TV Ratings Thursday: 'Missing' Hits Series Low, 'Big Bang Theory', 'Office' & 'Parks & Rec' Finales Fail to Impress

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May 11th, 2012



Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 2.9/9 2.8/8 2.2/6 1.4/4 1.4/4 0.8/2
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 2.0/7 1.5/5 1.6/6 1.4/5 1.4/5 0.8/2
Total Viewers (million) 11.017 12.061 7.468 3.161 3.582 1.862


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

On CBS, The Big Bang Theory finale was the number one program of the night, despite scoring a a 4.2 rating, which down five tenths from last week's 4.7. Rules of Engagement was even with last week's 2.7 rating. Person of Interest  was up a tenth, earning a 2.6 vs. last week's 2.5 18-49 rating. The Mentalist garnered a 2.4, down a tick from last week's 2.5 18-49 rating.

On FOX, American Idol earned a 3.9 adults 18-49 rating, down a tick from last week's 4.0. Touch was even with last week's 2.0 rating.

ABC's Missing scored a new series low 1.1 adults 18-49 rating, down a tenth from last week's 1.2 rating. Grey's Anatomy earned a 3.4 in adults 18-49, up a tenth from last week's 3.3. Scandal garnered a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating, up a tenth from last week's 1.9 rating.

On NBC,  Community was even with last week's 1.4 rating. 30 Rock got a 1.5 in adults 18-49, up a tenth from last week's 1.4 rating. The Office finale scored a 2.2  adults 18-49 rating, down a tenth from last week's 2.3 and was the lowest-rated Office finale to date. . Parks and Recreation also fell to a finale low, drawing a 1.7 in adults 18-49, even with last week. Awake was up from last week's series low 0.7 adults 18-49 rating, earning a 0.9 rating this week.

The CW's Vampire Diaries scored a 1.1 adults 18-49 rating vs. last week's 1.2 rating. Secret Circle was flat with last week's 0.5

Late-night ratings are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Thursday, May 10, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
8:00PM CBS The Big Bang Theory 4.2 15 13.301
FOX American Idol 3.9 13 15.100
NBC Community 1.4 5 3.123
ABC Missing 1.1 4 6.358
CW The Vampire Diaries 1.1 4 2.486
8:30PM CBS Rules of Engagement 2.7 9 8.857
NBC 30 Rock 1.5 5 2.948
9:00PM ABC Grey's Anatomy 3.4 9 9.563
CBS Person Of Interest 2.6 7 12.685
NBC The Office 2.2 6 4.441
FOX Touch 2.0 6 6.900
CW The Secret Circle 0.5 2 1.237
9:30PM NBC Parks and Recreation 1.7 5 3.464
10:00PM CBS The Mentalist 2.4 7 12.421
ABC Scandal 2.0 6 6.483
NBC Awake 0.9 2 2.496


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," 2.4/6; CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," 2.7/7; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 3.8/9; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 1.9/6. 

  • In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 0.7/3; "Late Show," 0.7/3; "Nightline," 1.2/5; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.7/4.

  • 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" (0.4/2).

  • At 1:35 a.m., "Last Call with Carson Daly" averaged a 0.8/3 in metered-market households and a 0.3/3 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.

  • The End


    JJ Trek is more mainstream, hard to tell if these people will translate over to a tv show. However a series based on the same formula as the previous trek shows would be a safe bet.

    When you change a shows formula too much you risk alienating the fanbase, as what happened with Stargate.

  • SmG

    Parks and Recreation – Renewed for season five


  • Holly


    But at nearly twice the cost, is it really worth it? And would CBS shows and CW shows have a lot of crossover? And would the extra eyeballs be canceled out by the impression that it is a network for cast-offs?

  • WB


  • Holly

    By crossover audience I meant people who would watch both shows, not crossover episodes.

  • Jetfire

    The CW needs to bring back SMALLVILLE! LOL!!!

    I watched Ringer, TVD & TSC this season and watched TVD from S1…I like these shows and if Ringer and TSC don’t make it…don’t know if possible shows like Beauty & The Beast, Arrow and Cult would be enough. :(

  • Dillan

    Can I just say, that TVD ratings were higher last season, which could be a reason why Nikita was doing better in that time slot than TSC is doing now.

  • joel

    Missing is this year’s Chicago Code. Enjoy it while it lasts, which is only one more week.

  • Viktor

    OMG, last night Vampire Diaries season finale was EPICCC!! Can’t wait for season 4!

  • Dillan


    Yes, and The CW know that all their shows have gone down, including TVD, meaning it doesn’t matter what Nikita got in TSC’s time slot last year, higher or lower ratings, so people really need to stop saying, “Nikita was doing better. The show should be cancelled.”

  • Christy

    I was really hoping the ratings would be higher last night on The Mentalist. but it didn’t happen.
    I wander if the time of the year have a lot to do with low ratings.

  • Kavyn

    @Dillon, it has more to do with the pattern. TSC ending in 0.5 this year when Nikita ended with 0.7 last year implies that if TSC got the friday slot, it’d probably do worse than Nikita did in its second year as well.

  • Dillan


    As I said, ALL The CW shows are down this year. The CW’s new 0.7 is now 0.5. It doesn’t matter what last year ratings were in that time slot. That’s all I’m trying to say.

    It will probably do worse next season, but you can say the same thing for all The CW bubble shows.

  • Dillan

    oops. I should have written, *on The CW, a 0.5 is the new 0.7.

    If that makes sense.. LOL. What I’m trying to say is ratings are down year on year.

  • Pete

    @ Dillan

    Exactly comparing a shows ratings last year when overall ratings were up to this year when overall ratings are down is just retarded.

  • Kavyn

    Yup I agree, the decline of CW shows seems to be a network thing since everything is declining.

    Personally I say bring back both Nikita and TSC for 13 eps, pair TSC with Supernatural and Nikita with Arrow. Whichever does worse, replace it midseason with Cult. And make sure both shows film an ending that way they both conclude properly.

  • Brandy

    A insider just posted on cw cancel/renew index that its pretty much a done deal for SC &HOD for renewal and theure still working on finalizing GGs final 13 episode season deal.yaay!VD, HoD are my fave cw shows followed by GG then SC/90210,/,Top Model/Nikita. VD was amazing and incredible last night. Cant wait for season four!Sucks now theres a 3_4 month hiatus.

  • Andy

    TVD will be adjusted up, and TSC will be adjusted down, thus canceled! Yay!

  • NewEnglandMike


    Sorry, this comment is a little late but I wanted to say that while I agree with you that 18-49 should matter more because the over 50 crowd (I am now a new member of this club) watches more TV so they are easy to capture, but I disagree with the old adage that the 50-60+ demo is set in their ways and won’t switch brands or are not as susceptible to advertising. For most of my peers, I don’t find this to be true. Certainly not scientific but that’s my finding on this matter.

  • Holly


    I wasn’t actually espousing any of the theories, just listing some of the reasons people give. To me it doesn’t really matter why the demo is important, only that it is.

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