TV Ratings Sunday: 'Desperate Housewives' Finale Wins Night, 'Once Upon a Time' Rises, 'Survivor' Has Its Lowest Rated Finale Ever, 'Harry's Law' Up

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May 14th, 2012

Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 2.8/8 2.3/7 1.7/5 1.3.4 0.9/3
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 2.1/7 1.2/4 1.8/7 0.9/3 0.8/3
Total Viewers (million) 9.49 9.43 3.60 5.51 2.46


ABC won the night in adults 18-49 and  total viewers. 

On ABC, America's Funniest Videos declined to  a 1.6  adults 18-49 rating from last week's 2.0. The season finale of Once Upon A Time scored a 3.2 adults 18-49 rating, up  7% from last week's 3.0 . The two hour series finale of  Desperate Housewives garnered a 3.2 adults 18-49 rating, up 19%  from a 2.7 for last week's hour long episode and up from a  3.1 for last year's season finale.

On CBS, the two house Survivor finale earned a 2.8 rating among adults 18-49, compared to a 2.7 for last week's finale of The Amazing Race and down 30% from last spring's Survivor finale for the show's lowest rated finale ever. At 10pm, The Survivor reunion scored a 2.4 adults 18-49 rating up from the 1.2 NYC 22 earned in the time period last week and down 29% from last spring's Survivor reunion for the series lowest rated reunion ever. At 7PM, 60 Minutes got a season low 1.2  down from last week's 1.6.

On Fox, The Cleveland Show earned a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49, down 7% from last week's 1.4.  The Simpsons got a 1.9 adults 18-49 rating down 14% from last week's 2.2. Bob's Burgers scored a 1.8 in adults 18-49, even with last week. Family Guy garnered  a 2.3 among adults 18-49, down 15%  from its  2.7  last week.b The season finale of  American Dad got a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating down 13% from last week's 2.3.

On NBC, Dateline earned a 0.8 adults 18-49 rating up from last week's 0.7. Harry's Law scored a 1.0 adults 18-49 rating, up 25% from last week's 0.8.  Celebrity Apprentice earned a 1.8 among adults 18-49, down from last week's 1.9 and tying its series low.

Broadcast primetime ratings for Sunday, May 13, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Share Viewers (Millions)
7:00 ABC America's Funniest Home Videos 1.6/6 6.31
CBS 60 Minutes 1.2/5 9.21
FOX The Simpsons - R 0.9/4 2.12
NBC Dateline 0.8/3 3.62
7:30 FOX The Cleveland Show 1.3/5 2.79
8:00 ABC Once Upon A Time (Season Finale) 3.2/10 9.45
CBS Survivor: One World (8-10PM)(Season Finale) 2.8/8 10.22
FOX The Simpsons 1.9/6 4.00
NBC Harry's  Law 1.0/3 7.61
8:30 FOX Bob's Burgers 1.8/5 3.63
9:00 ABC Desperate Housewives (9-11PM)(Series Finale) 3.2/8 11.10
FOX Family Guy 2.3/6 4.94
NBC Celebrity Apprentice (9-11PM) 1.8/5 5.40
9:30 FOX American Dad (Season Finale) 2.0/5 4.12
10:00 CBS Survivor: One World Reunion 2.4/6 8.07


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.

  • Bob

    Harry’s Law went up in DEMO…..NBC????? Chirp, chirp….nothing of course.

  • AC75

    For a show that was as big and talked about as Desperate Housewives, there’s not been much buzz surrounding the final season or the finale. Rather quiet actually. Still a good turnout, but I thought a few more total viewers. Survivor feels like it’s out of gas these days.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    you can’t average the time periods because they too were rounded to only a tenth. The two-hour average is the two hour average. How can it happen? Here’s a basic math test:

    Let’s say one hour was 3.15 and one hour was 3.25. The hours would show up as 3.2 and 3.3, but what is the real average?

    (hint: if your answer is anything but 3.2, you failed the test).

  • Harris

    @SarahL Curious.. What were you sketchy on in the OUAT finale?

  • Shea

    As far as Survivor goes, it was a pretty weak cast, with little to no drama all season. Each vote was predictable, with the odd exception.

    Very few were good game players, even fewer were likable, and only one played really well.

    I’d say Matt and Colton, but of whom were disliked by most, played the game but didn’t last long. Alicia and Troyzan thought they were playing, but neither played well. Alicia was also unlikable, Troyzan kinda thought he was better than what he was.

    Colton’s line about it being hard to be a leader of idiots …was sorta fitting. Because it looked pretty easy for Kim.

  • Chris

    Greys got a 3.5 in the demo last Thursday–and that wasn’t even the SEASON finale.

    So impressive, DH. :D

  • danny94

    @Chris- Yes but greys only had 9 million, ino total viewers dont matter but still, more people watched desperate housewives then greys anatomy they were just older

  • Dan S

    I know what happened to The Simpsons audience. They were all watching Harry’s Law (insert rolling eyes)

  • Joss


    OUAT ratings are not impressive at all for a season finale. A hit? My a**

    You are talking nonsense!

  • rahat

    Bad numbers for desperate housewives…….:(…

    love u DH….u created an ERA…and will be missed on SUNDAYS..:(

  • Rebecca

    Perfect season finale for OUAT, watched it twice. Had not seen DH in about a year and a half so I’m watching its final hour now online (saw just a little of the previous hour last night). Really looking forward to season 2 of OUAT.

  • Neto

    JOSS, for a new show, at 8pm, sunday, summer time…….3.2 are AMAZING
    Check another ratings, every show is droping

  • carole

    I hope the producers of Survior learn a lesson from all this. This was the most boring Survior ever. I never miss the finale, but I didn’t watch last night. I was hoping nobody won. Terrible show this year.

  • Ultima

    Harry’s Law went up in DEMO…..NBC????? Chirp, chirp….nothing of course.

    It rose to 1.0, which is still awful. Are you really this dense?

  • carole

    Does anyone know who won CA? Another terrible show this year.

  • HotLatino4GayMarriage

    @Chris Grey’s is a hit because of DH…

  • a p garcia

    DH didn’t tie all the knots up so I was dissappointed but still deacent #s.

  • Bob

    No I am not this dense. Your such a snotty little girl. Isn’t it time to move out on your own? Mommy and Daddy can’t pay for your lifestyle forever.

  • toons

    About what i expected from DH… was a good finale… very good final season… another season would have been great but they went out just in time before the numbers fell to a point where they would be weak…

    i believe the only scripted series on abc that was stronger in the demo was grey’s and mod family…

    and to anyone thinking the numbers were disappointing… remember this was a finale of a soap… not a sitcom even though it came from the mind of a sitcom guy… sitcoms would have been rerunning over the last 4 years or so building more of an audience in syndication making the finale a bigger event… these soaps don’t have that luxury… and the end of a soap is also opposite of the nature of a soap… to just continue going…

    though i love how it ended… with the new neighbor having a dark secret…

    i think they should bring it back in a season or 2 with an all new cast and storylines

  • alffan

    Fox probably got the brunt of the event stuff at ABC and CBS…

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