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.

  • mdmb

    come on modern family! dont die so fast

  • Bunny

    I wish ABC would nurture their current shows..HIMYM wasn’t a ratings hit for 2 seasons but CBC was behind it 100% and now it’s a success..

    I really hope they renew Happy Endings..

  • Ram510

    Apt 23 was ok. It was shocking that the show made it on network broadcast TV when its more suited for cable.

    Just renew Cougar Town already!!!!!

  • SJ

    Happy Endings is 100% safe. I don’t know why some of you think that Happy Endings and Apartment 23 are in an either/or situation. I’d actually go so far as to say that the better Apartment 23 performs, the better chances Happy Endings and it both have at getting renewed for the 2013-2014 season, because right now it looks like they’ll both be done by next spring. Cougar Town is already out of the running and has been since February 15, 12pm EST.


    I really doubt that Megan Mullally helped Happy Endings. Shows go up and down 1-2 tenths all the time, you can’t really pinpoint a reason for the weekly oscillations. Also, if big names helped get big ratings, I doubt that shows like Breaking In, Luck or Men of a Certain Age would have rated as low as they did.

  • RJ

    well in 2 weeks The Middle, Suburgatory & Modern Family are all repeats while Apartment 23 and Revenge are new… so i guess we will see how strong it is then?

  • Lizam

    Apt 23 I think would be a good comedy for 10pm hour. ABC should make Wednesday a 3 hr comedy block! You guys should really watch the second episode much better then the first one.

    ABC Next Fall Should look like:
    8 The Middle
    8:30 Subergatory
    9 Modern Family
    9:30 Family Trap or The Smart One
    10 Happy Endings
    10:30 Apt 23

  • Anon

    @ bluejays

    I have read comments from fans Hundreds of saying They Do not see more Meloni SVU after the departure of the actor. Okay, I really like Meloni and mourned his departure. However, this temporda the show, now Warren Leigth writing is excellent. But the ex-fans who watch the show no more, SVU insist That sucks. SVU is still strong.
    Sorry my English.

  • H5O Fan

    Well one thing I will say about CBS announcing their renewals early, it drove the CBS’s haters underground till spring.

    IMO, Survivor is starting to show some age, I am kinda thinking to many tourches stuffed out. The show blew me away when it first started, now it’s the same old back stabbing fellow tribe members. I have an idea, “Survivor in Disney World”, every member of the tribe needs to get a signature of every Disney character in the park. Just came back, from the happiest place on Earth, and any parent that has been able to do that for their kids, deserve a freaking million dollars.

  • jamandas

    I prefer Happy Endings so far way funnier then Apt 23 but I have only seen the pilot & I don’t judge to harshly by the pilot have to see two or three episodes to see if it improves.

  • Anon

    @ Brittanny

    Do not worry. SVU will be renewed. He is still the best show on NBC. And now that the romance of Olivia with David over, some fans might come back tresloucados Meloni’s watching. The shipers E / O do not allow another man to Olivia.

  • Mark Wilkins

    Good for Criminal Minds, hope it stays 3.0 and above for the rest of the season. Too bad for SVU though being below 2.0. With a new Revenge next week, its not looking good for the ratings.

  • Tony

    With the way GCB and Scandal debuted. Thats very good for Apt. 23 which is debuting mid april! I watched the first two episodes a while back and the second episode was way better than the first episode! So if you didn’t LOVE it or didn’t like it definitely come back next week it will get better!

  • Heather

    SVU may be renewed but it shouldn’t be. Its numbers are terrible and getting worse every week. If this show was on any other network besides NBC it would be over. It has gone downhill and the writing is dull. Markiskas so called relationship with Harry was painful to watch.

  • alffan

    The networks are loaded with these ensemble relationship shows. They all have a twist, but pretty much the same. I also think LMS is a good show and think it would be a nice pair with The Middle. Honestly, while I think Suburgatory is ok but not great, it’s probably a better concept fit after Modern Family. I have to go back and look at ABC’s pilots but they need a more edgy family show.

    Over at NBC, the thing is just a mess. SVU is putting out some of its best episodes ever and the network gives it a 0.6 lead in… seriously, that’s like putting it on the CW.

    SVU would do a 2.3-2.5 if it was on Monday or Tuesday after The Voice.

    NBC needs to completely think out of the box. I’d still like to see what Harry’s Law could do as a 10pm show (a la Body of Proof) with some sort of older skewing lead in.

  • Polar Bear

    Idk y, I’ve just never had good opinions of the ABC comedies. NBC used to be the best with sitcoms but now I think FOX is pretty good. Laugh tracks kill CBS

  • Jim

    More good news for Whitney & maybe Up All Night

  • Johnny G

    @Riff Rafferty
    EVERYTIME I see you post, it is so negative. I don’t know if you are a troll or just a very very unhappy person.

    Anyway, hopefully they will start another comedy block with Apt. 23 and HE. If CT is renewed, it may fit in there as well.

  • Mark

    I saw the first 2 episodes of Apt. 23 on ABC.com, and I really liked the SECOND EPISODE a LOT BETTER!! Pilots are always a bit awkward, and anyone on the fence about this show or not liking it so far, should definitely tune in for episode 2. It is very Funny with tons of Twists & Turns in the plot!

  • …..

    They need to put Cougar Town, Happy Endings, Apt. 23, and Suburgatory together on the same night.
    And have The Middle, Last Man Standing and Modern Family together.
    All those shows work together like that.

  • Simo

    13 April 2011

    21h00 : Modern Family : 9.61 millions [3.9]

    21h30 : Happy Endings (pilot) : 7.30 millions [2.8]

    11 April 2012

    21h00 : Modern Family : 10.3 millions [4.1]

    21h30 : Apt. 23 (pilot) : 7.0 millions [2.9]

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