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.

  • Ryan Schwartz


    I agree with what you’ve said, but even as a current fan of 2.5 Men, I can’t defend it’s numbers. Even if it’s up again in the fall, I doubt it’ll reach a 5.0 again. Maybe a 4.5-4.6… which is STILL great, but not what once was. Sure, numbers drop every Spring, but a 3.5 for Men this past Monday seemed incredibly low. We’ll see. All I know is they HAVE TO find a new show next season that could potentially wind up anchoring Mondays come either Fall 2013 or 2014 depending on whether Men gets one final one-year or two-year renewal.

  • Valerie

    Thanx very much eridapo!

  • eridapo


    Other than MF has ABC had any other show above a 3 this week?

  • Tony

    I wonder how well Awake would be doing if it was a CBS show

  • Sarah

    Touch and Scandal with both be adjusted down due to American Idol and Grey’s Anatomy overruns. I can’t believe what awful numbers GA is pulling right now. They need to do like Desperate Housewives and announce a final season.

  • Petar

    If CBS expand their comedy block than PoI will be in tuesdays! Its the socond best CBS DRAMA in spring! Rookie champion and only one fresh drama and its in UPTREND! All others CBS dramas are aging! Next season will be beast and will beat even NCIS!

    8 Person of Interest 9 NCIS 10 NCIS: Los Angeles

  • mdmb

    yessss Rules of Engagement is OK
    BBT beat GA WTF???

  • Mark Wilkins

    At least Touch didn’t drop any lower, hope it adjusts up. Too bad for Awake thought, its a good show, but its numbers are too low. And Person of Interest should stay on Thursday @ 9 PM, hope that comedy block doesn’t happen.

  • Ali

    Awake is certain to be cancelled now. What a shame, real shame. I love that show :(

  • MoHasanie

    I think Scandal is stable because, that repeat after DWTS might have gained it a few extra viewers who tuned in last night.


    Nope, but DWTS did get a 3.0.

  • John A

    2.1 isnt that good why celebrate it so much? PP gets the same or better and people here bash it.

  • bluejays

    @Hades, They tried The Mentalist out on Friday a few weeks ago so that gives a clue.

    I kind of feel sorry for that show. They had a hit and then moved it to ten pm, why? If they move it to Friday, again that might not be in the best interests of the show.

    But CBS don’t produce The Mentalist, so unlike HFO and NCIS LA it’s syndication deal isn’t a big money maker for them, so they don’t have vested interests to protect it in the same way. NCISLA and HFO alone stand to make CBS a whole lot of money if their syndication deals come online.

  • Liz

    @Ryan Schwartz

    That’s all reasonable, with the caveat that of course, “not what it once was” could apply to practically every single show on TV.

    But some people have been insisting for the last few weeks that CBS is “struggling” on Mondays, and that’s why they shouldn’t expand Thursday comedies and keep Person of Interest in place. Even though those “struggling” comedies still almost all outrate Person of Interest. Anyone not seeing the big logical flaw in all that is just being willfully blind.

  • salim

    WOW at tbbt, mediorce for greys and 2 broke girl shuld be kept on mondays andf great for community

  • Chuck_T

    The Office is now looking very shaky but has already been renewed. I’m sure that having Big Bang didn’t help.

  • Richard_T


    What differece would it make if Awake was on CBS or not. I like the show either way. If what you say is true, its pretty sad that people watch a show only because of the network its on. If you like a show you like a show. It shouldn’t matter. IMHO.

  • UKTVFan

    By my count, the American Idol overrun was less than 30 seconds, which hopefully won’t be enough to cause Touch to be adjusted down.

    What’s very interesting is that while Touch stayed the same in the demo, it rose by over 1 million viewers from last week — presumably Person Of Interest viewers who switched to Fox because POI wasn’t on last night.

  • Person of Interest

    TBBT and POI are beasts just look at the numbers.

  • Ultima

    8 Person of Interest 9 NCIS 10 NCIS: Los Angeles

    There is absolutely no way that CBS is going to move NCIS. It is the #1 drama on TV and has been in the same timeslot for nine seasons. Get over it.

    Also, being the massive PoI fanboy that you are, why would you want it at 8 instead of following NCIS in the typically stronger 9pm hour?

  • salim

    watch greys anatomy is gona rape the dvr ratings

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