Friday Final TV Ratings: 'Grimm', 'Supernatural' Adjusted Up; '20/20' Adjusted Down

Categories: '

Written By

April 23rd, 2012

Both Grimm and Superatural were adjusted up a tenth among adults 18-49 versus Friday's preliminary ratings. 20/20 was adjusted down a tenth.

Final broadcast primetime ratings for Friday, April 20, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
8:00PM ABC Shark Tank -R 1.2 4 4.940
FOX The Finder 1.2 4 4.310
CBS Mike & Molly -R 1.0 4 4.180
NBC Who Do You Think You Are? -R 0.8 3 4.100
CW Nikita 0.4 1 1.390
8:30PM CBS Rules of Engagement -R 0.8 3 3.400
9:00PM NBC Grimm 1.4 4 4.560
ABC Primetime: What Would You Do? 1.3 4 4.280
FOX Fringe 1.0 3 3.030
CBS CSI: NY - R 0.8 3 6.100
CW Supernatural 0.7 2 1.570
10:00PM NBC Dateline NBC 1.4 4 5.810
ABC 20/20 1.2 4 4.090
CBS Blue Bloods -R 0.8 3 6.160


Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2012 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

  • Mark Wood

    On the Smallville/ Supernatural friday issue.

    When Smallville moved to Friday it’s ratings tanked. Losing over 36% in both viewers and demo. It was placed with a rerun (a rerun that did well for the CW rerun wise) but it wasn’t good companion programming.

    Then the next year it was paired back up with SPN. What happened. Smallville’s ratings went up, its DVR numbers decreased, and SPN had a fairly mild drop on its move to Friday.

    Now with a much weaker companion programming, SPN has had a sizable drop, yet its DVR numbers have increased.

    Clearly pairing shows together can really hep drive live audiences.

    As for just SPN this year. Lets look at some issues.

    As of two weeks ago, SPN originals have averaged 2.5 million viewers in live plus 7. We also now know thanks to teh Wall Street Journal that 20% of the total audience for the CW is watching online. Not a twenty percent increase, but 20% of the total audience. And they say its doubled what it was last year.

    Now of course that’s across the board, meaning some shows will have had larger then 20% of its total audience being online, and some will have less. Without specific show data, all we can do is make educated estimates.

    For example, with an average of 2.5 million means that for most of the season that online push means that its actual overall audience would be around 2.9 million.

    Considering that back 6 years ago in April the first year of the CW with all viewing options SPN would have got a 3.4. 3.4 and in 6 years a 2.9 in viewers. That really highlights that the numbers we see weekly for SPN are more impacted by the change in how people few shows, then the the loss of SPN’s audience.

    The CW more then any network is losing higher percentages to both DVR’s and to online viewing (that network 20% is the highest of the broadcast networks) and are more likely to be in adults 18-34.

    In fact, you can use info like this for any show to track actual audience erosion year to year. Now all that is good for, is basically tracking the migration of viewers, and to track a shows general audience.

    Doesn’t mean that a shows has the same revenue potential that it would have had years ago with higher numbers. Not at all.

  • Jake

    @Mark Wood –

    Exactly what i was thinking…

    SPN had a great first year on Friday as Smallville had already established itself on Friday and was having the final season hype. Smallville was struggling in the ninth season with the move to Friday, but it is by no means the norm for a CW/WB TV series or other networks for that matter. It had/has a real cult following that still are reading the Smallville season 11 series comics.

    By no means does this say that all TV series deserve a final season to properly close out the series. Way too many folks keep suggesting the 13 episode final season as a right for the shows they love, not as the business the networks are running.

  • tvwatcher

    Good to see Grimm was adjusted up – it was a fantastic episode.

    Note to NBC: PLEASE give Grimm a better lead-in. This entire season it has had pretty poor lead-ins. See what a better lead-in can do.

  • Mickey 1.0

    @Mark Wood

    Interesting stuff, and your number crunching really brings the point home.

    It ties into the NYT article I linked to on page 1. An interesting point in it is that all the DVRing and on-line viewing is having a cumulative effect. Over time, we’re building up libraries of shows that can be viewed through alternate options, which become more attractive than watching less choice live, with commercials and a set schedule. And not only are we not watching the shows live that we choose to watch online and on DVR, but while we are watching those shows online and DVR, we are not watching other shows while they are airing live. So playback is now overtaking live programming in the ratings.

    “Mr. Nathanson said the playback of prerecorded shows is so extensive, no show can be judged fairly by how it fares on its first night. He cited Nielsen figures that indicate recorded playback of shows would average a 4.7 rating in the 18-to-49 category for those four weeks this spring. That would make playback the second-highest-rated show on television for that period, just behind “American Idol” on Fox.

  • Jenna

    @Mark Wood

    Smallville was pulling 4 million viewers right through season 8, no show has ever lasted that long especially on CW and still pulled that many viewers, when it moved to fridays it did drop to 2 million, but a handful dropped below 2 million. Shows in its first few seasons are barely pulling 2 million, so CW has to do something, because this network will be done in 2 years. WB at least the shows had decent numbers, but then again all networks are struggling, and Nielsen is never going to be dumped, or DVR be counted as the primary ratings. TV will be so different in 20 years, DVR will be so major, It wouldn’t surprise me all Nielsen ratings for show barely reach 3 million on any network.

  • Moe

    Woot, so happy to see Supernatural adjusting up! I was hoping it would!

    Come on, CW, announce Season 8 already!

  • Mark Wood


    Even Smallville did usually hit over 4 million during the fall of its last year on Thursday but all but two of its spring episodes were under 4 million.

    Enough so that its season viewer average was 3.88 million viewers.

    Trying to compare the WB or even UPN (which after all did manage far greater numbers then anything the WB ever aired) is foolish. None of the shows, would have anywhere, anywhere near the level of performance that they originally got.

    Networks have continueed to loose market share to cable.
    DVR have cut the CW audience in some cases in half.
    And online viewership is growing at a rate faster then DVR did.

    As for the WB having good numbers. Well I wouldn’t go that far. It would be interesting to take the years that the WB and UPN lived, and compare their numbers in relation to ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox at the time and compare those same percentages to the CW versus NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox. I don’t know how much difference I think those ratios would actually be….

  • Lindsay Fang

    Yay for SPN~!
    I knew it!
    And a standing o for all the die-hard SPN fans!

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Anyone thinking Ringer has a renewal shot is delusional.

    Ringer is dead. Nikita is dead. HoD MAY be dead if the CW intends to kill three shows instead of two – which they should. TSC will move to Fridays replacing Nikita and die after season two.

    Oh – and Fringe is dead. Dead, dead, dead… :-)

    I’m still looking forward to the last four Nikita episodes though. Plutonium! Percy! It can’t get better than that! I just hope Amanda turns back up… Sorry to see Alberta Watson blown up, it was fun having her on yet another Nikita show. :-)

  • Cody

    I just caught onto SPN thanks to Netflix streaming. It’s became one of my favorite shows. I hate that I jumped on the bandwagon late and really hope it has more than one season left.

    OTH went 9 seasons, had lower ratings and I’m sure cost a lot more since the cast was larger.

    I can’t see SPN getting cancelled unless the showrunners and/or actors want it to end.

    I went through all of the non-repeat SPN final numbers and the ‘real’ average is 0.7368, so 0.74 rounded up.

  • Dahne

    @Cody – Welcome to the Supernatural fandom. So glad you joined.

    At the risk of being mocked at this site, I wonder how many times a show that has been on for awhile has increased in ratings due to summer airings, syndication, or online places like Netflix. I’m hearing a lot of people say recently that they are just now watching Supernatural through Netflix and can’t wait to get caught up so they can watch the show “live”. I realize chance these people are Nielsen viewers is slim, but it would be great to see season 8 maintain the same demos as season 7. Pie in the sky – actually increase. I thought NCIS increased in viewers later in the series due to USA marathons. I know that’s what brought me into that show.

  • Justun121

    NBC won Monday, Tuesday, and Friday! It’s my favorite network, whith the quality of the shows, it should win Thursday too.

    Should tell you that Thursday is what is keeping them down.

    Move Community and 30 Rock to Wednesday and Whitney to Thursday and put and end to The Office.

  • Tessa

    @Cody welcome to the family. New fans joining and saying they wished they’d caught on sooner (I once was such a fan) proves to me that if more people give this show a try they would also get a pleasant surprise. It doesn’t get the promotion it deserves and everyone dismisses it because the leads are good looking and the show is on the CW.

    I’m happy with the ratings. The show deserves more than one more season, especially now that Carver is back on board. I’m hoping he and Edlund would do some of their own brand of magic that made seasons 1-5 so great and make us fall in love with the show all over again.

  • Mickey 1.0


    Welcome to the Supernatural Family. We’re dysfunctional but we’re fun.

    And hey, better late than never. The party’s still going. :)


    I keep running into comments from people who just got into the show via Netflix and TNT too. They should be caught up for season 8, so there’s hope the syndication and online deals will counteract the natural attrition.

    The comments we see are just the tip of the iceberg, there will be a lot more people tuning in without posting about it. So we can hope the numbers are large enough the small Nielsen sampling will reflect this. A Nielsen box represents what, 4,000 households? Something like that? And the TNT repeats get 0.4 and 750,000-1,000,000 viewers, IIRC.

    And just last week TNT had cycled through and started over at the pilot. So we can expect a portion of those viewers to catch up on season 7 over the summer and then start watching season 8 live. And with the number of viewers the TNT repeats were getting, plus all those watching on Netflix, they have to number high enough in the thousands for some of them to have Nielsen boxes.

    It would be so cool if (pie in the sky) the ratings actually went up thanks to that.

  • Mickey 1.0


    If you love brilliant and hilarious, you will love Carver and Edlund, the two writers Tessa is talking about. (Carver will be head writer next year.)

    I can’t wait to see what those two will cook up for season 8!

    (And 9 and 10.) ;)

  • Freyja

    @Cody- Welcome to Supernatural, glad you found us :) and yes better late than never ;) hehehe

    @Dahne- Yes, NCIS hit season highs I think it was in season 7, when USA had the marathons, I know that’s when I tuned in as well. So anything is possible, with SPN we just gotta keep on believing. I just call it the little show that could hehehe

  • tscchope

    What deos NBC have, pray tell, that would be a good lead in for Grimm?

    @Richard Stephen Hack

    There’s nothing that compells a network to keep or scrap any of its shows. A new broom would probably sweep the old regime’s primetime choices out and replace them with his own choices. The studio that makes the discarded shows then has the choice of fold or find a new outlet for each of those shows.

    Fringe, tohugh it really makes me want to Cringe, is now performing at cable ratings. To recover what it has cost FOX, WB would need to give it away for free for Fox to show any sort of profit. That wouldn’t do WB’s chances of syndication for the show any favours. It wouldn’t do Fox any favours either to have a show that might average a 0.7 rating and could fall lower. That’s no help to them to reclaim Friday night as a TV night. Fringe has managed to mislay half its ratings from its initial Friiday showing last season as compared with this and ratings determine ad revenues. It’s virtually impossible to see any show Fox might show on a Friday doing worse, unless it brought Dollhouse back.

    I do wonder just how hard Wb has tried to get a syndication deal fro Fringe. For WB to offer Fox a full 22 episode season for a show failing in the ratings is an indication of just how much they like it and how desperate WB must be to reach the magic 100 episodes. They probasbly could twist CW’s arm to show it on a Friday along with Supernatural, moved to 8pm. That move and the toning down of stories might not please fans of that show.

  • HB

    Good for SPN.

  • pandorajinel(formerly Erin)

    Would it surprise you to know that I’ve been a SPN fan for a whopping…4 months? I caught it on a vacation and have been hooked ever since.

    Welcome to the bunch ^_^

    As for Fringe, I’m glad I’m not the only one that thinks Fringe is performing at cable levels. Though it has twice the absolute audience count that SPN does, it’s current season demo is starting to look like SPN’s season 5 or 6 demo. Except, Fringe is on a network with high standards. It will be interesting to see what happens.

  • deborah

    I’m so happy “Supernatural” continues to be near the top, when it comes to the ratings for CW network shows! It’s the best series on the CW! Here’s to a season eight!

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures