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.

  • MoHasanie


    With DVR included, DH will certainly go 4.0+ ;)

  • Survivor Fan

    What happened to Survivor? This is the first truly puzzling result of the season. I mean, it has never been below a 4 for a finale, and now it is below a 3.

  • Mark

    Rest in Peace Desperate Housewives. You’ve given us 8 years of great televison(well really only 4..the last 4 years were just okay). I cried in your finale. You will live on in DVDs for future generations!

  • Networkman

    Once Upon a Time’s finale was amazing. And it really makes the viewers excited for the second season. Because of the stiff competition, I feel both Once Upon a Time and Desperate Housewives did decently. Both garnering 3.2 demo and having Suvivor finale at its lowest numbers is a great feat. I did expect Desperate Housewives to bring in 12-13 million viewers but heck, it was Mother’s Day.

    60 Minutes did nothing to help the night. They should revitalize that show. They need fresh young anchors or a new format. I almost feel it needs to be shipped off to Saturday paired with 48 Hours. Look at Harry’s Law raise to 1.0 demo facing OUAT finale and Survivor. NBC is stupid for cancelling the show. They’ll see when many of their shows next year only manage to bring in 1.0-1.3 demo yet not able to garner as many overall viewers as Harry’s Law.

  • Survivor Fan

    Is it too much to ask for a two tenth adjustment? I would at least like a 3. Also, the winner was announced around 10:03. Do those 3 minutes factor as overrun into the final ratings. If so, I could see a 3.0 or 3.1, but the reunion at about a 2.2.

  • Survivor Fan

    I was hoping for a 4, and I do not even get a 3. I thought that the worst case scenario was a 3.6 or 3.7.

  • Brian

    After 8 years DH goes out on top..sorry to see it go..Sunday night on ABC will be dismal next season!

  • Sheena

    I am glad it got decent ratings going out. It was a good finale.

  • Mi

    OUAT was so good yesterday, I hope its second season opens with at least 3.5 after people catch up. Good thing the DVD will already be available at late August, hopefully it’ll help some people tune in.

  • Matto

    Here is how i’d like to rate each season of Desperate Houewives. I will give it a LETTER GRADE and a number from 1 TO 10.

    Season 1 – A+ 10
    Season 2 – A 8
    Season 3 – A+ 9
    Season 4 – B- 7
    Season 5 – B- 7
    Season 6 – B+ 8
    Season 7 – C+ 5
    Season 8 – A+ 9

    Now I’m going to give each season of DH a percentage % grade.

    Season 1 – 100%
    Season 2 – 90%
    Season 3 – 97%
    Season 4 – 84%
    Season 5 – 86%
    Season 7 – 80%
    Season 8 – 96%

  • Fred

    Without DH next season, I will feel a void. Again, even the worst eps in the worst seasons were still pretty OK.

    Season 1- had the best overall storylines and the most intriguing mystery.
    Season 2- still strong, but Applewhite mystery was fairly dull. Season 1 Paul Young/Mary Alice mystery was dragged into Season 2.
    Season 3- All new fresh mystery. The second best mystery of the entire run. Marcia Cross had a maternity leave and last minute Marc Cherry had to focus more on Nicolette Sheridan. Well done season overall.
    Season 4- Dana Delany mystery was just ok, if a bit dull. Overall pretty enjoyable plots and WAY better the next 2 seasons.
    Season 5- Weakest season of the 5. But still pretty good mystery with Edie’s very creepy new love interest. Still enjoyed most of the eps though.
    Season 6- DH set a new creative low with this one. The strangler mystery combined with the Bolen mystery simply didn’t work. But some of the storylines were good. Still watchable.
    Season 7- Paul Young returning to Wisteria Lane with his new wife was very entertaining. Love Vanessa Williams but she wasn’t involoved enough. Lots of suprises and shocks. HUGE improvemnent over the last 2 seasons.
    Season 8- Started off very slow and boring, but after the first several eps the plots began to improve. All of the housewives including Vanessa Williams had intersting storylines. Not much of mystery, but a better than average season.

  • Jane



    I need season 2 NOW

    Only 3 months :)

  • Matto

    Definitely NOTHING can replace DH. I hate how ABC and Darren Star tried to promote GCB as “just like Desperate Housewives” even though it was totally not. Whenever DH was humorous they were good, smurky jokes. But, DH stayed true to its genre (Drama, Serial, Mystery, Dramedy) and was mostly dramatic, but GCB on the other hand was thee most corniest show ever. I know its a dramedy but the defenition of the word dramedy is a drama with humorous elements. GCB might as have been a 30 minute sitcom.

    I think if ABC puts Mistresses at that timeslot next year, it would be a good fill-in for DH. I know nothing can replace DH but Mistresses is a good 4 female led drama with thrilling and mysterious elements. If you look closely on every pilot website, the genre for Mistresses is (Thriller, Drama, Mystery, Serial) which sounds pretty satisfying even though nothing is like DH.

  • poshreany

    i actually don’t understand why DH had to end, in its early days it got fantastic ratings, that is hard for new shows to do, and still now in its 8th season got better views then there called new hits, revenge & once upon a time, ouat gets UNDER 10million for its first season finale, DH gets better then that with its 7th season finale and 8th season final…

  • Mi

    @Matto 666 will be in this timeslot next year, ABC made it clear they were searching for another supernatural show to pair with OUAT.
    I hope they schedule Last Resort to Sundays at 10PM, it’ll be a great TV night for me.

  • Joe

    Survivor! :( Series low I can’t!

  • filmfanatic

    Desperate Housewives finale was AMAZING ,,, one of their best episodes ,,,

  • MoHasanie

    Wow its nice to see that the finale is getting mostly positive reviews. Some people are a little disappointed but the ending to such a huge show just can’t satisfy everybody.

  • Joss

    Hope tonight CBS will do better than last week.

  • oebie

    Beautiful series finale of Desperate Housewives!

    It wasn’t a sad or happy ending…just an ending like real life. We move on, follow our own path in life. A bittersweet ending to an groundbreaking show!

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