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.

  • NotAnIdiot

    How many times do Bill & other people who have knowledge of this industry have to say that half hour ratings CAN NOT DETERMINE whether a show will be adjusted up or down? Yet there is still at least one comment on every page about this. I don’t even get the logic behind it.

  • Ram510

    Nice to see Rules of Engagment back up.

    So happy Scandal is steady, but the fact that it keep losing viewers worries me

    Awakes numbers are starting to look like a CW show. Sad that TVD had more viewers and a better demo than Awake lol. TSC only trailed it by a tenth!

  • Stacie

    I wish they would cancel The Vampire Diaries . It’s so horrible now , the writing at least . I’m just so bored with it .

  • Person of Interest

    cw don’t renew secret circle its a bad show good at the beginning but then got so boring bring new shows and renew GG for a last season although i wish that it would be canceled as well but the fans should get a final season for their show also if you can save Nikita save it if not cancel everything else you have renewed the best series you’ve got you need new shows that have the chance to be hits and i would love to see Arrow as a series if the producers are doing it right and by right i mean that it should be dark and ending each episode with a cliffhanger not like smallville at all i need it to be different.

  • senor chang


    Very interesting stuff, thanks.

  • bee

    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.

  • jenny

    Next week’s Mentalist will be bad. They need to stop on the Red John stuff. It had its place but now the Red John bit is over.

    If the Mentalist keeps putting on Red John shows, their ratings will keep dropping.

    The Mentalist had a great conclusion episode for Red John last year. And now every time they have a Red John episode it turns off the viewers. Is it because the writers are out of gas and cannot come up with any new ideas? Do they want the ratings to keep dropping over the long run?

  • Michael

    Awake, RIP! Put this out of its misery already.

  • SJ


    Think again, you pathetic troll. Revenge’s series low is 2.1, Scandal’s series high is a 2.0.

  • Joe

    Not sure if this has been pointed out or not, but those aren’t lows for The Office or Parks & Rec. The Office’s low is the 2.1 it hit last week and Parks is the 1.6 it hit last week.

  • josh

    yes!Go Grey`s !

    30Rock is still good! why people doesnt watch it ???

  • BL

    Awake would do better on Saturday nights if it does get renewed. However, based on the consistent declining ratings, I doubt it will get another season; let alone a full season.

    Mentalist should move to Friday nights and Person of Interest should air after NCIS next season (Tuesday Nights). Where does that leave NCIS:LA? Move that to Thursday nights to see how it does without the NCIS lead ins.

  • Guy

    Missing isn’t THAT bad. Good to see Grey’s stay steady considering the 1.1 Missing got. Scandal is OMG awesome. Please ABC Season 2 please. There was so much on TV last night i think i watched/recorded 9 shows on the nets.

  • JJ

    I watch scandal and i think it’s okay but if i had to choose i’d prefere Revenge and GCB to get renewed… I’ll still keep watching though… and btw i don’t like Kerry Washington, i think she’s irritating

  • Taylor


    You’re missing the “Up” in the title– it says “The Office, Parks & Recreation Up, Awake and Missing Hit Series Lows” ;)

  • Nicole

    They continue to push Scandal. We all know it will drop at least a point when the final ratings are in. GA will go up and Scandal will go down. It is NOT more impressive than Revenge. Look at it’s lead in. It can’t retain enough viewers from GA. GA got a 3.2 and Scandal will drop down to a 1.9 or 2.0 once it is adjusted later today.

  • salim

    the problem with the mentalist is that there are no enough red john eps, its the main premise of the show and people are tied of the red john eps being towards the end of the season

  • Liz


    ABC has got to be more pleased with SCANDAL than they are with REVENGE at this point.

    Yes, they’re more pleased with the lower-rated show than the higher-rated show. Makes total sense.

    Seriously, why are you so insistent on pushing this blatantly wrong line of thinking?

  • Jen

    Last nights ‘Scandal’ was the best episode so far, IMO. I hope this show is renewed and given a chance in the fall.

  • mdmb

    hah RoE beats PoI :D:D:D

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