TV Ratings Thursday: 'American Idol' Up; Leads Fox Win; 9p 'Big Bang Theory' Repeat Tops Originals; 'Community,' '30 Rock,' 'Scandal' Higher

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April 13th, 2012


Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 3.2/9 2.4/7 2.1/6 1.5/4 1.3/4 0.4/1
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 2.0/7 1.4/5 1.5/5 1.5/5 1.4/5 0.4/1
Total Viewers (million) 11.78 8.83 8.055 3.679 3.173 0.961

Fox won the night with adults 18-49 paced by American Idol which was three tenths higher last week with a 4.2 adults 18-49 rating. Touch was steady vs. last week with a 2.3 adults 18-49 rating.

Despite being almost entirely repeats, CBS was second for the night. Those rooting against another hour of comedy on CBS on Thursday's next season likely feel punched in the gut this morning with a repeat of The Big Bang Theory at 9pm topping all the original competition on ABC, Fox and NBC during that half hour. CBS's only original on the night was a Rules of Engagement episode that drew a 2.7 adults 18-49 rating, even with last week when it had an original Big Bang Theory as its lead-in. The special time slot test of a Person of Interest repeat at 10pm fared pretty well with a 1.8 adults 18-49 rating.

ABC's Missing was down a tenth versus last week with a 1.4 adults 18-49 rating, a season/series low.  But Grey's Anatomy was up a tenth to a 2.9 adults 18-49 rating and Scandal was up a tenth with a 2.1 adults 18-49 rating.

On NBC, both Community and 30 Rock inched up vs. last week with both drawing a 1.4 adults 18-49 rating. The Office was down three tenths vs. its last original a month ago to a series low 2.1 adults 18-49 rating.  With an original of The Office as its lead-in, the season finale of Up All Night was up three tenths vs. last week to a 1.5 adults 18-49 rating.  That didn't help Awake any though, it was steady at its series lows with another 0.9 adults 18-49 rating (just half that of the Person of Interest repeat airing opposite of it).

Late-night ratings are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Thursday, April 12, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 FOX American Idol 4.2/13 15.34
CBS The Big Bang Theory (R) 2.8/9 9.58
ABC Missing 1.4/4 7.87
NBC Community 1.4/5 3.18
CW Vampire Diaries (R) 0.4/1 1.08
8:30 CBS Rules of Engagement 2.7/8 8.46
NBC 30 Rock 1.4/4 3.04
9:00 CBS The Big Bang Theory (R) 3.0/8 10.25
ABC Grey's Anatomy 2.9/8 8.84
FOX Touch 2.3/6 8.22
NBC The Office 2.1/6 4.35
CW The Secret Circle (R) 0.3/1 0.85
9:30 CBS 2 Broke Girls (R) 2.1/6 7.37
NBC Up All Night (Season Finale) 1.5/4 3.18
10:00 ABC Scandal 2.1/6 7.45
CBS Person of Interest (R) 1.8/5 8.66
NBC Awake 0.9/2 2.65

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2012 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

Via NBC press notes:

In Late-Night Metered Markets Thursday night:

  • In Nielsen's 56 metered markets, household results were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 2.5/6; CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," 2.4/6; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 3.8/9; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 1.8/5.
  • In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 0.7/4; "Late Show," 0.6/3; "Nightline," 1.3/6; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.7/4.
  • At 12:35 a.m., "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.3/4 in metered-market household) beat CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (1.1/4).  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 national ratings are "live plus same day DVR viewing" from Nielsen Media Research unless otherwise indicated.

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 baseball 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.

  • Liz

    @Ralph Hahn

    You’re still just using “numbers” to predict trends to come up whether a show will be renewed or not.

    I assume you were talking to Ultima, but anyway…

    For crying out loud, they’re not “numbers.” That implies that they’re fake or something. They are numbers, ratings, the way that renewals and cancellations are decided on.

    You are going out of your way to refuse to acknowledge the ratings. On a ratings website. You are pointing to multiple other factors and claiming that they will be the reason that shows are renewed or cancelled, when there is decades of evidence that ratings can determine whether a show is cancelled or renewed. Please offer enough evidence that “the human factor” is really what matters in cancellations and renewals.

    Do you understand why people find your reasoning shoddy and continue to poke holes in it? (And you refuse to acknowledge the hole-poking, of course.)

  • Meliwa

    Scandal is one of those ‘word of mouth’ shows that will require viewers to tell their friends to watch it, sort of like what happened with Private Practice and Revenge. I don’t think it helped the pilot episode’s numbers that TV critics all said ‘the show gets better as it goes along, and the pilot is the weakest’.

  • Ultima

    Well i guess reality trash is even with bigger ratings! Put only reality shows than! Mainly singing and dancing competitions!

    Nice reductio ad absurdum.

  • Lockemonster

    Screw CBS if they try a two hour comedy block on Thursdays next season. It’s a cheap thing to do. Of course it’s going to destroy all the great NBC comedies because people love dumbed down comedies with cheap laughs and that’s all CBS. Mondays is CBS, Tuesday’s is open really. Wednesday is ABC and Thrusday is NBC. Every network (besides FOX) has it’s own comedy night. Leave it at that, don’t get greedy.

  • Ultima

    Well i guess reality trash is even with bigger ratings! Put only reality shows than! Mainly singing and dancing competitions!

    Nice reductio ad absurdum.

    Reductio ad ridiculum rather.

    Feel free to mock my failure at snark.

  • gustavo

    @SJ:I didn’t say:Were tied.I said:Were better looking after the poor ratings of the new shows.@Ultima:I agree with you.Like i said above:The chances for renewal are better now than before looking on the poor ratings of the new shows:I never said that one or other show will be certain cancellation.Imo Both shows:PP and Castle have better chances of get a renewal now than before.

  • DryedMangoez

    NBC should probably just clean house with its comedies. Those are not good numbers.

  • Joseph

    Lets just say this ,,
    OMFG on how TBBT & Girls repeats did plus Rules.
    For the haters , can only laugh at you because your only reason to hate a 2hr comedy block would be because it gives the audience better viewing options and will leave lack luster programs in the dust.
    I for one would love to see a 13 episode order of ROB and RULES with ROB in the Fall and Rules in the Spring :)

  • Petar

    @Robert Seidman

    Only because CBS reality shows are old and they don’t have singing reality show! Next singing format will be buy from CBS! ABC altready create duets!

    You will see! Soon on “Bubble Watch” will have fewer and fewer scripted broadcast primetime shows! If this is not the case….already!

  • Ultima

    Screw CBS if they try a two hour comedy block on Thursdays next season. It’s a cheap thing to do.

    Yeah, damn those networks for trying to be #1. I’m sure this hatred of CBS goes back a decade to when they had the audacity to put Survivor and CSI up against NBC’s rightful night and ended up winning.

    Thrusday is NBC. Every network (besides FOX) has it’s own comedy night. Leave it at that, don’t get greedy.

    News flash: Thursday is already CBS’ night for comedies. Their 8pm hour does better than the combined 8 and 9pm hours of NBC.

  • Ultima

    Both shows:PP and Castle have better chances of get a renewal now than before.

    I don’t think the new shows have any impact on Castle being renewed. Though I’ll agree that Private Practice is looking better now than it was a month ago. Of course, if it puts up a stinker next Tuesday, its outlook could head south real fast.

  • Rebecca

    @Chuck T
    Where does it say that The Office has already been renewed? I haven’t seen any official announcement. I know it’s certain or likely to BE renewed, but NBC hasn’t said anything yet about their returning comedies…not as far as I know, anyway.

  • Petar


    Why are so obsessed to mock or snark people! I think you watch too much House MD! I like Sarcasm too, but within limits!
    TBBT&2BG looks really strong and killing combination no doubt about that!

  • Polar Bear

    I was excited for touch, but honestly touch is terrible. Sad for awake. It’s better than all the shows on network tv right now.
    I’d want the office to end, but NBC doesn’t seem to be able to come up with new fresh ideas and r even copying CBS’ stupid laugh track (Whitney, Chelsea, BFF, bent, Betty white )
    -there goes POI’s chances of avoiding becoming the new mentalist…
    -WHo actually laughs during BBT? Even the bad 30 rock and office (now) make me laugh more.

  • Stephen

    @ Rebecca –

    I haven’t seen any official renewals either. I know for the Office in particular there are a bunch of contract negotiations going on with majority of the cast. I truly hope NBC is smart enough to go into next season announcing it as its last. It’s the only way to try to keep the shows ratings from dropping even more and maybe they can have Steve Carell and anyone that leaves this year guest star b4 the show ends.

  • Ultima

    I think you watch too much House MD!

    Nice! But can you really watch too much House?

  • Ralph Hahn

    @Liz: >>> You are going out of your way to refuse to acknowledge the ratings <<>> Do you understand why people find your reasoning shoddy and continue to poke holes in it? (And you refuse to acknowledge the hole-poking, of course.) <<<

    First of all, I have only seen my reasoning being described as "shoddy" from you. Secondly, I'm probably older than most of you, thus have more experience in seeing the scheduling and cancellation of programs since the early 1960s. Go ahead and say "well, that's all changed now." However, as I said I believe that all things, including our lives, continue in a circle.
    You have to know the past, to know the present and the future.

    As it has been said last week by others who know you and Ultra much better, to both come off as "know-it-alls" and it was MY mistake to answer your posts to me. This group seems to be a little click but I'll continue to post my opinions but I've learned enough to know by now that it is pointless to read certain people's opinions when mine are called "shoddy" and I'm called a "troll."

    Grow up, girls.

  • caveez


    I went to the Paley fest missing panel earlier this week and got to see this week’s episode, which rocked, and the producers and Ashley Judd both seemed optimistic for another season. They mentioned that ABC loves the show and is supportive of it. They also implied the time slot is not doing them any favors but that a move to another night might be in the works.

    They also mentioned if they return, it will be probably a 10-13 episode season and that they’ll be in Africa. It’s a fun show and everyone involved seemed to be very passionate about it. I hope to see it moved next season, perhaps on Wednesday at 9, the day and time its at now is too tough.

  • Petar


    You see, I laughed and you was funny without forcing yourself to mock someone! Good for you!

  • Ralph Hahn

    @Liz: P.S. Somehow, my answer to your first statement about refusing to acknowledge ratings was not included. WRONG! I believe that using ONLY ratings to determine a program’s fate is wrong. Some fo you have your indexes and stick strictly to them. I acknowledge the ratings, but I also say that there’s a human element involved as well. It just takes a programmer to have the balls to say “I know the ratings could be better. But, I believe in this show so let’s nuture it a bit. We can always cancel it later.”

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