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.

  • Bunny

    I guessed single-camera comedies are dead unless it’s family-oriented and they have to be reminded that it’s a documentary style..because people can’t seem to enjoy a show without a laugh-track.


  • Ultima

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

    Because no one is suprised that CSI’s ratings dropped as a result of competition returning. It had hit 2.5 in the fall, hitting 2.3 now is expected.

  • John A

    Why is Rock Centre still on? 0.6 is beyond awful.

  • John A

    SVU repeat Would do betuer at 9pm

  • Greg

    Isn’t a 2.3 what Miami did this week?

  • Greg

    @John A

    Indeed. I think even The Firm could do better than that.

  • rob60990

    “Isn’t a 2.3 what Miami did this week?”

    No Miami got a 1.7. Do some of you make up ratings in your head?

  • RyanCanada

    I thought appt 23 was ok, the beginning was rough, but it then got good, i will keep watching, but if abc is going to choise between Happy Endings and Appt 23, then i hope Appt 23 fails

    and chelsea’s odds are looking better after the failures of Bent and BFF’s lol

  • Ultima

    @John A
    SVU repeat Would do betuer at 9pm

    Yes, but NBC would either need to pull SVU from Saturdays or from their summer line up to do that.

    I don’t think there was anything NBC could have done to significantly improve that timeslot this spring, so might as well stick with Brian Williams.

  • s0303

    happy to see i’m not the only one who gave up on modern family…just wasn’t that funny this year…it’s lost 1.4 in the demo, won’t be long before it’s in the 3’s…

  • tv_viewer

    CSI dropped from a 2.9 last week to a preliminary rating of 2.3 last night. Obviously CSI benefited from airing against Rock Center rather than Law and Order: SVU last week.

    ABC gave Apt 23 the best possible lead in they have (Modern Family). Why are people griping about this? ABC knew that Happy Endings wasn’t strong enough to anchor a comedy block. Last week Happy Endings had a 1.7 rating following a repeat episode of Modern Family. Yesterday The Middle had a preliminary rating of 2.1. The Middle is a stronger show than Happy Endings. ABC is still hoping for a hit comedy about young single adults.

  • Joseph

    Over half of all people watching network TV last night (April 11th) at 9:30 P.M. EDT/PDT weren’t watching at 10 EDT/PDT.

    While some did turn off their sets, it’s my guess that local 10 P.M. (EDT/PDT) newscasts on Fox stations probably dominated that hour against entertainment programming on ABC, CBS, and NBC.

  • Raz162

    Apt. 23 was pretty good, a little like 2BG, only funny.

  • Red Jane

    2.9 for Apt 23 seems to me like a very good result having watched it (it just wasn’t funny at all)- I won’t tune back and I expect many others won’t either so predicting a huge drop next week….

  • Mike
  • Rebecca

    Next week’s Apt 23 episode is a little weird (about a certain dating choice), saw it online. I think the funniest part of the show is what they’re doing with James Van der Beek and all the Dawson references (never really watched Dawson’s Creek but I know enough to get the references). Last night was one of the funniest MF episodes Hubby and I have seen in a while (he laughed more than usual). Missed the first couple minutes of The Middle but enjoyed the rest.

  • CrimTV

    I don’t know how all of you guys do it, with so many great shows all on at once even with a DVR I would be constantly watching TV from 8-11pm. In the UK all the US shows are pretty spread out during the week and start at different times.

  • Bee

    uh.. am i the only one impressed by apt. 23’s numbers!? the show has a stupid name, suffers the ABC curse of bad promos that some of their shows get, gets the weakest MF lead-in in a long time, airs against the toughest part of idol, and this year’s spring ratings are HORRIBLE (the highest rated drama this week, unless grey’s outdoes it, will be NCIS with just 3.1.. really!?).

    i was hoping for a 2.5-2.7, but wouldn’t be surprised by a 2.2-2.4. really glad it got a 2.9! even if it adjusts down, that’s the best retention out of MF in a LONG time. considering how CT and HE would lose like 2.0+ or something, that 1.2 drop seems tiny! if MF was getting a 5.5+, it would’ve obiously done much better. all in all, i call this a successful debut. and all these spring shows that are getting good feedback have potential to really grow in the fall and with repeats because something bizarre is just going on these days.

    pretty decent for the revenge recap! hopefully it helped!

    and omg. NBC IS the next CW. 1.6? 0.9? 0.6? omg.

  • John A

    I forgot about The Firm. That might have cracked a 1.0 in that slot.

  • bluejays

    Hopefully Revenge will have some good numbers next week as that’s a good showing for just a recap.

    SVU is so weak this year. And I said last week that CSI would be way down this week. It had no competition worth speaking of last week.

    I don’t think those numbers for Apt 23 are that bad. Aren’t they better than most things coming out of MF?

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