TV Ratings Sunday: 'GCB' Finale and 'Once' Flat; 'Amazing Race' Finale and 'Desperate Housewives' Up; 'Harry's Law' Falls to Series Low

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May 7th, 2012

Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 2.4/7 2.0/6 1.9/5 1.3/4 0.9/3
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 1.8/6 1.1/3 2.1/7 0.8/2 0.8/3
Total Viewers (million) 7.635 9.290 4.087 5.778 2.602


ABC won the night with adults 18-49 and CBS led with total viewers.  America's Funniest Videos was up five-tenths to a 2.0 from last week's 1.5 rating while Once Upon A Time was even with last week's 3.0 adults 18-49 rating.  Desperate Housewives was up three tenths to a 2.8 vs. last week's a 2.5 adults 18-49 rating.  GCB's finale was even with last week's 1.8 adults 18-49 rating.

On Fox, the 7:30pm Cleveland Show was down a tenth to a 1.4 vs. last week's 1.5 adults 18-49 rating,    The Simpsons was down two-tenths to a 2.1 vs. last week's 2.3 and Bob's Burgers was down a tenth to a 1.8 from last week's 1.9 adults 18-49 rating.  Family Guy earned a 2.7, down a tenth compared to the a 2.8 adults 18-49 rating it earned last week. American Dad returned this week after a month to earn a 2.3 adults 18-49 rating vs. the 2.0 its last original earned.

CBS's two-hour  Amazing Race finale drew a 2.6 compared with last week's season low-matching  a 2.2 adults 18-49 rating, and was up in both ratings and viewership from last years' finale. NYC 22 earned a 1.3, up a tenth compared to last week's 1.2 adults 18-49 rating. Earlier in the night, 60 Minutes earned a 1.6, up four tenths from last week's 1.2 adults 18-49 rating.

On NBC, Harry's Law hit a new series low, earning only a 0.7, down two-tenths from last week's 0.9 adults 18-49 rating. From 9-11p Celebrity Apprentice was down a tenth, drawing only a 1.9 compared to last week's a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating.

Broadcast primetime ratings for Sunday, May 6, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
7:00PM ABC America's Funniest Home Videos 2.0 7 6.621
CBS 60 Minutes 1.6 5 11.441
FOX The Simpsons -R 1.1 4 2.659
NBC Dateline NBC 0.7 2 3.261
7:30PM FOX The Cleveland Show 1.4 4 3.124
8:00PM ABC Once Upon A Time 3.0 8 8.935
CBS Amazing Race (8-10PM) 2.6 7 9.390
FOX The Simpsons 2.1 6 4.745
NBC Harry's Law 0.7 2 7.524
8:30PM FOX Bob's Burgers 1.8 5 3.687
9:00PM ABC Desperate Housewives 2.8 7 9.307
FOX Family Guy 2.7 7 5.548
NBC The Celebrity Apprentice (9-11p) 1.9 5 6.163
9:30PM FOX American Dad 2.3 5 4.758
10:00PM ABC GCB 1.8 5 5.674
CBS NYC 22 1.3 3 6.941

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


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 and Numbers 102.

  • OMG

    The truth is half the shows get killed off all the time. We don’t have to simply watch “hits” all the time. As for GCB, I guess it is a fun ride, it would be great if it is renewed, but with the ratings, I guess it is understandable why it might not be.

    I am just a little frustrated about how people try to compare the ratings gap between Scandal and GCB when it is not that much to begin with, with Scandal having the clear advantage in terms of lead-in, and not being tested with repeats or Titanic preceding it. But then again Scandal was touted as quite a good watch too, so I have not started watching so I am not really in the position to assess it too.

  • DW

    @ dennis yes there are two. hallmark and fox news. :)

  • Petar

    CBS really need to put new shows on sunday! Even without TGW is still a mess!

    May be elementary at 8 AR at 9 and TGW at 10? They mut try something!

  • zerg

    if abc renew GCB it will crash and burn aganist Emmy,Grammy,GG…. even DH this year(last year and 2 years ago) got 1.8,Pan Am 0.7 and OUAT 3.0

  • Marcos

    probably GCB will gets axed, sadly. deadline reported that ABC ordered 6 drama pilots, so I guess there’s no room for GCB. and ABC will already have 2 soap operas: Mistresses and Devious maids. so I guess they wont need GCB

  • Nadine Harris

    I like Harry’s Law, but I didn’t see the episode, so I think WHY may have to do with the way CBS screwed up my watching habits by putting in two hours of Amazing Race (a show I loathe) rather than The Good Wife, which is one of my favorites. That sent me careering around the dial and I settled for a while on Sherlock on PBS and kind of didn’t realize HL was there.

  • Dillan

    ABC’s scheduling for GCB was ridiculous if you ask me. Having Titanic as a lead in, not airing it one week, airing 2 episodes in one day on Easter Sunday with a repeat as a lead in, just ridiculous. I hope ABC give it another chance and renew it.

  • Sports Preemption

    Harry’s Law was stick a fork in it done before, but now its starting to burn. I don’t care how many total viewers you can pull if the demo that makes a show worth putting on the air just isn’t watching. At this point, this demo wouldn’t even be worth it on a Friday. Possibly a Saturday, that’s like its only hope.

    And shame, but GCB looks like it’s winning the race to the bottom. I think GCB and BOP are gone, but Castle, PP and Scandal are safe right now. Scandal is still on the bubble, but PP and Castle should come back for another season at this rate.

    And shame about NYC 22. It isn’t a bad show, but on the procedural channel, there’s nothing about it that stands out.

    Great sports weekend btw. Gotta love the month of May.

  • Sarah

    Happy to see Once at a 3.0 again. I think the Desperate Housewives finale will pull in a mid 3. I know a lot of people that stopped watching but plan on watching the finale just to see how it ends.

  • John

    I have been glad to see OUAT doing so well and renewed for next season but am I the only one who does not see how they fill another season with the current story-line?

  • Tessa

    Gawking at the Harry’s Law ratings. Those are CW numbers. How can this show survive?

  • Nadine Harris

    Harry’s Law is a show for old people. Most of the 18-49s who watch Harry’s Law are probably 40+. The show skews incredibly old.
    You say that like it was bad thing! :-)

  • Justin121

    Harry’s Law = Renewed.

    GCB = Cancelled.

    YES for Desperate Housewives winning its hour outright and beating Family Guy.

  • Mark

    “RICKY SPANISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  • Nadine Harris

    Yeah I wouldn’t be all that surprised if Harry’s Law is renewed either. But I’d hardly be surprised if it isn’t. After all, this is a network which persists with 30 Rock, Parks and recreation and Community, despite their wretched following. You could, I suppose, make a case that these are quality shows (yawns for me, but I’m not much on situation comedy) — but Harry’s Law and DE Kelley really is quality — at least for TV. Who knows?

  • Dan S

    I’d love to now the demographics for Harry’s Law. I’m now over 50 so I’m no longer in the desired demo but I’m not in a nursing facility & I do have buying power. NBC will need to decide if they can afford to keep a well watched show with such a low 18-49 demo on the air. If they can make $$$$ on the show please don’t cancel HL

  • Dan

    Harry’s Law: first 1.3 rating, 1.1 rating and now 0.7 rating. It’s not good for the series…

  • cc

    Not that it’ s important or anything *sigh but Harry’s Law had the most viewers for NBC last night. How many other NBC shows have nearly 8 million viewers?

  • alexjones

    I have to say OUAT perfomance has been amazing, most shows have sunk in the past few weeks but OUAT has held steady, why ABC haven’t renewed it yet is beyond me.

  • One @ Petar

    The last scripted show CBS tried Sundays @ 8 was Viva O’Loughlin (sorry). It got a 1.2 in its sole airing in the slot. CBS will not try that again anytime soon, unless the Race instantly declines into that range, especially since Race benefits better than anything else one can think of from 60 Minutes surges in the fall.

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