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


    CBS already is having trouble on Monday.

    No they’re not. Everything goes down in the spring. The Monday comedies were destroying everything during the fall and would no doubt bounce back to their regular numbers this fall, especially if DWTS and The Voice (if it’s even on in the fall) continue to decline.

  • HotLatino4GayMarriage

    Scandal h8ers suck it!!!!!!

  • Mickey

    BBT could clearly anchor a potential 2 hour CBS comedy block, but it would do better at 9pm. Hmmm, anchor the night, or move it to 9??

  • senor chang

    Yeah, the half-hours just cinched it for me: Touch is basically FOX’s Smash.

  • Tony

    “Oh and Off Topic, but TVLINE has updated Fringe from Could go either way”” to “a safe bet” to “a sure thing” ”

    Yup I seen that :) and I just read an interview on Digital Spy, John Noble says he thinks they will be back and he’s hearing “good things”

  • Valerie

    What was half hours for Scandal?

  • Ian

    Is Scandal really doing that much worse than Private Practice when you consider that Grey’s Anatomy was in the 3s when it was PPs lead in?

  • Petar

    Touch is like the finder ratings now! And the finder cruch in fridays without Idol lead in! So touch is friday show or dead! Or stay after Idol wich will be crazy fox move!

  • Ryan Schwartz


    Interesting. I doubt they’d have a 1hr Friday block before a 2hr Thursday block though! Having said that, if any network could bring back comedies to Fridays and have guaranteed ratings, it would be CBS. If Rules could bring the network a 2.0 or higher on a Friday night, why not? I could certainly see Mike and Molly skewing old enough to work on Fridays as well, but I have my doubts about them moving that one to anywhere else but Thursdays.

  • Rebecca

    Some viewers maybe didn’t know The Office had a new episode last night. It was an okay one, still going downhill in quality – it’s painful to watch sometimes (I cringe with Jim, lol). 4 episodes left of the season now. UAN was okay – could serve as a decent series finale if it doesn’t come back. I need to re-watch 30R, as usual. Community was good. Need to see RoE and Touch online later. RoE did well! I think.

  • eridapo

    @Val 2.2/2.0

  • jens2488

    @ DenverDean

    CBS is not having problems on Mondays. All four comedies had ratings in the 3.2-3.6 range this Monday against strong competition. CBS did worse on all other nights including Tuesdays and Wednesdays. So they really have no problems on Mondays right now.

  • MGL

    Liking Missing and Scandal. Not sure what expectations ABC had for missing, by putting it up against AI and BBT. I think it is a good show.

  • Dennis

    Touch was steady by a 2.3 rating. Well! Good for season 2.

  • Sid

    I’m really loving that SCANDAL rose a tenth :D

    Renew it ABC!

  • Tony

    Touch had its best episode since the finale last night
    it was very good! :)

  • Michael

    Another great episode of Missing last night. Ashley Judd is one soccer mom that kicks major ___. Damn, why does it have to skew so old?!

    Yay, no more repeats for Vampire Diaries. It returns next week, with new episodes till the finale!

  • Jack

    Awake :( :(

  • Grey

    I’m with Robert. I like “Person of Engagement.” You should contact CBS and make sure you get your royalties for when it becomes a huge hit. ;D

  • eridapo

    Touch will be adjusted down… AI ran into the 9PM hour, so I do see a tenth or two tenths drop.

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