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.

For more information see Numbers 101.

  • John

    When is ABC going to learn how to properly program? Cougar Town, Happy Endings and Apt 23 AREN’T compatible with a family comedy.

  • Kim

    I didn’t watch Apt. 23 because I was sick of the promos and that overplayed song “Sexy And I Know It”.

  • Bunny

    In Jan..ABC boss Paul Lee expressed his dreams of expanding a time slot with a “young hip” comedy block..ABC was probably hoping that Apt 23 like Glee might be a huge hit so that Happy Endings and other new shows can have a good lead in…

  • John

    While down, Modern Family has nothing to worry about as a 4.1, especially in this season of declines and lower averages, is quite an achievment.

  • Luke

    NBC is just embarrassing with its collection of shows that have nothing to do with each other. Who programs this network???

  • Baqinardo

    i dont think ABC will move LMS to Wednesday line ups.
    It doesnt match. LMS is multi-camera comedy, others single camera.
    (I think that’s also why NBC moved Whitney to Wednes and UAN after The Office)
    I think ABC will premiere new multi-camera comedy next season after LMS.

  • Chmarin

    @John A, who’s complaining? Jesus. I just love it when I try to have a normal discussion with someone and they respond with a one-liner that’s about as intelligent as Kim Kardashian. Oh, and let’s not forget the ‘lol’ at the end.

  • tim

    Happy Endings will get renewed over Cougar Town,
    If Apt.23 comes back next year it should be paired with Happy Endings

  • MattM

    People, they put Apt 23 after Modern Family so it could get the most viewers possible. Networks do this all the time with shows they believe in. Once it gains an audience it will probably be moved.

  • P&B

    I think the viewers numbers for Criminal Minds is off, the half hour was 11.51 million viewers at 9pm and 12.03 million viewers at 9:30 that mean 11.77 million viewers for the hour and not 11.17 million.

  • Chmarin

    @Bunny, he expressed that after he decided not to move forward with the Cougar Town/Apt.23 block in between DWTS seasons. That could’ve potentially been something. Okay, CT’s ratings are pretty bad, but leading out of Apt.23, it could’ve worked and it could’ve been the basis for an expanded Tuesday night comedy block this fall.

  • zerg

    2 more episodies for Revenge..

    not that bad for a recap

  • ABC hater

    How the mighty have fallen… ANTM is pulling very weak numbers every week.

  • Riff Rafferty

    @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.

    It will be next year when “How to Live with Your Parents” or “The Family Trap” or whatever is in that time slot.

    Obviously, a 68%/71% hold in total viewers/18-49 is better than the laughable 50% retention ABC put up with from the last 2 not-yet-cancelled occupants. But hey, when you’re incompetent, why bother striving for anything better? Especially when you’ve got this site’s unbridled stupidity egging you on?

  • John

    Oh and here’s hoping both MF and APT 23 are adjusted

  • Jay

    Man, feeling a bit sad for SVU, however the show isn’t what it used to be since Neal Baer left. It used to tackle edgy (normally medical) issues but now it just seems like a standard cops show.

    Surprised at Revenge’s ratings. I wonder how many people tuned in expecting a new episode.

  • zerg

    Ouch ! @CSI series low

  • John A

    Ok i dont care about anything on ABC to begin with. Move on

  • Bunny

    I bet Apt 23 will be adjusted up to 3.0

  • Greg

    Modern Family can be a good lead in. ABC just has to premiere a family sitcom in that timeslot (maybe bring LMS to that timeslot). Leave those edgy comedies for tuesdays, they’ll never do high numbers anyway.

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