TV Ratings Wednesday: 'American Idol' Steady, Fox Wins Night; 'Apartment 23' Has OK Premiere ; 'Modern Family' Returns Down

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April 12th, 2012

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Fox won the night with adults 18-49 and total viewers as American Idol was steady vs. last Wednesday with a 4.9 adults 18-49 rating. Note, last week American Idol was adjusted up two tenths in the final numbers, so it's possible it's actually up on the week.

The Middle and Suburgatory both returned steady vs. their last originals with each drawing a 2.1 adults 18-49 rating. Modern Family returned after a three week break with a 4.1 adults 18-49 rating, down 9% (four tenths) vs. its last original. The premiere of Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 drew a 2.9 adults 18-49 rating. By comparison that's well below the best Happy Endings rating of the season (3.5). That's on par with how Happy Endings has performed out of Modern Family this spring, though Happy Endings was following higher-rated telecasts of Modern Family (example in February Happy Endings scored a 2.9 adults 18-49 rating out of a 5.5 adults 18-49 rating for Modern Family).

Survivor fell to a series low (for a regular telecast) 2.6 adults 18-49 rating and Criminal Minds was steady with a 3.0 adults 18-49 rating.  With more competition, CSI was way down (21%) but still led the 10pm hour with a 2.3 adults 18-49 rating. While the return of Law & Order: SVU no doubt considered to the drop for CSI, it's still notable that SVU could only tie a Revenge recap show (and it actually slightly trailed in total viewers).

Earlier in the night on NBC,  Betty White: Off Their Rockers was down two tenths and Best Friends Forever was down 25% to a 0.9 adults 18-49 rating. Back at 9pm, Rock Center with Brian Williams was down 25% vs. last week when it aired at 10pm to a 0.6 adults 18-49 rating.

Late-night results are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Wednesday, April 11, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 FOX American Idol 4.7/14 15.62
CBS Survivor 2.6/8 9.63
ABC The Middle 2.1/7 7.04
NBC Betty White's Off Their Rockers 1.6/5 6.16
CW America's Next Top Model (R) 0.4/1 0.95
8:30 ABC Suburgatory 2.1/6 6.11
NBC Best Friends Forever 0.9/3 2.94
9:00 FOX American Idol 5.1/13 17.14
ABC Modern Family 4.1/11 10.25
CBS Criminal Minds 3.0/8 11.17
NBC Rock Center with Brian Williams 0.6/2 2.75
CW America's Next Top Model 0.5/1 1.03
9:30 ABC Don't Trust the B----- in Apartment 23 (Premiere) 2.9/7 6.98
10:00 CBS CSI 2.3/6 9.80
ABC Revenge: From the Beginning (Recap) 1.6/4 5.57
NBC Law & Order: SVU 1.6/4 5.42

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," 3.2/8; 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,” 0.8/4; "Late Show," 0.6/3; "Nightline," 1.2/5; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.7/4.
  • At 12:35 a.m., "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.4/5 in metered-market household) beat CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (1.2/4).  In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late Night" (0.5/3 in 18-4) topped "Late Late Show" (0.4/2).
  • At 1:35 a.m., "Last Call with Carson Daly" averaged a 0.9/4 in metered-market households and a 0.3/3 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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  • Chmarin

    Apt.23 is NOT COMPATIBLE with Modern Family. Why ABC keeps pushing these edgy sitcoms at 9.30 is beyond me.

  • Tyler D

    Yup, I can’t think of another adjective other than “OK”

    I realize they wanted the post-MF spot, but no network has had any real success launching a midseason show.

  • John A

    So ABC highest rated comedy isnt a good lead in? So what is then?

  • SteveO

    That’s not HORRIBLE I guess for Apt. 23. Hopefully the consistent run of episodes this spring keeps it in the renewal range.

    I really enjoyed the first and second episodes.

  • Aerilyn

    I will agree that pairing Apt 23 and Happy Endings are not really compatible shows with Modern Family, which is a family oriented sitcom. However, I will say that I hope Apt. 23 stays strong, because I’d really like it after watching its first two episodes and I hope it doesn’t get cancelled.

  • rob60990

    Not a bad start for Apartment 23. I think that’s a bit higher than Happy Endings premiere last year. The show was VERY racy and not at all compatible with Modern Family.

    The Middle & Suburgatory were both steady at a 2.1. At least they didn’t fall below a 2.

  • TimsDale4ever

    I watched Apt23 but it wasn’t as good as the previews indicated, but it was good enough that I will watch next week. I thought it would have scored much better considering it followed MF, and like I said, the previews “looked” amazingly funny.

  • SteveO

    And I’m not sure if this will help so much, but for the rest of the season, Apt. 23 is sandwiched between Modern Family and new Revenge episodes. So I’m sure it will be very consistent in its ratings.

  • Bunny

    So is this good/bad news for Happy Endings?

    I heard the next ep of Apt 23 is really good but very weird and might turned off some modern fam viewers ..

  • Chmarin

    @John A, that’s beside the point. For a show to take full advantage of a good lead-in, it has to be at least somewhat compatible with that show.

    I honestly think Suburgatory would be a great fit for the 9.30 slot. And this is coming from a huge Happy Endings fan, and from someone who really enjoyed the first two episodes of Apartment 23.

    ABC needs to take some risks and open a new comedy block featuring these edgier sitcoms and leave the family stuff for Wednesday: 8 Middle 8.30 Last Man Standing 9 Modern Family 9.30 Suburgatory.

  • Aerilyn

    @Bunny, I saw the 2nd episode of Apt. 23 and it’s even better than the Pilot episode. I don’t see how it was weird though where it would turn off some Modern Family viewers, but then again, Apt. 23 isn’t as family oriented as MF, which is the type of sitcom that should be following MF in the first place. But, the 2nd episode is really good and I hope the show doesn’t fall to cancellation numbers.

  • MattM

    Now that Whitney and Chelsea’s seasons are over and I despise American Idol and NBC’s new shows, I gave ABC’s earlier sitcoms(The Middle, Suburgatory) a chance last night. I was pleased. Modern Family is a beast, in a month where ratings have been way down across the board, that’s a damn good number. I thought Apt 23 was better and funnier than Happy Endings, I think it will retain most of it’s audience and vulture some ratings points later in the season when most other shows go into repeats.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    table added

  • SteveO

    Yes, but I think Apt. 23 is a perfect middle ground between Modern Family and Revenge. It’s like a transition from family to edgy. I think it’s a great slot to launch it in, personally.

  • CrimTV


    I like your idea

  • MoHasanie

    I knew Apt 23 wasn’t compatible with MF. At least the premiere got a 2.9, since I was expecting mid 2’s. MF is down, but it could always be adjusted up.
    I’d think ABC would be disappointed with Apt 23 ratings, since it gave it so much promotion, and promoted it during the Oscars.

  • John A

    The show had a good lead in and was promoted well. Stop complaning lol

  • CrimTV

    BTW That’s pretty good for the Revenge recap :)

  • tim

    Happy Endings season 3 here we come! :)

  • SteveO

    Also, noticing the Revenge numbers: if it’s pulling a 1.6 w/5.57 million viewers in a “recap” episode, I think next week is going to look very good!

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