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.

  • moli

    @Rebecca NBC hasn’t officially renewed any of its comedies yet. According to a Deadline article that was published last night, they’re now considering an Office “reboot” that would include a mix of old and new cast members since negotiations have stalled with several actors. The article also said they’re hearing NBC won’t be making any major decisions until they have a chance to review the new pilots, so I’m guessing we won’t hear about any additional renewals until later in the month, if not May.

  • MNP

    We thought the Office was winding down but the last 10 or so new episodes have really picked it up. They seem to have gone back to more situations inspired by actual office situations. It’s seemed much funnier these last few months (of new episodes). Sad to see it continuing to decline. I guess it’s going to be over after next season.

  • AC75

    Nope, The Office hasn’t been renewed as far as I know.

    A 2.1 rating isn’t too bad for a show this old, but the overall viewers are really shocking. Under 5m is terrible. Of course totals don’t matter, but I like to use them as a way to gauge how likely it is my friends or colleagues have also watched an episode. The higher the number the more likely they have. But with numbers like these, it’s almost certain they haven’t.

    @Polar Bear

    I know I don’t laugh at TBBT, it’s horrendous and that laughter in a can needs to stop.

    I gave up on the show the season after they brought in Blossom. Giving Sheldon a love interest was pathetic. Guess they had to make him normal. The show was fun before it became FRIENDS – for nerds.

  • Ultima

    without forcing yourself to mock someone!

    I never force it, I’m a natural!

  • profTV

    Scandal is quite good. PoI will be a tough match up but that’s what DVRs are for. I hope ABC keeps Scandal…potential is there!

  • Petar

    Exclusive news on fringe!

    Fringe with two endings! Series finale or final season with short 13ep that is the question!

    “We’ve shot two [endings],” John Noble told TVLine at the opening of the Beverly Hills Paley Center’s “Television: Out of the Box” exhibit, which was created in conjunction with Warner Bros. TV.

    Noble says many “big questions” will be answered in the season finale airing May 11 — including the matter of Olivia being fated to die (and whether the animated episode’s “Mr. X” figures into it) and Walter shouldering the burden of responsibility for the warring universes. Viewers also can expect a surprise on the villainy front (David Robert Jones plays “a very big part, but not as big as you think,” Noble teased. “There’s something bigger.”)

    But as Joshua Jackson told us Thursday night, “The writers have given themselves a device by which we can tell a fifth-season story without having to leave this season’s story open.”

    Although Lance Reddick, who plays Broyles, could not elaborate on the alternate endings, he did affirm, “The way [Season 4] ends could function as a series finale, but there’s one storyline left open that could end up as a cliffhanger for the beginning of the fifth season…. We’ll see what airs depending on what [Fox and WBTV] decide.”

    If Fox does pull the trigger on some semblance of a Season 5 – be it a truncated 13-episode order or what have you – viewers will get a clue as to that new storyline much sooner than they may think.

    “The door to the fifth season is opened in Episode 19 (airing April 20),” Jackson told us. “If you watch that, you’ll have an understanding of where they want to take the series.” (Possible clue/spoiler alert: Episode 19 takes place in the year 2036 and features a “game-changing battle” between the Fringe team and the Observers.)

    But as for where things currently stand with the renewal order…. “I hear warm and fuzzy things — but I’ve been hearing them all the time,” Noble said. “We just picked up [TV Guide Magazine’s] fan award for Best Drama and so forth, and the fans have always been very supportive… [and] I know the Fox executives actually like Fringe very much. But they run a business. I think we’ll be back, but we’ll wait and see.”

  • SJ


    It will be a cold day in hell before Modern Family is moved from its Wednesday-at-9 time slot.

    As for the cast and producers of Missing seeming “optimistic” – well, what else do you expect them to say? “Yeah, we’re doomed, but still, stick around for these last few episodes you guys, it gets real good!”

  • I Hate Whitney

    The Office has been sub-par for the last two seasons but just downright unfunny this season. I maybe laughed once or twice. The show has gotten a lot better since Catherine Tate’s arrival—which is a good thing since El Helm’s character as the manager is awful.

  • AC75

    Scandal is dreadful.

  • Valerie


    “Of course, if it puts up a stinker next Tuesday, its outlook could head south real fast.”

    Does it really work like that? That last five episodes’s numbers can devalue that the show did ok for whole seventeen episodes? That network will decide solely on the numbers from remaining episodes? That would be really dumb.

  • profTV

    Community will be fine; it has proved itself in the post-break and continues to be one of the most creative comedies on TV (coming from someone who just cannot get into Big Bang and 2 and a Half). For NBC it’s ideal and for NBC ratings woes, it’s a must keep–with a built in and loyal fan base. Rare for the channel of late…

    Another brilliant episode last night, I foresee not only syndication but hopefully quite a few more seasons. Community fans are a strong group, I’m one, and we will fight for our quirky eclectic show!

  • Allen


    Coming from a huge Community fan, I’m not too sure if I would want the show to try and make it 5-6 seasons (if it gets the 4th).

    I would rather have it go 4 and end with closure and dignity rather that get canned half way through season 5 and end on a terrible note.

  • AC75


    If Fringe writers have a new storyline for a possible 5th season, it can only be a disappointment. Opened and closed in 13 weeks with the big mysteries of the past 4 years already (mostly) concluded… why bother? If they add anything else to the show now, it’ll only feel like it’s being dragged out.

  • Brian

    Scandal is a crap show..boring!

  • Kaylie


  • Ultima

    Does it really work like that? That last five episodes’s numbers can devalue that the show did ok for whole seventeen episodes? That network will decide solely on the numbers from remaining episodes? That would be really dumb.

    Of course the network will look at more than just the last five episodes.

    I only meant that due to the poor performances of GCB, Missing and Scandal, Private Practice’s renewal chances look much better than they did at the beginning of March. However, if it comes back at say a 1.8, then it’s probably back to where it was before, or worse.

  • ToXiX

    CBS produces the BEST sitcoms these days, NBC & ABC sitcoms are boring & unfunny. Fox just fails at comedies whether they’re decent or not. I’m looking forward to more comedy on CBS, doesn’t seem like they have enough sitcoms.


    8- How I Met Your Mother
    830 – New Sitcom
    9 – Two & A Half Men
    930 – Mike & Molly
    10 – H50

    I think we can all agree that CBS will introduce atleast ONE new sitcom on Mondays.


    8- Big Bang Theory
    830- New Sitcom
    9- 2 Broke Girls
    930- Rob!
    10- PoI or something else

  • jens2488

    @ Valerie

    I think they want to start a new show after Greys. It still is one of their stronger performes, so they probably want to start a new show in the post Greys slot. The new Tuesday slot will show, how PP stands on his own without the strong Greys lead-in. I think PP will not move to the post Greys slot next season if it is renewed. They could maybe put it Thursdays at 8. It is a dead slot for them, but I assume the next season would either way be the last for PP.

  • Rebecca

    I only expect Office to go for one more season, too (to those who’ve commented here about The Office). Saw the Zap2it article a little while ago about The Office and its stalled contract negotiations with some of the actors (so nothing progressed really since the last time I read something about it) and I kind of agree with that writer that it’s a show that could end this season if necessary – however, if they do that (and they won’t…it’s sure to get another season), I bet there would be no chance to get Carell or anyone to be on the show one last time. Some comedies have filmed their season finales already and I bet The Office would be one of them. Community finished theirs (we know because of the hoopla over Chevy Chase walking off the set early before his scenes were done. Also there’s a good “Day in the Life” episode on hulu featuring Joel McHale and it was made while he was shooting the Community season finale). UAN aired theirs last night – they might have done all their episodes early, though, because of Maya Rudolph’s pregnancy. Not sure about if 30R and P&R are still filming or not.

  • alexjones

    well touch seems to have stabilised, not that good ratings considering it’s lead in but FOX’s dramas are in such a sorry state right now that it’ll probably get renewed if it stays at this level.

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