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.

  • jordan


    Where do you get those W18-34 ratings? Do you get it from another website or do you have your own source?

  • harsh reality

    Why are people wanting for NBC to end the Office?

    It’s still the best rated show they have on Thursday by a mile and this is a network with pathetic ratings to begin with.

    NBC won’t achieve a 2.0 with any other of their pathetic Thursday night lineuep.

    Besides..the Office has been going downhill for years

  • MarcJames87

    @Jordan – Futon Critic who are generally quite reliable

  • Kavyn

    @Brit – You’re right. It’s really not healthy to constantly hate on things, especially something so trivial as a tv show. There’s a war going on between Nikita and TSC fans for next years’ Friday at 8pm slot, so we can’t help but attack each other :P

    I’ve already prepared myself for Nikita’s possible cancellation and intend on watching the show as if it were a series finale. If they renew it I’ll be very happy, but if not I won’t be surprised. I just think ratings are a sham when Nikita tops viewership every week (besides TVD and SPN).

  • Kavyn

    @Alex – Klaus is “dead”. He’s not completely gone, but they did the same thing that was done to Michael before Katherine released him, where they stopped his heart and kept him asleep in his coffin. Except instead of the coffin they threw him into the ocean.

  • Brittney


    I’m the saw way about TSC. A few weeks ago I was a bit more optimistic at its renewal chances but with it dropping I’ve decided to just enjoy the finale and hope for the best. I definitely think the Nielsen system is a bit outdated but it does serve its purpose. It’s difficult with a network like The CW though.

  • alexmathayes

    @Kavyn thnx for letting me know and saving me all the time. I’m not interested in TVD no more. TBH I have such great shows to look forward to on Cable which are extremely good content wise, they are short seasons and hardly take breaks. I dont mind waiting even for very long between season breaks. Atleast I’m sure when new season starts there are no breaks.

  • nadia

    GA actually got A 9 mill on the dot seriously! LIARS!

  • Kavyn

    With Klaus gone I’m really hoping Katherine returns. Nina plays Katherine very well and I’ve always prefered Katherine over Elena. I’ve always had a thing for evil twins in tv shows (except not really a twin in this case, same idea). :P

  • rachel

    CBS should be doing way better than i expect! ABC IS JUST janky! NBC IS REALLY AWFUL ON THURSDAY! CW is just CW ….. FAILURE! FOX AI is over cancel people are tired of it already! too many competition shows on tv they really should be done!

  • sally

    NBC should just really retire! lmao!

  • Rebecca

    It’s too bad more Nielsen households aren’t watching Community. Its episodes have been great lately. That and TBBT are all I have seen so far from last night…gotta go catch up.

  • Aakygt

    GG is def getting renewed because the writers are responding to fans on twitter about season 6. I think why they’re waiting for an announcement is because they want to see if it holds it’s 0.6 demo from this week..if it does they may renew for a FULL season…. But it IS coming back either way. ?

  • Jenny

    @ Robert Seidman
    I like your question about how the hit movie “The Avengers” will affect TV viewing this weekend.

    BUT, you failed to take into consideration that we will be having a Super Moon this weekend. The largest and brightest full moon of the year and the moon will be at its closest distance to the earth. The internet is alive with all the effects of the moon from high tides, to the emotional effects on people. They are even predicting a baby boom in 9 months due to the Super Moon.

    Of course there is always the effect of the Weather in the spring.

    So when you take the combination of the Weather, the Super Moon and the movie hit “The Avengers”, it is easy to conclude that any increase or decrease in a TV shows ratings would be due to this triple threat.

    It is going to be a wild weekend!

  • AC75


    Not sure if you’re being real or just being funny…

  • SmG


    TVD: 2.3—1.6—1.5—1.4—1.7—1.7–1.9–2.0–1.7–1.5–1.8-1.8

    HOD: 1.2—1.2—1.2—1.1—1.1–0.9–1.1–0.9-1.1

    GG: 1.2—1.3—1.3—1.2—0.9—0.8–1.0–0.9–1.1–1.0-1.3

    90210: 0.7—1.0—1.1—1.1–1.1–0.9–0.9–1.1–0.9-1.0

    TSC: 1.1—1.2—0.9—0.9—1.0—0.9–1.0–0.9–0.9–0.6–0.8-0.8

    RINGER: 0.7—0.7—0.5—0.6–0.6–0.8–0.5–0.7–0.8–0.6–0.6–0.7


    TVD: 1.74

    HOD: 1.09

    GG: 1.09

    90210: 0.98

    TSC: 0.93

    RINGER: 0.65

    For anyone wondering about the W18-34 demo.

  • Boyd

    Even though GA is down a tick this week, it’s odd how splitting up Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice seems to have actually helped both of them in the ratings recently …

  • Jenny

    @ AC75
    Just having fun , and I was going for a Fan Excuse Bingo card Prize.


    the Super Moon is real , and people are predicting Super Moon babies, but I am just having fun with it.

  • Potato

    @AC75: no, just the opening bit

    @Rachel– Oh, ok. That actually makes sense.

  • hardline_pro

    is it normal for ratings to be this low? :|

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