TV Ratings Friday: Blame 'Hunger Games?' - 'Supernatural,' 'Fringe' Fall to New Lows; 'Nikita' Inches Higher; CBS Wins With NCAA Basketball

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March 24th, 2012

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*Due to the nature of live sports programming the ratings for CBS (NCAA Basketball) are approximate and subject to more than the typical adjustments in the final numbers. See below for more information on these Fast Affiliate Ratings.

CBS's NCAA basketball coverage won out over ABC's unscripted fare on a night where both Fringe and Supernatural saw series/season lows.  Fringe dropped to a 0.9 adults 18-49 rating in its return, and Supernatural fell to a 0.6 adults 18-49 rating. Blame everyone standing in line for Hunger Games?  That's going to be a popular Fan Excuse Bingo theory today. But Nikita was up a tenth from last week to a 0.5 adults 18-49 rating.

Shark Tank fell two tenths to a 1.5 adults 18-49 rating but Primetime What Would You Do? was up a tenth from last week to a 1.6 adults 18-49 rating.  At 10pm NBC's Dateline was a tenth lower than last week, but ABC's 20/20 was two tenths higher than the previous week.

My program listings showed last night's Kitchen Nightmares as a new episode, if so its 1.0 adults 18-49 rating was mysteriously lower than last week's repeat which drew a 1.1.

It's probably useless to compare the percentage of adults 18-49 watching TV last week to this week to determine any Hunger Games effect since more people might have been watching basketball this week too, but last week 31.1% of adults 18-49 were watching TV in primetime and last night it was actually up to 31.4%, so slightly more adults 18-49 were watching last night, Hunger Games or not.

Half hourly breakouts:

Nikita: 0.5/0.5
Fringe 0.9/0.9
Supernatural 0.5/0.6

Overnight broadcast primetime ratings for Friday, March 23, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 CBS NCAA Basketball 8-11p 2.2/7 6.53
ABC Shark Tank 1.5/5 5.95
NBC Who Do You Think You Are? 1.0/4 5.79
FOX Kitchen Nightmares 1.0/4 3.06
CW Nikita 0.5/2 1.56
9:00 ABC Primetime What Would You Do? 1.6/5 5.19
FOX Fringe 0.9/3 2.88
NBC Grimm (R) 0.7/2 3.34
CW Supernatural 0.6/2 1.57
10:00 ABC 20/20 1.6/5 5.40
NBC Dateline NBC 0.9/3 4.36


Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2012 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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