TV Ratings Wednesday: 'American Idol' down, 'Survivor', 'Modern Family', 'CSI', 'The Middle' & 'Off Their Rockers' Hit Lows, 'Don't Trust the B' Rebounds

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May 3rd, 2012

Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 4.6/13 2.6/7 2.4/7 1.4/4 1.3/4 0.3/1
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 3.1/10 1.4/4 1.9/6 0.9/3 1.3/4 0.3/1
Total Viewers (million) 16.3 10.116 7.065 5.202 3.370 0.952

American Idol  earned a 4.6 adults 18-49 rating, down two tenths from last Wednesday's 4.8. However, Idol still easily lead a FOX win for adults 18-49 ratings and total viewership on the night and has now surpassed NBC’s The Voice as the #1 show of the season (6.2 vs. 6.1) – even including The Voice’s high rated post-Super Bowl premiere.

ABC's Wednesday night returned from repeats this week. The Middle earned a 2.0, down a tenth from its last original and a new season low. Suburgatory was flat with its last original's season low 2.0 18-49 rating. Modern Family earned to a 4.0 rating which is a season low and down a tenth from its last original's 4.1. Don't Trust The B---- in Apartment 23  was back up from last week's series low 2.0 adults 18-49 rating, gaining four-tenths to earn a 2.4 adults 18-49 rating, but it was down two tenths from the last time it aired after an original Modern Family. Revenge was flat with last week's series/season low 2.1 adults 18-49 rating.

Survivor was down two-tenths to a 2.5 adults 18-49 rating, compared with last week's 2.7 and is a new series low. Criminal Minds returned from repeats to earn a 3.0 adults 18-49 rating, even with its last original. CSI earned a 2.3, down a tenth from its last original and tying its series low

Betty White's Off Their Rockers earned a 1.3 adults 18-49 rating at 9PM and a 1.4 at 9:30, both down from last week's 1.7 18-49 rating and producing the series' lowest ratings to date. Rock Center with Brian Williams earned a 1.0, up a tenth from last week's 0.9 18-49 Rating. Law And Order: SVU earned a 1.8, up a tenth from last week's 1.7 18-49 rating.

On The CW, America's Next Top Model was the only new program on the CW and earned a 0.4 adults 18-49 rating, compared with last week's 0.5 adults 18-49 rating.


Late-night results are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Wednesday, May 2, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
8:00PM FOX American Idol (8-10 PM) 4.6 13 16.299
CBS Survivor: One World 2.5 8 9.205
NBC Betty White's Off Their Rockers 1.3 4 5.008
ABC The Middle 2.0 7 6.605
CW The LA Complex -R 0.3 1 0.857
8:30PM ABC Suburgatory 2.0 6 5.801
NBC Betty White's Off Their Rockers 1.4 4 4.936
9:00 PM ABC Modern Family 4.0 11 9.950
CBS Criminal Minds 3.0 8 11.400
NBC Rock Center With Brian Williams 1.0 3 4.185
CW America's Next Top Model 0.4 1 1.047
9:30PM ABC Don't Trust the B in Apt. 23 2.4 6 5.851
10:00PM CBS CSI 2.3 6 9.742
ABC Revenge 2.1 6 7.090
NBC Law and Order: SVU 1.8 5 6.450

via NBC press note:

In Late-Night Metered Markets Wednesday night:

  • In Nielsen's 56 metered markets, household results were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 3.0/7; CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," 3.1/7; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 3.4/7; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 1.5/4. 
  • In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 0.7/3; "Late Show," 0.6/3; "Nightline," 1.1/5; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.6/3.
  • At 12:35 a.m., "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.6/5 in metered-market households) tied CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (1.6/5).  In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late Night" (0.5/3 in 18-49) topped "Late Late Show" (0.4/3).
  • At 1:35 a.m., "Last Call with Carson Daly" averaged a 1.0/4 in metered-market households and a 0.4/3 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters.


NOTE: All ratings are "live plus same day" from Nielsen Media Research unless otherwise indicated.
Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2012 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

You can see TV ratings from other recent Overnight ratings reports here.

Definitions: 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 football 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.

  • James Klatt

    Survivor has run it’s course. It needs to be cancelled.

  • Mayorofsmpleton

    Gary, nets don’t program hourlongs to start at the half hour. I don’t believe they ever have. Certainly not in the last decade. I can’t think of a time it was done.

  • Holly

    @James Klatt,

    Survivor has run it’s course. It needs to be cancelled.

    I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.

  • beckseleven

    @Dennis. CSI doesn’t equal Miami and Miami will probably drop too. Most shows are hitting lows and the ten pm shows are all way down last few weeks, so I doubt Miami will be equal to CSI.

  • DW

    i stopped watching revenge. when it cane back i watched 5 minutes and thought nope and moved on. it just lays there like a neglected toy that a child doesn’t play with anymore. sad. good job modern family. great ep . last night.

  • Tessa

    My theory for why Revenge was down this week is that they resolved the whole court case last episode so people didn’t have much of a cliffhanger to come back for. Most of them probably DVRd it and watched something else instead (I know I did.)

    The other theory of course is that the show is no longer as good as it used to be in the beginning. They should really shake things up or else they are going to lose more of their audience. :|

  • hubertwentland5

    bardzo s?abo. a jesie? by?a tak obfita.

  • SteveO

    Revenge wasn’t even down this week; I don’t understand why everyone is freaking out about its ratings.

  • RyanCanada

    i dont get why everyones up in arms about Revenge’s ratings… this spring its ratings havent dropped as much as The Middle and Suburgatory? they were in the 3’s revenger never was… the highest was maybe a 2.8 for revenge, you guys are over doing the dramatics about revenge.

  • brandy

    This season of Top Model has been the absolute worst in the show’s history. The shake-up next season is probably a good thing, but it might be too little too late. Being on The CW doesn’t help either.

  • Holly

    i dont get why everyones up in arms about Revenge’s ratings…

    Well, we have to get upset about something

  • s0303

    @bunny…if ct has 29 more episodes til syndication…than it’s gone…that’s 2 more seasons (especially since it only got 15 episodes this year) i love ct, but abc will not give it 2 more seasons with those ratings, whether it owns it or not…

  • Poweranimals

    I’m starting to think the Tuesday at 9pm timeslot is toxic. I remember last year, Hellcats was doing good on Wednesdays. For whatever reason, the CW moved it to Tuesdays and it was all downhill from there.

  • lsb

    Everything across the board is down, now if you get a 2.0 that’s the new 3.0. When renewals start I think most networks will look at the WHOLE season not just 4 weeks in spring. From LMS to Revenge to OUAT to Apt23 I’m sure they will all be renewed for a 2nd season. I read an article that started out where have all the viewer’s gone this spring. It’s not just ABC it’s ALL networks.

  • Statix

    The repeat of The L.A. Complex had more viewers than Tuesday’s original.

    That’s pretty funny.

  • Joe

    It’s funny how we have to go through this HORRIBLE RETENTION!!!! song and dance with EVERY show that gets put after Modern Family.

    Time to accept that no show is going to be getting the 3.5 people here seem to think it will and call it a day.

  • Clarke

    @ Poweranimals

    I agree! Every show in that time slot seems doomed to die. It’s not even that competitive of an hour…. weird, very weird.

  • Montecore

    I watched C. S. I. Crime Scene Investigation last night and noticed that it has become as bad as the shows two spinoffs! When the show first came on in 2000 it was almost realistic, 40% of their time was spent in the field, 40% in the lab, 10% sitting in on (never questioning!) interrogations and 10% of it in court testifying. Half of the time they wore crime suits that identified them, booties and plastic over their hair. Now it has the busty blonde walking around the lab with no cap over her long blonde hair which is never pulled back! They arrest and question suspects and then call in the police. In real life, 30% of a csi’s time is spent collecting evidence and processing a crime scene, 40% is spent in the lab processing everything and 30% is spent in court testifying about their findings. They are required to carry guns, but almost never use them and they NEVER arrest or question suspects! Fairwell to a once great show.

  • colt13

    Apt 23 and Happy Endings will be back. The thing is one of these three-The Middle, Cougar Town or Suburgatory will be gone. Suburgatory deserves a second season, away from idol.

  • TomSFBay

    These drops are just more proof that the network TV business model is outdated and does not reflect the viewing habits of America.

    They could kick off a fall/winter season on Labor Day for 26 weeks, which would allow them to air virtually all original episodes between September and February.

    Then, during March through September, they should kick off a spring/summer season filled with a mixture of some original scripted, but mostly reality shows and repeats.

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