TV Ratings Wednesday: 'American Idol' Falls 16%; 'Modern Family,' 'The Middle,' 'Survivor,' 'Chelsea,' 'Law & Order: SVU' and Others At Lows

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February 23rd, 2012

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Fox easily won the night despite American Idol falling 16% from last week to a 5.1 adults 18-49 rating. That's down a whopping 35% vs. last year's equivalent telecast (7.9 adults 18-49 rating on Wednesday, February 23, 2011). Idol will likely be adjusted up a tenth or two in the finals but that won't make up for even the week over week losses.

CBS's Survivor: One World fell 10% from its premiere last week to a series low (with regular telecasts) 2.8 adults 18-49 rating.  Criminal Minds was flat with last week but its 3.1 adults 18-49 rating tied a season low.  Among the night's outliers on the night, CSI was up 8% to a 2.8 adults 18-49 rating.

The Middle and Suburgatory each fell a tenth to a season low 2.3 adults 18-49 rating.  Modern Family was flat week over week at a season low-tying 4.7 adults 18-49 rating. Happy Endings was up a tenth to a 2.5 adults 18-49 rating.  The 20/20 Oscar's special 'Before They Were Famous' wasn't close to fame. It drew a paltry 1.4 adults 18-49 rating.

On NBC, Whitney fell 12% to a 1.5 adults 18-49 rating and Are You There Chelsea? fell 7% to a season/series low 1.3 adults 18-49 rating. Rock Center also saw a series low down 14% to a 0.6 adults 18-49 rating.  Law & Order: SVU fell 6% to a 1.6 adults 18-49 rating, also a series low.

CW's One Tree Hill was down a tenth from last week with adults 18-49, but Remodeled was up a tenth to a still tiny 0.3 adults 18-49 rating.

Late-night results are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Wednesday, February 22, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 FOX American Idol 4.9/14 15.35
CBS Survivor 2.8/8 10.32
ABC The Middle 2.3/7 7.50
NBC Whitney 1.5/4 4.13
CW One Tree Hill 0.7/2 1.37
8:30 ABC Suburgatory 2.3/6 6.79
NBC Are You There, Chelsea? 1.3/3 3.40
9:00 FOX American Idol 5.3/13 16.14
ABC Modern Family 4.7/12 11.48
CBS Criminal Minds 3.1/8 12.62
NBC Rock Center with Brian Williams 0.6/2 2.69
CW Remodeled 0.3/1 0.76
9:30 ABC Happy Endings 2.5/6 5.70
10:00 CBS CSI 2.8/8 11.77
NBC Law & Order: SVU 1.6/4 5.94
ABC 20/20 Special: Before They Were Famous 1.4/4 4.81

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," 2.8/7; CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," 2.6/7; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 3.1/8; 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,” 1.0/5; "Late Show," 0.7/3; "Nightline," 0.9/4; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.5/3.
  • 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" (1.2/4).  In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late Night" (0.6/4 in 18-49) topped "Late Late Show" (0.4/2).
  • 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.

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.


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.

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