TV Ratings Thursday:'Big Bang Theory' Wins Night as All CBS Shows Rise, 'American Idol' Down, 'The Office', 'Parks and Recreation' Up, 'Awake' & 'Missing' Hit Series Lows

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May 4th, 2012



Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 3.0/9 2.8/8 2.1/6 1.4/4 1.4/4 0.8/2
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 1.9/7 1.6/5 1.6/5 1.5/5 1.4/5 0.9/3
Total Viewers (million) 10.95 12.32 7.353 3.07 3.56 1.83


FOX was the number one network among adults 18-49, while CBS was on top in total viewers.

On CBS, Big Bang Theory was Thursday night's top program, scoring a 4.6 rating among adults 18-49, up 12% from last week's 4.1. Rules of Engagement earned a 2.7 adults 18-49 rating, an 8% increase from last week's 2.5. Person of Interest  got a 2.5 in adults 18-49 up from last week's 2.4. The Mentalist garnered a 2.4 adults 18-49 rating, up 9% from last week's 2.2.

On FOX, American Idol earned a 3.9 adults 18-49 rating, down from last week's 4.0. Touch got a 2.1 in adults 18-49, up 11% from last week's 1.9.

ABC's Missing scored a series low 1.1 adults 18-49 rating down 21% last week's 1.4. Grey's Anatomy earned a 3.2 in adults 18-49, down 3% from last week's 3.3. Scandal garnered a 2.1 adults 18-49 rating, up 8% from last week's 2.0.

On NBC,  Community earned a 1.4 among adults 18-49, even with last week's performance. 30 Rock got a 1.4 in adults 18-49, down 13% from last week's 1.6. The Office scored a 2.3  adults 18-49 rating, up 10% from last week's 2.1. Parks and Recreation garnered a 1.7 in adults 18-49, up 6% from last week's 1.6. Awake scored a series low 0.7 adults 18-49 rating d0wn from last week's 0.8.

The CW's Vampire Diaries scored a 1.1adults 18-49 rating even with last week.. Secret Circle earned a 0.6 in adults 18-49, up from last week's 0.5

Late-night ratings are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Thursday, May 3, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 CBS The Big Bang Theory 4.6/15 13.27
FOX American Idol 3.9/12 15.05
NBC Community 1.4/5 3.28
ABC Missing 1.1/4 6.28
CW Vampire Diaries 1.1/4 2.44
8:30 CBS Rules of Engagement 2.7/8 9.01
NBC 30 Rock 1.4/4 3.06
9:00 ABC Grey's Anatomy 3.2/9 9.00
CBS Person of Interest 2.5/7 12.96
NBC The Office 2.3/7 4.44
FOX Touch 2.1/6 6.84
CW Secret Circle 0.6/2 1.23
9:30 NBC Parks and Recreation 1.7/5 3.35
10:00 CBS The Mentalist 2.4/7 12.67
ABC Scandal 2.1/6 6.78
NBC Awake 0.7/2 2.14


Via NBC press notes:

In Late-Night Metered Markets Wednesday 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," 2.5/6; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 3.2/8; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 1.5/5.
  • In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 0.7/3; "Late Show," 0.5/3; "Nightline," 1.0/4; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.5/3.
  • At 12:35 a.m., "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.3/4 in metered-market households) tied CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (1.3/4). In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late Night" (0.5/3 in 18-49) topped "Late Late Show" (0.3/2).
  • At 1:35 a.m., "Last Call with Carson Daly" averaged a 0.9/4 in metered-market households and a 0.4/3 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters.

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

  • Jenny

    @ Andrew


    more support for my favorite show Hart of Dixie to be renewed.
    Great show, great writing, great actors and lot of eye candy for both sexes

  • Aakygt

    ^ your*

  • Rachel


    Exactly. Finally someone who is rational around here. The Secret Circle will never get the ratings it got at the start again. It has the best lead-in so there is no excuse for ratings this low. The quality of the show is why I and several others left. If a show like Nikita can’t keep a large audience for a second season there’s no way in hell The Secret Circle will.

  • Rachel


    I’m shaking in my boots! Some random person on an internet forum is gonna remember my name. And do what exactly? Absolutely nothing.

  • Pete

    Rachel is just one of those people who don’t appreciate anyone elses tastes but her own. Its sad really.

  • Polar Bear

    Anyone else still think NBC has the best lineup on Thursdays?
    I do.

  • Pete

    I can’t wait for TSC to be renwed and a certain person to have egg on their face.

  • Rachel


    Really? And what are you doing? I don’t like TSC so you throw a fit on me!

    And I do actually. I can respect a show like Nikita and their fans even though I’ve only seen a few episodes of the show. Ratings aside Nikita is a better quality show than TSC. Don’t tell me what I appreciate and what I don’t.

  • Aakygt


    lol i know right.

    She seems like a person who’s life depends on television programming and she calls people out for the shows that they like.

    Its hilarious. Good for her though.

  • Polar Bear

    @luke awake has to be one of the most consistent shows on tv right now. Always .7 or .8

  • Polar Bear

    @rachel and @aakygt
    Who cares?

  • AC75


    I just think the CW will see it as too big a risk for a second season given the state of the ratings in it’s first. If the show were in it’s 3rd or 4th season already, then it might get a pass because it would have established an audience. But since the drop off happened so fast, it’s not a good sign. At least that’s how I see it. Again, I’m not badmouthing the show at all. Just the ratings.

  • scifi

    ohh Touch up!!! It will be renewed now 100500%!! omg… lol

  • Dillan

    People still think TSC will be cancelled? Oh dear. It hasn’t had constant 0.4’s or 0.5’s like Nikita and Ringer have had. It’s had two 0.5’s, that’s it. Everything else has been above. It’s entire season’s ratings are enough for The CW to renew the show.

    Nikita and Ringer on the other hand have had contstant 0.4’s / 0.5’s and I literally can’t help but laugh at people that think Nikita will be renewed, even for a final season, it’s ratings have been horrible this season. The fact that it’s on a Friday is irrelevant when you have shows like Supernatural which easily manages a 0.7.

  • Rachel


    And you’re a judgmental hypocrite. You told me to “put on diaper” just because I said something you didn’t like. You don’t even know me yet you made it your business to be rude towards. You no better than me so stop acting all superior.

  • Aakygt


    A person with some logic. Thank you.

  • DW

    even though i’m sticking with missing i do have to agree with one that the writing on missing is not good. i would take fun bad than tired bad and its tired bad. you cant produce ten entertaining episodes , you dont need to come back.

  • Rachel


    I think Nikita and Ringer will be cancelled too. I would like for TSC to go with them. That’s all I’m saying.

  • Aakygt

    I said people should stop begging for shows to get canceled cause its not that much of a life matter. Who cares…in the end….life goes on.

    And notice how I didn’t give any names and you just jumped on my comment and replied to me. Sorry for getting you ‘mad’.

    Lmao. Have a good day. Thanks for the laughs.

  • SarahL

    But TheCW is a crappy desperate network. It might renew TSC despite its poor ratings.

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