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.

For more information see Numbers 101.

  • SJ

    Revenge will likely adjust up to 2.1 in the finals. It will probably get a 2.0 for the finale because of the Idol overrun. I still expect it to come back to a series high in the fall. ABC will promote it even more with the move to 9pm.

    Man, Apartment 23 better hope that The New Normal and Mindy Project both tank badly because if this is how it does after Modern Family, then… yikes!

    Damn it, Suburgatory. 21 out of 22 episodes got a 2+ rating and now it drops?! That was quite a cliffhanger, by the way. Looking foward to season two. Please, ABC, order 24 episodes this time around.

    Will tonight’s Grey’s break a 5.0? I think a 4.5 at least is guaranteed. Too bad ABC is wasting it on that Scandal crap. If it had a two-hour finale, a 5.0 would have been a done deal.

  • Jenny

    Great finale for Suburgatory. Odd it went below a 2.0 for the finale. Matter of fact what the heck happened to all of Abc’s line up?

  • Ram510


    The only thing with that theory is that Apt 23 won’t be post MF in the Fall it will be Neighbors (which looks even worse) and I don’t see ABC breaking up it’s Friday duo for that. I’m sure they have a comedy on the bench

    It’s just funny cause people complained about Cougar Town and now that it’s gone nothing has done better and the Neighbors looks to do worse (MF curse?)

  • still good shows on tv

    This is the first time suburgatory fell below 2.0.

  • Tom

    Don’t forget to watch THE MENTALIST tonight. It’s going to be really good. Jane is working for Red John and he shoots one of his team members. He’s really hitting rock bottom. It will be amazing if he comes out of it.

  • chrisss

    @ Bad Wolf

    No, The NCISes stay alive because of their high 18-49 demo ratings. The total viewers ARE 100% meaningless.

  • Ultima

    TBBT was the first time anyone tried to do anything against Idol and it work

    Err, no. Ever heard of NCIS? Lost?

    Networks have been counter programming against Idol for years, they just don’t put their big reality competitions (except Survivor) up against it.

  • Christy

    I really liked Criminal Minds last night. It was a really good show.

  • Ultima

    @Bad Wolf
    The 2 Tuesdays procedurals ironically stay alive because their viewers numbers, which are ’100% meaningless’,

    No, they stay alive because #1 and #6 highest rated dramas on TV and bring in syndication money as well.

    Nothing to do with total viewers.

  • Networkman

    I don’t think the repeat of Law & Order @9pm did any better than Brian Williams’Rock Center. And now NBC sees what is going to happen once again when Law & Order:SVU is up against Criminal Minds. And it will have horrible comedies as lead in. Please announce this as the last season for SVU. This may be the only chance to get some viewers back.

    Suburgatory should be on a short leash this Fall. Also the 9pm hour on Tuesday for the adult comedies may be in trouble. I can see both getting at least 2.0 demo but the overall total viewers may be embrassing. I think it might be best to put Reba there. ABC should commit to these multi-cams. Last Man Standing would do better than Happy Endings. I would try The Family Tools after The Middle and How to Live with Parents after Modern Family when The Neighbors is cancelled.

  • Rodolfo

    Revenge on sunday is a way of saving the show!!!! a lot of people are watching but not at 10pm its too late!!

  • Julia

    Revenge had the best episode ever last night! It was AWESOME

  • Bunny


    So true! LSM and Malibu Country should be after DWTS!

    The older skewing audience for DWTS is going to clutch their pearls when these young comedies show up in the fall..

  • Mike

    Wow! CM finale did amazing, and with a poor lead in .

  • a p garcia

    Other than the dog scene, it must have been Revenge’s” worst episode this season and I am sure all those weeks of repeats took its toll on ratings.

  • Bee

    wow. man is ABC wednesdays feeling the combined sting of repeats and this spring. so many people tuned out over the last couple of months so the night has last a lot of its “ABC wed. is a must-see!” viewers.

    and next week against idol’s finale?! ouch. the middle and modern family might fall a few tenths more or even stay stable or rise a tenth or two cus ratings are weird. but apt. 23 and revenge? they’ll both be geting like a 1.7 i think. so damn disappointing, esp. for revenge.

    this just makes me happier that revenge is finally leaving that timeslot. it’s not growing there and it would definitely be on the bubble. ideally, that slot should go to a procedural like castle; a show that can deal with the annoying breaks and where you won’t miss much if you skip an episode during repeat madness.

    and yay grey’s tonight! the premiere got a 4.1, the 2 big disaster two-parter got 4.1 and 4.5 and some random disaster-looking ep got a 4.0. so fingers cross that the finale and biggest disaster yet gets a close to a 5.0 as possible :)

  • fearless


    Criminal Minds doesn’t need a lead-in…

    Criminal Minds is Heart!!! xD

  • Ultima

    wow. man is ABC wednesdays feeling the combined sting of repeats

    Post DST ratings for ABC Wednesday comedies…

    Modern Family – 4.5, off, off, off, 4.2, 4.1, off, 4.1, 4.4, 3.9

    The Middle – 2.1, off, off, off, 2.1, off, off, 2.0, 1.9, 1.9

    Suburgatory – 2.1, off, off, off, 2.1, 2.0, off, 2.0, 2.1, 1.8

    All of those repeats that some people are so sure kill ratings don’t appear to be doing so. No wonder networks program the way that they do…

  • Zerg

    stop saying that Suburgatory and MF did bad…is SPRING all ratings are down

  • Zerg

    last year:
    Tmiddle 2.4
    Tmiddle(R) 1.8
    MF 4.0
    CT 2.0
    HE 1.6
    He 1.3

    American IDol 23 m and 7.2 18-49…abc rating didn’t fall that much compare to idol….

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