adults 18-49 rating, down 21% from its Friday premiere last winter, but up 25% from its season finale. For those asking "is that good" my guess is that it's not great, or even particularly good, but is enough, at least for now, to be in the "keep hope alive!" range.  Along with the 1.6 adults 18-49 rating for Kitchen Nightmares, Fox had its best Friday fall premiere in six years. Fox PR notes that Fringe was up 67% from the Friday fall premiere of The Good Guys a year ago.

Reruns of Up All Night and Whitney along with two hours of Dateline were enough for a second place finish for NBC.

Late-night ratings are below the primetime data.

Overnight broadcast primetime ratings for Friday, September 23, 2011:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 FOX Kitchen Nightmares (Season Premiere) 1.6/6 3.84
CBS A Gifted Man (Series Premiere) 1.4/5 9.31
ABC Modern Family (R) 1.0/4 3.90
NBC Up All Night (R) 0.8/3 3.16
CW Nikita (Season Premiere) 0.6/2 1.88
8:30 NBC Whitney (R) 0.9/3 3.10
9:00 CBS CSI: NY (Season Premiere) 1.8/6 10.67
NBC Dateline 1.7/5 6.39
FOX Fringe (Season Premiere) 1.5/5 3.53
ABC Revenge (R) 1.0/3 4.13
CW Supernatural (Season Premiere) 0.8/2 1.95
10:00 NBC Dateline 2.2/7 7.83
CBS Blue Bloods (Season Premiere) 2.0/6 11.85
ABC 20/20 1.0/3 3.33


Via NBC press note:

In late-night metered-market households Friday 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," 2.4/6; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 2.9/7; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 1.4/4 with an encore.
  • In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 1.0/5; "Late Show," 0.6/3; "Nightline," 1.0/4; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.6/3 with an encore.
  • At 12:35 a.m., "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.7/5 in metered-market households) beat CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (1.2/4).  In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late Night" (0.7/4 in 18-49) topped "Late Late Show" (0.3/2).
  • At 1:35 a.m., "Last Call with Carson Daly" averaged a 1.0/4 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 ratings are "live plus same day" from Nielsen Media Research unless otherwise indicated.


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.  More information on ratings is available here.

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.)

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.

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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