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.

  • tvfreak

    @Whoever said Touch needs to eliminate the foreign language scenes: The whole point of the show is that there are connections around the world just waiting to be joined by the Red Thread of Life. Therefore there’s a lot of people on the show who come from different countries and speak different languages. If you don’t have the patience for learning a foreign language or using subtitles, don’t watch the show.

    For last night’s ep they went to Montreal, where there were French Canadian guys switching between English and French (which I speak, so it got annoying when the subtitles started translating things they never even said, lol). They also went to Saudi Arabia. I don’t speak Arabic, but my grandparents’ language of Maltese is similar enough that I could comprehend bits and pieces of what the people were saying.

    It just irks me that people are coming up with excuse after excuse to hate on Touch. Particularly since it’s my new favorite show.

  • Allen

    Not sure how or why Rob is coming back. Un-creative, boring cliche show. Maybe I caught a bad episode.

  • kaslad

    I miss old, great, strong NBC Thursdays. I miss Must See TV. I miss FRIENDS. This is crap. Ratings are terrible. Only 8 years ago, Friends had 20 million viewers every thursday on NBC, and what do they have now?? Nothing! Terrible! I’m so sad about this.

  • Allen


    No NBC show is as main stream as Friends was. The closest ratings and buzz wise was The Office, but even then The office is a niche show. Friends wasn’t.

    If NBC wants ratings, they need to scrap every comedy they have and pump out mainstream shows similar to what CBS has and just hope that people watch. It will be sad, but not sure what else NBC can do.

  • disney rocks

    NBC Wednesday schedule starting 4/18. BFF and Rock Center shuffled to Saturdays. The classic shows are reruns.


    8- off there rockers
    8:30- Cheers
    9- Cheers
    9:30- Seinfeld
    10- SVU

    8- off there rockers
    8:30- The Cosby Show
    9- The Fresh prince of bel-aire
    9:30- The Fresh prince of bel-aire
    10- SVU

    8- off there rockers
    8:30- Friends
    9- E.R
    10- SVU

    8- off there rockers
    8:30- Fraiser
    9- Law and Order
    10- SVU

    8- off there rockers
    8:30- off there rockers
    9- Fraiser
    9:30- Fraiser

    8- off there rockers
    8:30- off there rockers
    9- Seinfeld
    9:30- Seinfeld
    10- SVU

    8- Seinfeld
    8:30- Seinfeld
    9- Seinfeld
    9:30- Seinfeld
    10- Seinfeld
    10:30- Seinfeld

    8- Friends
    8:30- Friends
    9- Friends
    9:30- Friends
    10- Friends

    8- The Golden Girls
    8:30- The Golden Girls
    9- Cheers
    9:30- Cheers
    10- Cheers
    10:30- The Golden Girls


    8- E.R
    9- E.R
    10- Law and Order

    8- Mad about you
    8:30- Mad bout you
    9- E.R
    10- E.R

    8- Will and Grace
    8:30- Will and Grace
    9- Will and Grace
    9:30- Will and Grace
    10- Will and Grace
    10:30- Fraiser

    8-830- The Cosby Show
    8:30-9= Family Ties
    9-9:30- Different Strokes
    9:30- A Different World
    10-11= Hill Street Blues


    8- Law and Order
    9- SVU RERUN
    10- SVU RERUN


    8- SVU RERUN
    9- SVU RERUN
    10- L.A Law


    8- The Fresh prince of bel-aire
    8:30- The Fresh prince of bel-aire
    9-11= Movie


    8- Law and Oder
    9- SVU RERUN
    10- Law and Order


    8- Law and Order: CI
    9- E.R
    10- E.R

    8- Wings
    8:30- Mad about you
    9- Friends
    9:30- Seinfeld
    10- Cheers
    10:30- Seinfeld


    8- Bonanza
    9- Bonanza
    10- SVU RERUN

    8-9= 2 freiends episodes
    9-10= 2 fraser episodes
    10-11= E.R

  • moli

    @kaslad A lot has changed in 8 years. If Friends aired today, it’s highly unlikely it would have 20mm viewers. Even mainstream comedy hits like TBBT and Modern Family don’t pull in that many live viewers.

  • C.A.

    I really don’t care what night and time they put there shows. But I do want
    THE MENTALIST to stay on Thursday nights.

  • CarZ


    it’s unlikely, they already did a Mentalist Friday run and it went OK, I think the show is definitely Friday bound

  • bluejays

    @Polar Bear – I laugh at tbbt. But then I also laugh at the ‘bad’ thirty rock and the ‘dire’ cougar town. I have tried Mike and Molly, 2.5 men, himym and didn’t laugh at all but know of others who love them. I don’t think someones taste in comedy says anything about them…except for their tastes in comedy.

  • steve

    POI Fared well but noooo CBS dont even think about making the same mistake you sid with the mentalist. Leave POI in the 9pm slot its got the potential to grow into a monster hit.

  • Networkman

    It is sad that everyday there are comments about NBC shows being past their prime. But it is true. The quality of The Office, 30 Rock and Law & Order:SVU have dropped. And since Big Bang Theory was a repeat, I decided to watch Community and it was mess.

    CBS should go ahead with the two hour comedy block. The Big Bang Theory will be much stronger at 9pm. Rules of Engagement is more compatible with How I Met Your Mother. The question is should Rules move to Monday or should HIMYM move to Thursday night. Placing comedies on Friday could be another option.

    8pm How I Met Your Mother
    8:30 Rules of Engagement
    9pm Two & A Half Men
    9:30 New Comedy
    10pm H5O

    8pm Two Broke Girls
    8:30 Mike & Molly
    9pm The Big Bang Theory
    9:30 Super Fun Night (New Comedy)
    10pm Person of Interest

    8pm How I Met Your Mother
    8:30 Mike & Molly
    9pm Two and A Half Men
    9:30 New Comedy

    8pm Two Broke Girls
    8:30 New Comedy
    9pm The Big Bang Theory
    9:30 New Comedy

    8pm Rules of Engagement
    8:30 Rob
    9pm The Mentalist
    10pm Blue Bloods

  • KS

    I am gonna catch up with TOUCH only if it gets renewed. I watched the pilot and I really liked the show. I hope it stabilizes at this rating.

    Is Touch gonna get only a 13-episode order next too?

  • KS

    In the above post I meant:

    Is TOUCH gonna be renewed only for 13 episodes for its second season?

  • jens2488

    Just one question: Why does everyone think that “Super Fun Night” goes to series on CBS? I know comedy loglines mostly are not appealing, but three girls try to have fun every Friday night t is one of the lamest loglines I have ever read. Is it because of the actress? I think that it could become very boring very fast, if they would stick to these formula over 24 episodes a season.

  • Jeff

    The Office returns and immediately becomes NBC’s top rated sitcom. That’s not saying much but I’ll just say I told you so, Community fans.

    Also, I see NBC’s reward for giving Community another season is watching it tank in the ratings to new depths. Looks like it’s re-debut number was solely due to the NCAA Tournament alone.

    I guess Chevy Chase was right after all..

  • Liz


    I think there are a couple reasons that people seem to be plugging that one into their schedules. The two most obvious ones to me are:

    1. The logline makes it sound compatible with The Big Bang Theory, with it nerdy, socially awkward girls instead of nerdy, socially awkward boys.

    2. The actress, Rebel Wilson, has been touted as one of those “future of comedy” people. If it does go to series, she’ll no doubt be renamed “Rebel Wilson from ‘Bridesmaids.'” It doesn’t hurt that female-led comedies had a big resurgence this past season.

    Of course, I should mention that I have absolutely no doubt what the pilot is like. It could end up being the worst piece of crap in the history of humanity. But when people make predictions about what’s going to get picked up, they tend to go with the most on-brand stuff, and Super Fun Night seems on-brand, at least on paper.

    Side note: the dumbest logline I have ever read has to be the one from last season’s Partners. “Two female cops who are partners try to hide the fact that they’re . . . half-sisters.”

    Seriously? That’s the twist?

  • TVDude

    I don’t think Rules and Rob will both be on the schedule at the same time, but they might share their time slots like they did this season. I doubt either show will get a full season if renewed. Rules will probably get 13 episodes and end with the 100th episode.

  • Liz

    Sorry, I have absolutely no *idea* what the pilot is like.

  • Ultima

    Why does everyone think that “Super Fun Night” goes to series on CBS?

    It’s apparently about nerdy girls, so it would fit well with Big Bang Theory? Maybe people just have a desire to see a Conaco show help deal the deathblow to NBC Thursday nights?

    I think it’s silly to guess which shows will get picked up this early, excepting the occasionally “sure thing.”

  • Ultima

    Side note: the dumbest logline I have ever read has to be the one from last season’s Partners. “Two female cops who are partners try to hide the fact that they’re . . . half-sisters.”

    Seriously? That’s the twist?

    If they were also partners in a non-professional way, that would be a twist.

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