TV Ratings Tuesday: 'NCIS' Rises, 'Glee' Falls, 'Cougar Town' Hits Series Low, 'America's Got Talent' Hits a Time Period High

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May 16th, 2012


Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 3.2/9 2.8/8 2.5/7 1.7/5 1.6/5 0.4/1
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 1.7/6 2.0/6 2.4/8 1.0/3 1.8/6 0.4/1
Total Viewers (million) 16.14 8.58 6.03 7.78 4.06 0.83


CBS was the number one network for the night in adults 18-49 and total viewers.

On CBS, the season finale of NCIS was the number one program of the night, scoring a 3.5  adults 18-49 rating, up 13% from last week's 3.1. The two hour NCIS: Los Angeles season finale earned a 3.0 among adults 18-49, even with last week.

On NBC, America's Got Talent garnered a 3.4 adults 18-49 rating, a season high for NBC in the time period.At 10PM, Fashion Star got a 1.6  in adults 18-49, compared to a 1.3 last week when it aired at 8PM.

On FOX, the 8PM episode of  of Glee scored a 2.4 adults 18-49 rating, down 11% from last week's 2.7. At 9PM a second episode of Glee earned a 2.5 among adults 18-49.

On ABC, Cougar Town earned a 1.0 among adults 18-49, down 33% from a 1.5  at 8:30PM last week for a series low. For comparison, Last Man Standing got a 1.7 adults 18-49 in the time period last week. At 8:30PM, a second episode of Cougar Town also scored a 1.0  rating among adults 18-49. Dancing With the Stars Results garnered a 2.2 adults 18-49 rating, down 8% from last week for a series low for results shows. The Private Practice  season finale  received a 1.8 adults 18-49 rating, up 29% from last week's series low.

On the CW, the season finale of 90210 rated a 0.5 among adults 18-49, down from last week's 0.6. L.A. Complex got a 0.2 adults 18-49 rating matching last week's series low.


Late-night results are below the primetime data.

Broadcast primetime ratings for Tuesday, May 15, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 CBS NCIS (Season Finale) 3.5/11 18.70
NBC America's Got Talent (8-10PM) 3.4/10 10.41
FOX Glee 2.4/8 6.03
ABC Cougar Town 1.0/3 3.35
CW 90210 (Season Finale) 0.5/2 1.09
8:30 ABC Cougar Town 1.0/3 3.31
9:00 CBS NCIS: Los Angeles (9-11PM) (Season Finale) 3.0/8 15.12
FOX Glee 2.5/7  6.03
ABC Dancing With the Stars Results 2.2/6 12.94
CW L.A. Complex 0.2/1 0.57
10:00 ABC Private Practice (Season Finale) 1.8/5 7.05
NBC Fashion Star (Season Finale) 1.6/4 4.92



Via NBC Press Note:


In Late-Night Metered Markets Tuesday night:

  • In Nielsen's 56 metered markets, household results were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 2.7/7; CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," 2.8/7; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 3.3/8; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 1.5/5 with an encore.
  • In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 0.8/4; "Late Show," 0.7/3; "Nightline," 1.0/4; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.5/3 with an encore.
  • At 12:35 a.m., "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.4/5 in metered-market households) trailed CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (1.5/5). In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late Night" (0.5/3 in 18-49) topped "Late Late Show" (0.4/3).
  • 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.


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

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 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.

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.

  • Steven Leitner

    Expect next season of 90210 to be it’s last.

  • Bad Wolf

    @ enes

    Hello ! The Secret Circle had similar numbers for its last few episodes and was trending down !

    @ Sid

    I wish 90210 had never seen the light of day. See, sometimes wishes are just what they are : wishes.

  • Matt

    Could complex get a zero?

  • Bunny

    Poor Cougar Town..

    I can’t imagine Happy Endings doing great on Tuesdays and it’s going to be very embarrassing to see them fall to New Girl every single week..

    RIP Happy Endings 2011-2013

  • rob60990


  • Bad Wolf

    @ Steven Leitner

    Or expect The CW to greenlight a final 6th season after that because ‘the show deserves a final season’ !

  • HB

    LA Complex a 0.2? OMG that is the lowest rating i have seen!

  • Mark Wilkins

    And CBS dominates, no surprise there. Good numbers for both NCIS and NCIS:LA, most likely because they were the only decent programming on.

  • tvfreak

    Is 3.5 a series high for NCIS? If so, very well deserved. What a finale! But – why do we gotta wait until September to find out if anyone lived or died? And will they ever eliminate that psychopathic Harper Dearing?

  • Kavyn

    90210’s finale was incredibly weak to me.

  • tvfreak

    @Bunny: Don’t forget NCIS: LA!

  • SteveO

    Glee will improve next week and next season. FOX is giving it the boost it desperately needs. Idol finales do well, so hoping for a 3.0 on Glee next week. Plus I know a lot of old viewers will be tuning in for this finale.

  • rob60990

    “Is 3.5 a series high for NCIS? ”

    No it had 4s in the beginning of the season.

  • Adrian

    Yikes everything on the CW has hit 0.5 except TVD and SPN.

    At this point I really hope at least 2 of the new shows are hits I don’t even care which ones or they’re going to be in serious trouble.

  • Holly


    Is 3.5 a series high for NCIS?

    No. It got a 4.3, a 4.2 and several 4.1s this season. It looks like a couple 4.8s in 09-10 are the series highs.

  • IsraelCD

    The CW is stupid ! Renew 90210, Gossip Girl and Nikita over The Secret Circle and RINGER?!!! WTF ! Next Season We’ll See 0.3 and 0.2 Ratings ! DEADER THAN DEAD !

  • darius

    @tvfreak 3.5 series high?This show did 4.6 in season 8!

  • danny94

    Those CT numbers are horrible, not bad numbers for PP allthough i really think abc should confirm the next season as its last

  • Loni

    This was the best episode of GLEE of the entire season, and it had Whoopi Goldberg, Lindsay Lohan and Perez Hilton as guest stars, plus great songs. What does it take for people to get interested in Glee again?

  • Sally R

    Posted May 16, 2012 at 9:06 AM
    Poor Cougar Town..
    very embarrassing to see them fall to New Girl every single week..

    Given how much new Girl fell throughout the season + the fact its lead in hour will start with the ultra weak Raising Hope. I wouldn’t be cracking open the champagne too soon Bunny!

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