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.

  • Rachel

    @Bad Wolf

    90210 was already given a 24 episode season next year. If that’s not enough time to wrap things up then I don’t know what will. The show doesn’t have much of a plot anyway.

    But who are we kidding. This is the same president who brought back OTH when the season 8 finale would’ve been a perfect end to the series.

  • joel

    @ “‘Cougar Town’ Hits Series Low”

    Just wait til it moves to TBS.

  • SteveO

    @Loni, I just think a lot of people have forgotten about it being on. Being behind X Factor and Idol will give it the mass exposure it needs again.

  • SteveO

    @Loni, and it’s quality has gone down, of course. But I do agree that last night was awesome.

  • carole

    Both NCIS and NCIS LA were very, very exciting. Can’t wait until next season.
    Did he really die?
    Best shows are on CBS.

  • Mi

    NBC had a stronger competition than usual at 8PM and hurt ABC, Fox, and CW with AGT.
    I don’t think the CW would hurry to announce 90210’s next season as the last, not when Jared and Jensen don’t have contracts for S9 of SPN yet and might not agree to sign on additional SPN seasons. They can’t end two of their 3 most successful shows and GG at the same year..

  • Andrew

    I think the CW won’t announce next season as 90210’s last as they are going to announce Gossip Girl’s season as it’s last. They aren’t going to end both of their flagship soaps next year. That would be incredibly stupid.
    That being said, I think the 90210 finale did a good job setting it up for next season.
    I am really excited to see the schedule for the CW tomorrow.
    I think 90210 should be left alone next season what with Glee moving positions in the schedule.
    I really think Glee impacts 90210 a bit in the demo because some viewers watch both.
    I know I do and I watched Glee last night & DVR’d 90210.

  • John A

    Terrible from 90210. And people mock GG 90210 dont deserve its full season next year.

  • KevinSW

    Those Ratings for Cougar Town are not even NBC bad…they are worse >_< NBC wouldn't even renew that :P

  • joel

    I don’t think that was the Glee season finale. There’s another one scheduled on Tuesday after the American Idol final performance show.

  • Melanie

    I was hoping 90210 would have done better since it was the season finale. Good episode anyways and so was Private Practice.

  • carole

    And one other thing. People hoping that AI will improve ratings for the shows coming after. AI goes down in viewer every year. Not the powerhouse it was. Season 5 had sometimes 38 million people watching. And always in the 30 million area. Nothing like that now.
    I give it 2 or 3 more years.

  • Jen

    I think 90210 and L.A. Complex were a bit more down than usual because of the second half of Glee. I usually watch 90210 and LAC but because Lindsay was on Glee I couldn’t miss it. I’ll just have to watch 90210 and LAC online

  • SteveO

    Make sure to remove “season finale” on the table for Glee. I saw that it was changed in the text, but not in the table.

  • Rachel


    SPN ain’t going anywhere. The show will continue as long as the actors agree to do it. 90210 is way more vulnerable. If the CW has successful pilots 90210 can forget it.

  • W

    Congratulations to CBS for both NCIS and NCIS: LA! Great season finales.

  • Mark Wilkins

    yeah Supernatural is the 2nd most watched for the CW in 18-49 and total viewers after vd so it’s safe

  • Mi

    @Rachel I suggest you re-read my reply.. slowly.
    Who says Jared and Jensen would agree to renew their contract or even want to?

  • Julia

    GG season finale done better than 90210 season finale? The CW should announce next season as the final season for 90210 too, before its too late

  • Bunny

    @Sally R

    New Girl’s rating fell because of spring and DST

    the show will be up again in the fall

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