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.

  • Networkman

    Unfortunately, I found Touch to be boring last night. When watching, I assumed the ending will be great. But it is so slow paced that I lost interest. I wanted to continue to get the big pay off, but I was not invested.

    30 Rock should be cancelled. Up All Night should be cancelled. Only reason to bring Community and Parks and Rec back is to get their episode number count to 88.
    I would do this
    8pm Community
    8:30 Betty White’s Off Their Rockers/Susan 313 or Next Caller Please at midseason
    9pm Downwardly Mobile
    9:30 Whitney

    8pm The Office (Final Season)/The Farm starts in March
    8:30 Parks & Rec

  • Liz


    Boom chicka wow wow…

  • JJF

    I fail to see how TBBT doing well at 9PM is really a plus for a second Thursday comedy block. Unless they plan on doing 2 eps. of TBBT every week, what’s that prove? And “faring well” for POI is still a DECREASE from what it’s been doing in repeats. If anything, last night should be at least the first red flag that an extra hour of comedy is not really the best idea for Thursday nights. Sure, if it has TBBT in it, it’s good. Otherwise? Not so much. I think CBS should focus on finding a show that TBBT can successfully be paired with before trying to anchor an entire night of comedy around it. Like other successful shows before it, TBBT isn’t exactly the sharing type when it comes to ratings.

  • disney rocks


    8- The Cosby Show
    8:30-110:30= Movie
    10:30-11= Seinfeld

    8- Friends
    8:30- Friends
    9- Seinfeld
    9:30- Seinfeld
    10- E.R

    Also, NBC should do reruns of old shows on Sunday nights.


    8- The Cosby Show
    8:30- The Cosby Show
    9- Cheers
    9:30-10= Cheers
    10- Hill Street Blues


    8- Mad about you
    8:30- Friends
    9- Friends
    9:30- Will and Grace
    10- Law and Order: CI


    8-10= Movie
    10-11= E.R


    8- The Fresh Prince of bel-aire
    8:30-10:30= Movie
    10:30= Seinfeld


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


    8- E.R
    9- E.R
    10- E.R


    8- Fraiser
    8:30- Cheers
    9- Cheers
    9:30- Fraiser
    10- Seinfeld
    10:30- Seinfeld


    8- Seinfeld
    8:30- Seinfeld
    9- Seinfeld
    9:30- Seinfeld
    10- Seinfeld 2 episodes


    8- The A- Team
    9- Hunter
    10- Law and Order


    8- mad about you
    8:30- E.R
    9:30- E.R
    10:30- Scrubs


    8- Cheers
    8:30- Wings
    9- Cheers
    9:30- Seinfeld
    10- Cheers
    10:30- Fraiser


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


    8- The Cosby Show
    8:30- The Cosby Show
    9- The Cosby Show
    9:30- L.A Law
    10:30- Cheers


    8- The Golden Girls
    8:30- SVU RERUN
    9:30- L.A Law
    10:30- The Golden Girls


    8- The Fresh Prince of bel-aire
    8:30- The Fresh prince of bel-aire
    9- E.R
    10- E.R


  • jens2488

    @ Ultima and Liz

    Thought that these two things were running for the sow.

    People seem to be very divided about CBS comedy pilots. Many who apparently read the scripts for the comedy pilots say Super Fun Night is really bad others say it is a frontrunner. Same for the Partners and Berlanti/Malins pilots.

  • CookyMonzta

    Word of mouth of the high drama from the East Coast drew more viewers from the rest of the country and added maybe 1 to 1.5 million viewers to Idol. It’ll probably be adjusted to 4.4/14 and 15.8 million.

  • LOL

    8 years ago, I watched everything on TV. Today, I only watch one show on TV and the rest online. A lot has changed in 8 years.

  • Beckham

    Obviously there is alot of argument going on here. People seem to be very passionate obout their arguments. I’m an avid POI fan ( though not as much as Petar :) but the comedy block did good. Not great but good. Obviously BBT looks to do well at. 9 PM. Dont know about 2BG though. It did ok I guess. But like someone else said ( I forgot who) CBS first needs to find a good show to pair win BBT as Rules is doing ok. I say leave 2BG on Monday to anchor the comedy block there. Now CBS has to decide whether they want to let their hit freshman drama grow and let it become their next franchise, maybe even reaching CSI and NCIS calibars or go for the ratings domination on Thursdays. Decisions, decisions…. Good thing none of us work for CBS!!! But remember this stuff isn’t written in stone…. CBS hasn’t made the decision yet…. They could go with the comedy block or could not…… By the way…when will CBS announce what they will decide to do??.

  • V

    WEll either way it looks like 2BrokeGirls will move to Thursday.
    If CBS plays it safe, they move it to 8:30pm, behind its #1 show and hope it explodes like BigBang did behind 2Men a few years ago.

  • Chris

    @LOL I remember when ABC canned TGIF on Fridays in 2000 and I was like well what am I going to do now on fridays? I was born into watching that on fridays at a young age that it became an unofficial ritual. The nights that I would miss it, I would cry. It wasn’t until 2009, my senior year of high school when I didn’t have any major classes that I got back into watching tv of the times and not from the past. 9 YEARS PEOPLE until I came back to network tv. I watched Modern Family and I liked it. Then just last year I gradually got into watching more with The Middle, Happy Endings and most recently Last Man Standing.I think it’s safe to say that I’m an ABC guy. My point is that boy has tv changed since the 90’s to today. In that 9 year stretch, I wasn’t about to touch any show on network tv. I just didn’t like them. I think in terms of sitcoms ABC has the better ones but that’s just my opinion.

  • Rebecca

    May 16th is the date set for the CBS upfronts. (May 15th for ABC, May 14th for Fox and NBC, May 17th for CW.)

  • Avery

    TGIF got canned because of decreasing ratings over the last four seasons (1997-2000), mainly because of the LOST of their two main powerhouse shows; Family Matters (Urkel) & Step by Step to CBS in 1997.

  • Avery

    Sitcom Nights for next year (2012-13)
    Sunday: FOX
    Monday: CBS
    Tuesday: FOX (so-so) or NBC (so-so)
    Wednesday: ABC
    Thursday: CBS (very likely) & NBC (possibly)
    Friday: ABC (most likely)

  • P&B


    ‘It is NOT bigger than NCIS and claims that it is are beyond ridiculous. It is doing much better this second half of the year but it has only ever pulled really good numbers when it was against very little competition. It isn’t consistently strong yet like a show like Criminal Minds. So please can we have a bit less hyperbole?’

    The C3 numbers I have up to week 24 have POI( will get the numbers for the whole season about two weeks after the season ends) at a 2.5 ( those includes reruns) this makes POI number 18 of all of CBS shows(excluding NFL games). When it comes to drama all of the following shows are doing better than POI(in order of best ratings): NCIS, Criminal Minds, NCIS:LA, 5-0, csi, Mentalist is equal to POI.

    So really, saying POI is a beast is ridiculous especially considering that POI goes against Grey which is no longer the powerhouse it use to be, a very weak Touch( and before that the Finder) and the NBC shows who can barely crack a 2.0 these days. To Compared Criminal Minds which goes against the best hour of Idol which gets a 5.1 and Modern Family that always gets over a 4.0 and CM still gets better ratings than POI. The day POI does has well as CM against this type of competition, then the POI fanboys can claim it is a beast. For now it can only beat Unforgetable, The Good Wife, Miami,and the Friday shows.

  • P&B


    “Thursday is second most competitive day after mondays in the week!”

    Not true.

    ‘Wednesdays at 9 are more competitive in my opinion.’

    You are right, here are the demo for this week and last Thursday when POI was new( numbers taken from this site)

    Monday: total: 10.2
    men 3.6
    House 1.9
    Hart od Dixie 0.5
    The Voice 4.2

    tueday: Total: 11.4

    the voice 3.5
    new girl 2.8
    la 2.4
    dancing 2.3
    ringer 0.4

    wednesday: total: 13.3

    Idol 5.1
    Modern family 4.2
    CM 3.0
    Rock Cnter 0.5
    America Next top Model 0.5

    Thursday: total:9.4

    POI 3.0
    Grey 2.8
    Touch 2.3
    Office 1.0 (r)
    Secret circle 0.3 (r)

    Wednesday is indeed the toughest night of the week and Thursday the weakest. POI gets the same demo as CM but against weak shows and reruns.

  • C.A.

    Some of you think Person on Interest was good last night. So you think that
    show will come on late on Thursday night. I hate to tell you this but it only
    came in second place. The Mentalist came in first place each week. It always
    beat out the other networks at that time spot.

  • ChrisA

    Why can’t MISSING pulled more viewers???
    It’s a great action/entertaining show.
    Should be at least at 1.8-2.0
    More people need to watch “Missing” cause their missing out OR is it that people are not interested that a female is the main character, the same goes to NIKITA.

  • Justin121

    Everybody tell your friends REVENGE is coming THIS Wednesday.

    It’s essentially a new season and you can jump right in from this episode.

    Revenge is HOT.

  • doug

    I think Touch is awesome. I hope it can maintain its numbers.

  • Blondini

    You know, Awake got 13 episodes mid season, that’s hardly a fair test of a really great show. If they tried moving it to a different night, and perhaps earlier time, it may very well find it’s audience. There is a huge ground swell of devoted viewers clamoring to have this show renewed, not EVERYONE is confused or overwhelmed by it; some of us enjoy working out the clues and second guessing the writers (who are excellent, thank you so much). Maybe it ain’t over until the peacock sings.

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