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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  • Ultima

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

    It’s the 4th highest rated drama on TV, it doesn’t need a lead in and doesn’t utilize the one it has the entire year anyways (it saw no bump when Survivor returned from hiatus).

  • Fred

    Lets face it, nothing has done well after Modern Family: Cougar Town, Mr Sunshine, Happy Endings and Apt 23.
    ABC NEEDS to try a new sitcom at 9:30 after MF.

    Somebody mentioned that MF should be expanded to an hour. Not realistic because of sydication and quality concerns. Remember when NBC tried expanding their hits on Thursday? Didn’t work very well, shows weren’t as funny in the longer format.

    Most cost effective way to maximize the slot is an MF rerun. But that would make ABC look weak.

  • Joseph

    If nothing else , the viewing behavior of the 16th, shows us that people will tun in and change channels to catch their favorite shows.
    I wonder how much of America caught at least parts of A and changed channels at 9:00pm and watched parts of either Criminal Minds or Modern Family.
    Can we get the 1/2 hour numbers of American Idol?

  • frodo

    What is it with all this overreaction regarding Revenge, all ABC shows fell significantly last night, Revenge is actually the one that held up best. And I bet it will get adjusted to a 2.1 in the demo. It faced Criminal Minds Season Finale!

    I mean The show was always around a 2.4-2.7 now its around 2.1-2.3. Its not that big of drop especially since its on Wednesday at 22PM, a slot that has not been working for more than 4 years. Revenge was the first to break that streak. Lets not even mention that it follows an all comedy block that has nothing in common with the show. Yet Revenge is holding up better than most other ABC shows.

    Scandal for example Max is absolutely pathetic, it cannot hold on to its lead by ABC #1 show Grey’s Anatomy. In fact had Scandal been in Revenge’s time slot it would have been canceled a long time ago.

    Next Year’s schedule is a great move by ABC putting it with other fellow dramas and promising few breaks in between its run. That guarantees that Revenge will be pulling great numbers.

    And on another note all 10 PM shows have been on a serious decline for ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. Loads of people prefer using their DVR than staying up till 23.

    Yesterday’s episode was so good, IMO Revenge is currently one of the best show on any of the networks and it deserves all the buzz it receives.

  • Kris

    Maybe the move to Sunday will end up being good for Revenge…

  • ron

    Revenge will have it hard next week with the idol finale but i hope it adjust a 2.5

  • hardline_pro

    The Criminal Minds season finale was REALLY good last night. :D It deserves those nice ratings!

  • Leondre

    Hah! American Idol was down 33% vs. last year

  • Tim

    So far NCIS is the number one finale on CBS. Followed by CM and 3rd place for NCIS LA.

  • IsraelCD

    OMFG ! I’m Hyperventilating with REVENGE ! Best Episode Ever and Dying in Ratings ! OMFG ! I Can’t !

  • Fred



  • Ultima

    Remember when NBC tried expanding their hits on Thursday? Didn’t work very well, shows weren’t as funny in the longer format.

    Sure it did and the shows were just as funny. There’s nothing wrong with 40 minute or hour long episodes from time to time. However, it’s usually not sustainable for the entire season (Friends being an exception).

  • Joseph

    Although “Idol”‘s season finale this Wednesday (May 23rd) coincides with the end of both the May “sweeps” and the 2011/2012 prime-time TV season, were I a rival network, I might actually have tried to extend the seasons for my Wednesday night prime-time shows until mid-June.

    Their finales probably would do better against mostly rerun competition.

  • Bookworm

    Ouch for Revenge and Apt.23

  • Ultima

    OMFG ! I’m Hyperventilating with REVENGE ! Best Episode Ever and Dying in Ratings ! OMFG ! I Can’t !


    Also, Revenge is only down 17% (13% if it adjusts up) from its fall finale and season average, which is nothing to be concerned about at all. Not even remotely close to dying.

  • SmG

    I hope next year Revenge will at least stay around 2.5 after OuAT.

  • Ultima

    Their finales probably would do better against mostly rerun competition.

    Maybe, maybe not. They’ll be competing with summer programming from other networks, from cable, and lower viewership in general due to it being summer. Also, they may want to get their own summer programming going, or just have conflicts with sports. ABC has two Wednesdays open before they have to move Duets there because of the NBA Finals and the NHL Stanley Cup Final starts the first Wednesday of summer on NBC.

  • yujin

    Come on! Revenge adjust up!

  • emptyhorizon

    SVU seems steady now although I still think that it has so much potential. I hope it’s move to 9pm to make way for Chicago Fire doesn’t do more harm than good. Although looking at SVU’s ratings in syndication on USA, I think it is safe for a while yet

  • ADJ

    Great ratings for Criminal Minds!!! :)

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