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.

  • Cindy

    Criminal Minds and CSI where both good shows last night.

  • Mike R.

    Glad apt 23 did well, but the real test will be to see how many tune in next week. I still miss Happy Endings though.

  • CBS makes me happy

    Apt 23 I turned it off at 9:45

  • SJ

    Apartment 23 did OK. I had actually predicted that MF would get a 4.1 and A23 a 2.9.

    Why are people still lobbying that Suburgatory move to post-Modern Family? That time slot would be wasted on an established show, which I now consider SUB to be. But I agree that for as long as ABC tries to launch non-family comedies out of Modern Family, they’ll keep failing.

    That Revenge recap did better than I expected. There’s no way this show falls below a 2.3-2.4 now (except maybe on April 25 -MF repeat- or for the finale when it airs against Idol). The Middle and SUB held up better than I thought too. I was expecting them to dip below a 2.0.

    CBS will bounce back in the fall, as they always do. I’m not too worried about them.

    SVU has fallen and it can’t get up. But then again, what on NBC can these days?

  • Anon

    SVU now has an average of 5 and half million viewers. I have the impression that they are fans of Mariska Hargitay. This woman is fantastic and SVU, who attends, is getting better. The last episode was wonderful and once again showed the talent of this great actress. Unfortunately, the rabid fans of the series left Meloni and only know how to put defects. Without even see the episodes.

  • CrimTV

    This is a question, how do ABC advertise Apartment 23, do they actually say, “Don’t Trust That Bitch…” or do they go down the “Beep My Dad Says” route and say “Don’t Trust That *BEEP*…” ?

  • P&B


    Yes CM had a great episode last night. Probably the best of the season.

  • Captain

    What about Happy Endings? That premiered last year around this time and has done pretty well for itself. It’s not a breakaway hit but it’s still a successful show.

  • CookyMonzta

    4.9/14 and 16.4M for Idol’s average spread over the entire 2 hours. They were drawing that many viewers for the RESULTS shows in late-February and early-March. Last Wednesday they drew 4.9/14/17.1M. I think tonight’s results show could be a new all-time low, possibly 3.8 in the 18-49 demo and maybe as few as 13.5M. If this keeps up, NCIS could take the #2 spot from them if they don’t have a really big number for the finale.

  • William

    Why do a recap episode? Revenge is a really good show but ABC really screwed up with the long hiatus. Hopefully the #’s will be around what it got in the last original (which feels like months ago) MF was great last night, easily my favorite comedy on tv today

  • Justin


    They advertised it as “Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23.”

    Should’ve just called it Apartment 23 and been fine-er. PTC, How come you’re OK with B—- but not Playboy. Think about it, What’s more offensive to kids?

  • a p garcia

    Not bad for Revenge Recap and makes me wonder what a new, original programming will rate! I guess the long haitus hurt MF.

  • Dan C.

    The anticipation of Revenge is peaking by the looks of it. A 1.6 may leave a message of prospects of next week’s real return. Will the dedicated audience return as well as new people? Will it survive the weeks before the upfronts? Is Apt. 23 going to hurt it in any way? Next week’s data will tell the tale, and give us some answers to these questions.

  • Emma

    I worry that the extended hiatus will hurt Revenge. The show last aired a new episode on 2/29 so its almost a 2 month break. Hopefully ABC will promote the heck out of it.

  • DW

    b in 23 did fine when its been online for a while now. i’ve tried to watch it twice up to the first break. had no feel for it. i’m waiting for next week to see how revenge does. i bet it drops and people watch it dvr and on demand.

  • Bunny


    Happy Endings premiered with a 2.8 after Modern family..and got a boost when Megan Mullally appeared as Penny’s mom in 2 eps..Breaking In just got cancelled so I wouldn’t be surprise if they cast her as series regular
    she was the saving grace for that show..

  • Sarah

    Apt 23 was awful. I much prefer Happy Endings and Cougar Town

  • Skylar

    the first 2 episodes of Apartment 23 have been available online for quite a while now, I wonder if it harmed it. Many people on facebook said they werent watching it cause they’ve already seen the episode

  • Michael

    I’m hoping Missing had a modest performance tonight. I’m really enjoying this show. @One, I know you want it to fail lol.

  • H5O Fan

    I am big fan of CBS’s shows, but CSI last night started showing it’s true colors. A few weeks, pretty high because of episodes with Marge’s character going out and Elizabeth’s character coming in helped that series big time, and a bunch of reruns helped to. Of course CM did well, a series that has very little cross over of viewers with the shows at 9:00.

    For me, I am very interested in POI numbers tonight at 10:00, this should show how loyal of a fan base it is getting and how well it does at 10:00.

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