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.

  • Michael

    Apt.23 solid debut, especially for a half hour comedy! I saw the pilot last night, really entertaining!

    CW: The highest demo closing in for the week is a 0.5 lol.

  • eridapo

    TVBTN….. Using lead-in to justify a show’s poor performance…. Must check my Fan Excuse Bingo card to see if lead-in is there.

  • Anon

    With all the talk about how edgy Apt 23 is, I personally don’t think it was any edgier than 2BG on Mondays (with the exception of the kitchen scene), and that is on an hour earlier.

    And do the writers have a grudge against Stargate Universe? Eli? Chloe?

    It was funny, but it wasn’t laugh-out-loud funny. I guess I can watch it for the rest of the spring.

  • SteveO

    Really really hoping Apt. 23 adjusts to 3.0 and 7 mil viewers.

  • eridapo


    AI 4.3/5.0/5.1/5.1

    Survivor 2.4/2.7
    CM 3.0/3.0
    CSI 2.4/2.3

    Rock Center .5/.7
    L&O:SVU 1.5/1.7

    Revenge:Rec 1.7/1.5

  • Justin

    I’m sorry everyone but Apartment 23 was horrible IMO. Happy Endings is 1000x better.

  • Riff Rafferty

    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.

    The show is awful now. Unwatchable, really. Maybe I was willing to put up with its transparent agenda when Meloni was there, but without him (and without his chemistry with Hargitay), FUHGEDDABOUDIT! With that said, those numbers aren’t as bad as they could be considering the dead weight NBC dumped in front of it.

    I don’t want to see former-hit veterans treated the way that NBC treated the original “Law & Order” — where they’re going to renew, they’re sure they’re renewing, here comes renewal… oops, sorry, we cancelled it — but they really need to pick a date to wrap it up. “The Office” as well. And that date should probably be next season. They’ve both outlived their usefulness.

  • salim

    ok why is no one confronting that fact that CSI has 2.3 and 9mill

  • Carmen

    Apt 23 was pretty good. It certainly had a better pilot episode than most (sticoms) have.

    ABC now has an interesting problem. By my count it now has 7 very watchable comedies. But 7 is an odd number and odd numbers do not generally bode well for 1/2 hours sitcom scheduling.
    My own order of preference is:
    1) The Middle
    2) Modern Family
    3-4) Cougar Town / Apt 23 (pick em)
    5) Happy Endings
    6) Last Man Standing
    7) Suburgatory

    But that’s only my arbitrary order and I may have to adjust Apt 23 after seeing more episodes (up or down)

    If ABC elects to add another comedy then it will probably save either Cougar Town or Suburgatory.

  • FV

    American Idol last year was 20 million viewers and a 6.2 preliminary adults 18-49 rating.

  • P&B

    CM did good against very tough competition. Unlike NCIS and NCIS:LA which all went down hard yesterday CM did stay stable in the demo and did rise with viewers.

    CSI went back to earth against a bit more competition from SVU.

  • eridapo

    The 10PM hour continues to decline. As soon as you have competition at that hour, your Top show falls back to earth. CSI was in the high 2s without competition, but the return of SVU knock it to the 2.3. What will happen to it when Revenge comes back? What of Revenge itself? Is a 2.0 possible for Revenge when it returns.

    Can a 2.5 be the highest a 10PM show can do when it has competition in the spring?

  • Timothy

    I saw the first episode of Apt23 weeks ago on Hulu, and the second episode last week on iTunes. It was actually much better than I’d expected. Regardless, I’m sure they were hoping I’d love it, and convince everyone I know to watch, but I wonder how many people who wanted to see the show have already seen the first couple episodes.

  • Rebecca

    What about putting Suburgatory after LMS and having CT air after The Middle, before Modern Family….then have HE and Apt 23 share the time slot after MF unless they can be paired together some other night? ABC has American Judy, The Smart One and Family Trap coming in the fall if they’re picked up (those are the only comedies I made note of, unless one is an hour long dramedy, not sure). I forgot about Betty White last night – too happy to finally have a new Middle and MF airing. Need to watch BFF later.

  • Ron

    @ Zerg, what? Revenge has 6 episodes left starting next week

  • Jinjeon

    “Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23″ is actually a very good show. Didn’t see it coming. Probably the best new sitcom of this season. It deserves much better ratings. I didn’t expect ABC could do something like that but they did. It’s definitely a keeper.

  • Heather

    Man SVU just continues its slide. Show has gotten awful. Getting No help from NBC but every week it just goes lower and lower. Looks like lots of people have given up on was once a good cop show.

  • Andrew

    Don’t Trust the B was funny! can’t wait for next week!
    wow. seems like The CW is going to really have a rough time with it’s decisions.
    Seems as though a 0.5 is standard for the network at the moment. gonna make cutting shows a rough time!
    Shame that they already renewed America’s Next Top Model already.

  • SteveO

    I’m just excited for 6-7 weeks of all new episodes and ratings to look forward to on this site. But after that… summer shows…

  • Grey

    I was definitely NOT impressed with Apt 23…I think i laughed once maybe.

    I miss Happy Endings

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