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.

  • Rachel


    Yep. I agree with all of that. I think the network was expecting a lot more from the show or they wouldn’t have put it in that golden time-slot. The show just hasn’t delivered.

  • Kavyn

    “TSC is a good show, better written than TVD IMHO but it just never caught on. Too gloomy and no good romance like there is on TVD.
    It has no chance of coming back. Sad.”

    @Bee, It never caught on because it was garbage for the first 15 episodes. I’ll admit the Nick returning plotline seems interesting, but not enough for me to return to the series.

  • Rachel


    Oh please. Your comment was directed at me and you know it. Don’t try and save face. I’m the only who said I wanted a show cancelled at the time. Of course I’m gonna defend myself when someone is making off the wall assumptions about me. You don’t know me.

    And you have a wonderful day as well. Glad I added some excitement into your life. Still shaking in my boots because you’re gonna “remember my name”. Whatever that means. :|

  • W

    CBS continues to do well on Thursday night.

  • SarahL

    I think that TSC is dreck, even by TheCW’s low standards. It is full of bad storytelling, dialogue, and horrific acting. I want those hours of my life back.

  • rob60990

    The Secret Circle doesn’t deserve to be renewed. It’s pulling bad ratings in the best timeslot the CW could give it. Hart of Dixie is doing bad too but its lead-in is half of what Secret Circle has and is in a much more competitive timeslot and also does better in W18-34.

  • Cliff Macke

    @rob60990 well like many good shows it takes time to build an audience & most piots by design are just not the best example for how a show will turn-out due to all the time it takes for set-up on a show like this, however I LOVED this pilot and on a network where viewers are so few anyway on a night where they have not done well with anything in that time slot for a few seasons now. Other then possible music shows & Football on NBC, name me ANY show on that network where Viewers haven’t left in droves compared to a year ago. Viewers have deceided the fate of this show, but it doesn’t mean the show might not have had a better chance elsewhere because it just stands out.

  • Cliff Macke

    Southland was a flop too remember? Seems to be doing ok now going into it’s 3rd or 4th Season on TNT maybe AWAKE will have the same luck.

  • Suna

    I love Person of Interest. CBS should air it after TBBT, it would be getting high 3 demo and at least 15 million viewers,

  • TSCS


  • Stephen judson

    Scandal is really good. I like how they focus on two storylines in last nights episode. I thought the show would be do just one “scandal” per episode.

  • Kavyn

    Seriously, switch Ringer and TSC and I bet you my life that the ratings would be flipped. People only like TSC because it was DESIGNED to be another TVD. Literally, the only reason it was picked up was because they wanted it to become the next TVD, and look at it now – it consistantly only has half of TVD’s viewers and ratings.

    And you know why? It’s not because TSC is a new show that needs a second chance. It’s because CW viewers saw this garbage and tuned out asap. The people that stayed are the ones that can’t get enough of TVD and wanted another hour of teen drama and mystical voodoo. Move it to another time slot and the show will plummet – which is pretty sad considering it’s already getting 0.5s.

    TSC WILL drop to 0.2s-0.3s next year on Friday’s at 8pm if you take into account what the show’s ending off with, where it’s going and the decline of the network.

    Also, teaming up on Rachel? Really? Does that make you feel good, picking on a girl who has different tastes than you? It looks pretty pathetic to me.

  • Allen

    Community holding steady.

  • alexmathayes

    Missing was good in the 1st episode and then I lost interest from the 2nd episode. so many stupid moments. CIA that does not even remotely look believable.. I could go on & on & on……

  • It Girl

    WITH THE BEST SPOT (AFTER CW’S ONLY HIT TV-SHOW ..TVD) , THE SECRET CIRCLE ONLY SCORES 0.5/1 & 0.6/2 ! WHY RENEW IT ? The ratings are PATHETIC , and if they renew it (they will automatically move it!) ratings won’t go above (0.6-0.5 RANGE.) If The CW is intelligent , they will cancel The Secret Circle !

  • It Girl

    That’s what i’m trying to explain !

  • MarcJames87

    W18-34 Ratings for The CW this week

    The Vampire Diaries – 1.8
    Gossip Girl – 1.3
    Hart Of Dixie – 1.1
    90210 – 1.0
    The Secret Circle – 0.8
    ANTM – 0.6
    LA Complex – 0.4

  • jordan

    POI is ancient. It only has 300,000 fewer viewers and it gets destroyed in the demo compared to BBT. A 4.6 to 2.5. Grey’s has four million fewer viewers than POI, and it beats by 0.7 in the demo. A 3.2 to 2.5. It’s crazy old. And that is why they are putting comedies there next season. There comedies skew so much younger on CBS than their ancient dramas.

  • Brittney


    I like TSC, didn’t care for Ringer and don’t like TVD. That being said, I have no clue why everyone is ganging up on someone just because they don’t like the show, but I also don’t get someone saying they hope the show drops. Just don’t watch it if you don’t like it? And as far as it getting renewed, I really don’t know if it’ll happen. The CW is unpredictable because all their shows are so close to each other in ratings.

  • alexmathayes

    I heard they’ve killed Klaus in the latest episode of The Vampire Diaries. I lost interest when they started the whole trying to kill Klaus or finding some way. I might actually give it a shot if he’s really dead. such an annoying character with no surprises to his character personality.

    Still not sure, I’l read about the season finale and then will decide whether I shuld come back to it or not. TBH the whole series is filled with sooooo much of teen drama that the actual plots take only about 10-15 mins. The rest in each episode is all teen boring drama. Who will Elena choose, ooh Stefan or Oooh Damon. Sick and tired. Nothing new.

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