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.

  • Jen

    LOL @ TVD only getting 2.5 million and being CW’s highest rated show. What a flop network.

  • Clarke

    Wow, even Ringer got a 0.5 for it’s finale. And that was with a REPEAT as its lead-in. Unbelievable. The Vampire Diaries and Secret Circle are both supernatural genre shows so it’s really odd they’re not more compatible..

  • Captain

    Why do Scandal fans hate Revenge so much? There’s room on TV for two shows featuring strong, female leads.

  • Max


    Glad to see others agreeing about the promotion situation of SCANDAL Vs. REVENGE. You are both on point. If I had a dollar for every REVENGE add, Entertainment Weekly story, or talk show interview that a cast member from that show did this past season, I would be rich. If I had the same for SCANDAL, I would be homeless.

    But it’s okay because the underdog will prove to be the real champion when all is said and done. SCANDAL will be everything people talk about during the summer days while REVENGE is old news.

  • Petar

    Look at this! Grey’s lead-in was just 1.1. 3.4 it’s just a miracle.


    What are you talking about….Greys is best or second best drama on tv only from 8 years and highest revenue earning show for 2-3 years. In 2010 beat TAHM its not like became hit this year.

  • Melanie

    Way to go Grey’s and Scandal. Wow, Missing really keeps dipping, not good.

  • Pete

    Im just glad TSC has never had a 0.4

    Nikita, HOD & Ringer all have

  • Dillan


    So? Ringer all season got terrible ratings. Apart from the last few weeks, TSC ratings haven’t been terrible.

  • KS


    Is this series low for TBBT? I think this drop has to do something with the previous episode.

    Sheldon Cooper never disappoints us. I can never stop laughing at his lines. Wolowitz is an ass as usual but quite funny. Penny and Leonard – personally looking forward for their wedding and its the funniest and satisfying love story I have ever seen. I find particularly, Amy and Raj, repetitive and boring. Hope a few changes happen next season.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    I agree that PoI, TSC and TVD were excellent last night. PoI in particular had probably its best episode or close to it. It’s becoming a much more compelling show than it was in its first X episodes. I’d still like to find out who the mystery hacker was that almost nailed Finch’s system in an earlier episode.

    TSC’s finale was very good. I hope it does get renewed so we can see who they’ve picked for the four new Blackwell kids. I think it has a shot at renewal despite the recent low ratings, depending on how many new shows the CW decides to pick up.

    Bonnie’s move on TVD was definitely unexpected.

    I also watched the Canadian airing of Nikita – it’s going to be good for those who haven’t seen it yet tonight and sets up the finale episode for next week.

  • Michael

    I’m surprised NBC hasn’t pulled Awake yet!

  • ukhazard

    @i’m new here Very simply put, 18-49 year olds spend more money on the items advertisers… advertise.

  • NewEnglandMike

    Watched TBBT (good episode), The Office (pretty bad episode), DVRd POI, and watched Awake. Wish AMC broadcast Awake instead of NBC. Could probably get two seasons out of it, if they had it on cable. Oh well!

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “…and I just don’t understand Nielsen’s system. Why the hell do A18-49 matter more than total viewership??”

    Nielsen just does the measuring.

    It’s the advertisers that only pay for adults 18-49 during broadcast primetime.

  • James

    refresh my memory since I don’t watch either shows but wasn’t Private Practice doing much better than Scandal in the same time slot? it seems to me Scandal is wasting its lead-in

  • One

    Chant it with me folks!


  • WB

    Woah I just don’t understand. What is it about The CW network? THEY NEED VIEWERS! Even The Vampire Diaries is declining,soon it will be hitting below 1.0 demos.

  • ben UK

    dam i wanted at least 3 million for TVD final

  • Steve-A


  • Tony ^_^

    #I’m new here: The CW’s shows are really close together in terms of ratings. So if all their shows were around a 0.5-0.6 and one pulled in 6 million viewers and the others 1 million, then yes. That show would probably be renewed.

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