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.

  • SmG

    And this season Glee will come off X-Factor and POI will launch after TBBT and Two and a Half Man. They’ll probably get more stronger or at least keep this season’s ratings. Grey is the top drama and Office is NBC no.1 scripted show. I think the show in the post-TVD slot will have a very difficult time (I think this is the real “death spot”).

  • Kavyn

    Posted this in response to SMG in the other topic, I’ll post it here too:

    (after reading the Deadline report on BTB and TCD) here’s what I think they’ll do:

    Monday – Hart, First Cut
    Tuesday – 90210, GG/TCD (midseason replacement)
    Wednesday – Arrow, Nikita
    Thursday – TVD, BTB
    Friday – ANTM/Cult (midseason), SPN

    The Friday pairing SUCKS, but SPN has a very loyal fanbase and it was made pretty obvious that SPN doesn’t need a lead in. Therefore it makes sense to put ANTM on the friday timeslot for half a season, then replace it with Cult which is a lot more compatible with SPN.

  • SmG

    And I don’t wanna even mention the retentionistas :)

  • Ray

    90210 is pulling in much less viewers and lower ratings in the GOD DAMN coveted targeted 18-49 demo than Secret Circle, not to mention that creatively it is an absolute stinker of a show. So why the hell is this POS renewed over Secret Circle?

  • Ultima

    AI has the highest demo ratings but not viewers. American Idol hasn’t beat NCIS once this season in terms of viewers.

    Yet in the Nielsen rankings, which are Live+7, count repeats, and count American Idol as two different shows, Idol Wednesday will finish ahead of NCIS in total viewers. It’s currently up 312K, with only the NCIS finale, this week’s Idol and presumably FOX’s choice of next week’s Idols to go.

  • Holly


    count repeats

    And that’s probably why AI will win, no repeats.

  • Ultima

    And that’s probably why AI will win, no repeats.

    The DVR numbers play a huge part as well. While recently it hasn’t been on the top 25 DVR lists as much, for most of the season, it was pulling ridiculous DVR numbers (not MF ridiculous, but still).

    Neilsen has Wednesday Idol’s most current viewership at a 19.73 million average. That’s way, way above its live+SD numbers.

  • JJA

    I don’t think Cult or any new show will be put on Friday.

    I believe that the ONLY shows the CW is considering to put on Friday are 90210, GG and ANTM. In other words, the older shows with an established fan base.

    Supernatural is likely to stay on Friday, since it’s the only CW show that can guarantee a stable rating on Friday @ 9. So long as Supernatural scores a .5-.8, it will be a safe bet for renewal next year. In other words, Supernatural fans can realistically expect to see a season 9 (and even 10).

    Niktia may stay on Friday, but the rumor is that it will be moved off Friday. I say they place it with Arrow (since B&TB is going with VD). Also, I do not believe there is any guarantee Nikita will see a season 4.

    Finally, I’m not surprised Secret Circle was canceled. It lost 40% of its audience during the year, and could not retain even half of the VD’s audience. Regardless, it SHOULD have been renewed over Gossip Girl!!

  • GGMustDie


    Are you kidding me? Get lost loser! You can’t compare HIMYM highness to Cougar Crap. You just can’t!

  • SmG

    What a night it would be if Arrow and Supernatural paired up on Wednesdays…

  • Freyja

    I think you guys are way over thinking this, I doubt they are going to move ANTM from it’s time slot… It’s been there on Wed since the beginning and it will stay there.

    Nikita doesn’t deserved to be moved off Friday IMHO it gets a 0.04 now do people suddenly think it will get a 1.5 if moved? (if anything deserves to be moved it’s SPN, but I know it won’t)

    I think GG will finish the 11 episode run on Mondays with HOD then First cut will pick up after that. And I think 90210/TCD will be paired

    Rumors are floating around the network really wants Arrow and SPN together, I say pair them on Friday night if they really want to move Nikita.. ;)

  • GGMustDie

    Hart of Dixie
    First Cut
    -Pretty obvious
    Carrie Diaries
    -Wednesdays are female skewing in most of the networks, so a male skewing night could really work
    Beauty & the Beast -I’m not sure about this one. It’s just like The Neighbors after Modern Family.
    -Weird pairing, but the CW may want to get rid of ANTM as soon as possible, and both shows have strong fanbases, so it doesn’t really matter if they watch the previous/next show or not.

  • Shelly

    I like SPN, but in all fairness, it had SMALLVILLE as a lead-in for many years and even TVD for one Season.

    I don’t want Arrow with SPN at all! Why waste a new anticipated show on something that’s on its final stretch(and lets face it, its not like CW plans to move SPN to 8p to launch a new show). The SPN fandom has proven that they care about no show other than their show. I thought Nikita and SPN would’ve been perfect for e/o but that obviously isn’t the case.

    Also, SPN will not move off Friday. It already established a home there. You can clearly see how much better it repeats on Fridays compared to Thursdays. It’s on the genre night where fans manage to find the show. Fringe and Grimm are absolutely no threat to the show.

  • SarahL

    What is all this whining about Gossip Girl? It was not really renewed. Like Fringe, it only get a final last 13 episodes to wrap up and buy the network time to schedule its replacement.

    Frankly, I am surprised that TheCW did not renew all its horrifically rated programming. However, I give TheCW .00001% credit for bailing out on The Secret Circle and Ringer before they got worse. The Secret Circle, especially, was obviously going to crash without The Vampire Diaries as a lead.

  • j

    Wow, will Walking Dead beat all the other drama finales by a huge margin then? Only Grey’s of those left to air seems to have a chance at a 4, let alone a 4.7.

  • Shelly

    ^Forgot to add that CW would be idiotic to premiere ARROW on Friday just to pair it with SPN. I know that SMALLVILLE and SPN were once companions, but The WB didn’t premiere SMALLVILLE on Fridays and CW didn’t move it there until its 9th season.

  • rob60990

    Hey Bill Lawrence, now you know why ABC never let your show anchor an hour. :D

  • Brandy

    What I think should happen
    8 pm 90210
    9pm Carrie Diaries (fall) GG (spring
    8pm First Cut
    9pm Hart of Dixie
    8pm Arrow
    9pm Top Model
    8pm VD
    9pm B&B
    I put Arrow on Wed or Thurs cause they’re not gonna premire a new show on Fri and SpN has a loyal solid fanbase and Nikita won’t do better on another night and VD/B&B are female skewing, though I don’t like Arrow being paired with Top Model either..

  • John A

    Oh please Secret Circle fans please stop. Its dead move on. 90210 on average did better than SC. 90210 had 1 0.5 while SC Had 3 or more.

  • Freyja

    Finally someone not over thinking things, I like that schedule Brandy :) and it might just happen. Because I can’t see them moving ANTM or GG from their slots and you are right Nikita won’t do better on another night.

    Yeah Arrow and ANTM is odd, but it could work maybe put Arrow at 8pm to launch the night.

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