TV Ratings Wednesday: 'American Idol' Tops Night, 'Criminal Minds' Rises, 'Modern Family', 'Suburgatory' & 'Revenge' Hit Lows

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May 17th, 2012


Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 4.8/14 2.7/8 2.3/6 1.5/4 1.3/4 0.4/1
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 3.2/11 1.6/5 1.8/6 1.5/5 1.0/3 0.4/1
Total Viewers (million) 17.29 10.39 6.62 3.76 4.53 0.95


FOX was the number one network among adults 18-49 and total viewers.

On FOX, American Idol earned a 4.8 adults 18-49 rating, up 7% from last week's 4.5.

On ABC, The Middle scored a1.9 among adults 18-49,even with last week. The season finale of Suburgatory got a 1.8 adults 18-49 rating, down 14% from last week's 2.1 for a series low. Modern Family earned a 3.9  adults 18-49 rating, udown from last week's 4.4 for a season low. Don't Trust the B in Apt. 23 scored a 2.0 in adults 18-49, down from last week's 2.3 and matching its series low. Revenge earned a 2.0  adults 18-49 rating, down from last week's 2.2 for a series low.

On CBS, the two hour Criminal Minds season finale scored a 3.5 adults 18-49 rating up from last week's 2.9 and growing 6% over the 3.3 last year's one hour season finale earned.It was the show's highest rated episode among adults 18-49 since January 25, 2012.

On NBC, Betty White's Off Their Rockers got a 1.4 adults 18-49 rating at 8PM, compared to last week's 1.5 and a 1.5 at 8:30PM, versus last week's 1.4 At 10PM Law & Order SVU , which had a repeat of the show as a lead-in, earned a 1.7 adults 18-49 rating down from last week's 1.8.

On the CW, America's Next top Model scored a 0.5 among adults 18-49 versus last week's 0.4.

Late-night results are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Wednesday, May 16, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (millions)
8:00 FOX American Idol (8-10PM) 4.8/14 17.29
ABC The Middle 1.9/6 6.49
NBC Betty's White's Off Their Rockers 1.4/5 5.11
CBS Mike & Molly - R 1.1/4 4.46
CW America's Next Top Model - R 0.4/1 0.80
8:30 ABC Suburgatory (season finale) 1.8/6 5.42
NBC Betty's White's Off Their Rockers 1.5/5 5.40
CBS Rules of Engagement - R 1.1/3 4.02
9:00 ABC Modern Family 3.9/11 9.30
CBS Criminal Minds (9-11PM) (season finale) 3.5/10 13.47
NBC Law & Order: SVU - R 0.8/2 2.84
CW America's Next Top Model 0.5/1 1.10
9:30 ABC Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23 2.0/5 4.84
10:00 ABC Revenge 2.0/5 6.85
NBC Law & Order: SVU 1.7/5 5.50


via NBC press note:

  • In Nielsen's 56 metered markets, household results were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 2.6/7; CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," 2.5/6; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 3.1/8; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 1.5/4.
  • 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," 1.1/5; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.6/3.
  • At 12:35 a.m., "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.3/5 in metered-market households) tied CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (1.3/5). In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late Night" (0.5/3 in 18-49) topped "Late Late Show" (0.4/2).
  • At 1:35 a.m., "Last Call with Carson Daly" averaged a 0.9/4 in metered-market households and a 0.3/3 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters.

NOTE: All 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.

Definitions: 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.

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  • Brittney

    Suburgatory what happened? Oh well, great finale, can’t wait for Season 2.

  • John A

    Revenge not doing great.

  • Matt

    GO Criminal Minds. Nice jump for the finale!!

    revenge will be back up to around 2.4-2.5 with its finale next week. cant wait!

  • KS

    Modern Family – One of the dull comedies on Television. Can’t wait for it loose viewers to Supernatural next season.

  • fringewillget5seasons

    Good job CM!!!! Way to pick up for your finale.

  • Doug

    Don’t Trust the B is going to have a rough time next season without its MF lead in…

  • Lane

    Revenge :(

    Come back to us! I really hope somehow it grows on Sunday night not likely but I hope.

  • Fred

    Idol is still a beast. It devoured almost everything.

  • RyanT

    What happened to ABC?

  • Ben Thompson

    So Suburgatory did worse than last years BWY finale.

  • tvfreak

    Hmm…who else thinks that even with 2.0’s Revenge will still beat The Good Wife next year? I wish it would happen, then CBS would really regret keeping that one around.

  • SteveO

    Interesting drop for ABC. Hoping for an upward adjustment to Revenge and Apt 23!

  • Leonard

    Criminal Minds had a really great finale. It might be hard for CBS to ever get rid of that show from that timeslot.

    Apt. 23 is gonna end by November and LMS and Reba are going to replace it.

  • Julie

    I’m so happy with the low abc ratings..,look what you get for canceling GCB when it was rating higher than this junk lol

  • Pizza Hut

    This is why Revenge is moving to Sundays dummies.

    If SVU can do this well in the fall, Chicago Fire will dominate Nashville.

  • Mark

    It’s May Ratings are down all over. It happens every year in May. Ratings will come back for most of the shows in fall. Some of you read way too much into the current ratings.

  • TimsDale4ever

    The “B” seems to be going down…. I can’t believe ABC has nenewed Suburgatory but cancelled GCB. They both have about the same ratings.

  • eridapo

    Halves demo and viewers

    Revenge 2.0/2.0 6.97/6.72

    CM 3.1/3.4/3.7/3.8 12.02/13.24/14.28/14.33

    BW 1.4/1.5 5.10/5.40
    L&O (R) .7/.8 2.73/2.94
    L&O 1.6/1.8 5.09/5.91

    AI 4.0/4.8/5.2/5.2 14.51/17.44/18.51/18.71

    ANTM (R) .4/.4 .81/.78
    ANTM .5/.5 1.07/1.125

    No surprise with these numbers. Everyone is so afraid of Idol they don’t bother to put up a fight with shows that could actually make this night interesting. CM and MF are the only shows that matter other than Idol while Monday and Thursday are overcrowded with the best shows on “major” network tv.

    Two words for the CM season finale… Tricia Helfer.

  • darius

    Criminal Minds did very well.Its the 3rd best drama of the season in the demo after Ncis and Grey and yet rarely promoted!

  • MoHasanie

    Disappointing for Revenge. I was expecting it to get a 2.2, but with that lead in from Apt 23, its still doing good. I think Revenge has one of the worst lead ins for a 10pm show on ABC.
    So what are the predictions for next week’s Revenge, since its against the final minutes of Idol? Is 1.8 too optimistic?
    Why did MF fall so much? Strange. Oh well, I expect it to adjust up in the finals.
    Why can’t The Middle rise, and why Suburgatory fall for its finale?!?

    Wow, Criminal Minds is quite strong. Haven’t watched the finale yet, but it looks good. At 10 – 11pm, it got a 3.8! That’s amazing.

    With tonight’s Grey’s looking like a big finale, I think Grey’s will be the No.1 show on ABC this week, and the No.1 scripted show on all networks this week!

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