TV Ratings Friday: 'Fringe' and 'Finder' Finales Rise, as 'Grimm', 'Shark Tank' and entire CBS Lineup Fall

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May 12th, 2012


Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 1.5/5 1.2/4 1.1/4 1.1/4 0.5/2
Total Viewers (million) 4.994 8.447 4.619 3.660 1.528


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

On ABC, Shark Tank earned a 1.6 among adults 18-49, down two tenths from last week's 1.8. Primetime: What Would You Do? also earned a 1.6, which was up from last week's 1.4 adults 18-49 rating.

On CBS, Undercover Boss earned 1.1, down four tenths from last week's 1.5. CSI: NY scored a 1.1, down three tenths from last week's 1.4. Blue Bloods drew a 1.3 18-49 rating, down a tenth from last week's 1.4 rating.

On NBC, Who Do You Think You Are? scored a 0.8, down a tenth from last week's 0.9 in adults 18-49. Grimm earned a 1.2 adults 18-49 rating, down two-tenths from last week's 1.4. Dateline matched last week's 1.3 rating.

On FOX,  The Finder's series finale earned a 1.1, up a tick from last week's 1.0 rating. Fringe's season finale was also up a tick, earning a 1.0 compared to last week's 0.9 rating.

On the CW, Nikita was even with last week's 0.4 rating. Supernatural also matched last week's 0.7 rating.

Late night ratings below the primetime table.

Overnight broadcast primetime ratings for Friday, May 11, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
8:00PM ABC Shark Tank 1.6 6 5.545
CBS Undercover Boss 1.1 4 5.753
FOX The Finder 1.1 4 4.156
NBC Who Do You Think You Are? 0.8 3 4.760
CW Nikita 0.4 2 1.376
9:00PM ABC Primetime: What Would You Do? 1.6 5 4.794
NBC Grimm 1.2 4 4.457
CBS CSI: NY 1.1 4 9.028
FOX Fringe 1.0 3 3.164
CW Supernatural 0.7 2 1.680
10:00PM ABC 20/20 1.4 5 4.642
CBS Blue Bloods 1.3 4 10.560
NBC Dateline NBC 1.2 4 4.639

via NBC press note:

In late-night metered-market households Friday 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," 2.4/6; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 3.0/7; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 1.5/4. 

  • In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 0.7/3; "Late Show," 0.5/2; "Nightline," 1.1/4; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.6/3.

  • At 12:35 a.m., "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.5/5 in metered-market households) beat CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (1.2/4).  In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late Night" (0.7/4 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.

NOTE: All ratings are "live plus same day" from Nielsen Media Research unless otherwise indicated.


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.  More information on ratings is available here.

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.)

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 football 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.

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.

  • Dennis

    @Dahne I agree…

    If I hadn’t watched Fringe last night I would not come on here and start reading comments where people are known to discuss shows

  • KS


    I guess now you know, how hard it is for me every week to wait for hours for the episode to download.

  • SarahL

    Yikes, Grimm.

  • Tessa

    Just to let everyone know Nikita was also preempted. So the finals would be interesting for both it and SPN, hopefully neither falls.

    Robert, could you please give a reasonable explanation for why Nikita was renewed with such low ratings? I’m trying to exapand my understanding of the system and the business behind it.

  • DonnaT

    Ughh! I hate the idea of moving ANTM to Fridays @ 8 pm :(. I don’t watch ANTM and that will leave me with nothing (with the current schedule for all networks) to watch Fridays at 8 pm. The only way this schedule would make sense is if The CW has decided to promote S8 as SPN’s last season. If The CW does this and no other network moves a show I like to 8 pm I’ll watch SPN reruns or do pre-episode “chats” with other SPN fans. I really like Nikita and I’m happy that it was renewed. I hope this turns out to be an unfounded rumor.

  • Tessa


    Never doubted it. Although I don’t know why you don’t go to spn-party on livejournal to watch the live streaming. I could’ve done that but I prefer to wait and watch it on my big screen TV in HD. ;)

  • halloween

    terrible for fringe…i feel bad for the actors, the writers really dropped the ball this season…the fans would be outraged if that was the series finale

  • Lane

    Grimm :( COME BACK!

  • tvfreak

    @Rebecca: Dark Shadows could possibly take some of the blame. Here in the Bay Area the weather could be blamed too; we’ve been having a major heat wave this week!

    BTW – would you recommend I try out Alias?

  • grace

    screw the 18-49 bracket you think a show that gets 9 million viewers should get canceled that’s insane.

  • scifi

    Now all CBS friday shows are REALLY below A Gifted Man!

  • KS


    That’s no brainer. Its obvious that, conventional ways of renewing and cancellation of the shows are not followed anymore by CW.

    I am very happy about renewals and cancellations. Nikita renewed over TSC and short season order of Gossip Girl, is really a good sign that, Mark P. is trying to bring great changes to the network. And yeah, ordering 5 series. And I am 100% sure, Dawn would have never cancelled TSC, if she were the CEO.

    I am expecting an increase in Nikita’s ratings next season, if it is paired with a promising show like Arrow on a week day, because this is the show that has potential to bring in more viewers and it is being wasted on a Friday night.

  • Tessa


    I found last night’s episode of Supernatural pretty meh too. It was a 15 minute scene stretched to an hour. Pretty much a big set up for the finale.

    At this point I’m in the no-care zone with season 7. I can’t wait for them to wrap up this silly storyline and move on to something more exciting. It’s ridiculous how they hyped this season as the “boys against the world” story yet we have a finale packed fuller than a city bus.

  • Petar


    Well i agree! I usually watch my shows and than go to TV by the numners or other sites but now is so excitement time with all these news around tv and just can’t wait.

    Ps was you guys think that flop show in first season like Unforgettable will perform better than HIT show with i don’t know let’s say 10 seasons like CSI NY in friday!@ Doesn’t make sense to me. You all know that one show only with move to friday lose almost half of LIVE demo right@
    I think CSI no matter Miami or NY will beat unf EVERY TIME every friday! You watch. Older shows lose swoly their live demo! For example fringe was move to friday when hit 1.9 and till the end of season 3 hit low 1.2 in final! When new show the finder was moved in friday from 2.0 hit 1.0 in first air! So these numbers are BEST that CBS can get from friday in may with playoff etc. New shows flop will perform worse than former hit show.

  • Bad Wolf

    @ grace

    Harry’s Law was NBC’s most watched show but had awful 18-49 ratings. Guess what ? Cancelled. You’re right, it’s completely insane, but sadly this is how it works.

  • NBC Hater

    Everyone keeps saying that CSI:NY is dead. I’m just praying that it isn’t.

  • Sports Preemption

    Aww, I didn’t get credit for first noticing the typo. Shucks, maybe next time.

    @ Tessa

    LOL, yea sorry, sports will do that to people’s routines. I actually came up with the name when I finally decided to post on the site during March Madness when people were mad that it was cutting into their Thursday CBS lineup, which I found crazy, because it was only for 2 weeks and there would have to arbitrarily be at least 10 other weeks in the season where you weren’t going to get new episodes either, so why blame it on sports.

    It’s also an homage to my old college roommate, who hated it anytime sports would preempt his Fox Animation Domination lineup.

    I tend to not mind, because I’m a sports fanatic, but I understand sometimes how people who aren’t into sports get bent out of shape because we interrupt what they consider to be a good thing. Local preemptions like last night are the worst though, because everyone else in the country gets to see your show, and you don’t.

  • Michael

    @Tessa- there’s definitely a Friday factor. Shows on Fridays get renewed with lower ratings. The question is, how much lower?

  • Petar

    ps WHY not was sorry.

  • AC75

    Yes, SPN was preempted which was a total nuisance. Does this generally impact ratings?

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