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Updated TV Ratings Wednesday: 'American Idol' Premiere Ratings Down 24%, Pushes Competition Down To Lows

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January 19th, 2012


Scoreboard FOX ABC CBS NBC Uni CW
Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 7.2/18 3.0/5 2.5/6 1.5/4 1.3/3 0.5/1
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 5.9/17 2.5/7 1.4/4 1.2/6 1.4/4 0.6/2
Total Viewers (million) 21.607 8.061 11.240 5.702 3.133 1.064

Update: Fox had Nielsen do a rush job on the time zone adjusted final national ratings and American Idol was adjusted up to a 7.4 adults 18-49 rating, which was down 24% vs. the 9.8 rating for last Wednesday's premiere, and 21.9 million viewers which was down 16% vs. last season's 26.2 million.

Update 2: I ran some numbers for a newspaper interview, and while last season's first night premiere telecast was down 17% among adults 18-49, the first night ratings for the season overall ended up being down only 4%. So predicting the season's entire ratings trend from the first night is folly.

Update 3: Here's an even more detailed breakdown of the season/season changes in different demos via Fox press note:

  • Adults 18-49: -24%
  • Adults 18-34: -24%
  • P12-34:  -23%
  • Teens: -14%
  • Women 18-49: -21%
  • Women 18-34: -22%
  • Women 25-54: - 27%
  • Men 18-49: -29%
  • Men 18-34: -31%
  • Men 25-54: 30%

American Idol's season premiere drew a 7.2 adults 18-49 rating, down 27% vs. a 9.8 rating for last season's Wednesday premiere. Its 21.6 million average viewership was down vs. 26.25 million for last season's Wednesday premiere. Half hour adults 18-49 ratings for Idol: 6.4, 7.5, 7.3, 7.8.

For all the "Idol's best days are behind it" folks, this may interest you.

On ABC, The Middle matched its season low (ex. Thankgiving week) 2.6 adults 18-49 rating, down 10% vs. a 2.9 rating last week.  Suburgatory also matched its season low 2.5 adults 18-49 rating, down 14% vs. a 2.9 last week. Modern Family also matched its season low (ex TGiving) 5.0 adults 18-49 rating, down 2% vs. a 5.1 rating last week. Happy Endings 2.9 adults 18-49 rating was down 3% vs. a 3.0 rating last week. Free of Idol, Revenge had a 2.5 adults 18-49 rating up 4% vs. a 2.4 rating last week.

In its second week on Wednesday, Whitney plunged 20% vs. last week to a series low 1.6 adults 18-49 rating.. Are You There, Chelsea? had a 1.8 adults 18-49 rating down 22% vs. a 2.3 rating last week. Harry's Law matched its series low 1.1 adults 18-49 rating down 8% vs. a 1.2 rating last week. Law & Order: SVU hit a series low 1.8 adults 18-49 rating down 10% vs. a 2.0 rating last week.

A week after its premiere, CW's One Tree Hill had a 0.7 adults 18-49 rating down 22% vs. a 0.9 rating last week. Interestingly, the Remodeled repeat had the same, woeful, 0.3 rating as the premiere.

Returning from holiday repeat break, Criminal Minds had a season low 3.2 adults 18-49 rating down 6% vs. a 3.4 rating for its last new episode in mid-December. Also back from a break, CSI had a 2.8 adults 18-49 rating down 3% vs. a 2.9 rating in mid-December.

Late-night results are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Wednesday, January 18, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
8:00PM FOX American Idol (premiere, 8-10p) 7.2 18 21.607
ABC The Middle 2.6 7 8.153
NBC Whitney 1.6 5 4.303
CBS NCIS -R 1.5 4 9.086
CW One Tree Hill 0.7 2 1.523
tvbythenumbers.com
8:30PM ABC Suburgatory 2.5 6 7.023
NBC Are You There, Chelsea? 1.8 4 4.272
tvbythenumbers.com
9:00PM ABC Modern Family 5.0 12 11.805
CBS Criminal Minds 3.2 8 12.825
NBC Harry's Law 1.1 3 6.409
CW Remodeled -R 0.3 1 0.605
tvbythenumbers.com
9:30PM ABC Happy Endings 2.9 7 6.222
tvbythenumbers.com
10:00PM CBS CSI 2.8 7 11.808
ABC Revenge 2.5 6 7.582
NBC Law & Order: SVU 1.8 5 6.409

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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," 2.9/7; CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," 2.7/7; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 3.3/6; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 1.6/5.

In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 1.0/5; "Late Show," 0.7/3; "Nightline," 1.1/5; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.7/4.

At 12:35 a.m., "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.6/6 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" (0.6/4 in 18-49) topped "Late Late Show" (0.4/3).

At 1:35 a.m., "Last Call with Carson Daly" averaged a 1.0/4 in metered-market households with an encore 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.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2012 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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