TV Ratings Thursday:'American Idol, 'Grey's Anatomy', 'Scandal', 'The Mentalist' Up, 'Person of Interest', 'Touch' Down, 'Community' Hits Series Low

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May 18th, 2012



Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 3.0/9 2.5/7 2.4/7 1.5/4 1.1/3 0.3/1
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 2.0/7 1.9/6 1.3/4 1.5/5 1.1/4 0.3/1
Total Viewers (million) 11.09 8.39 11.37 3.72 2.53 0.84


FOX was the number one network among adults 18-49, while CBS was on top in total viewers.

On FOX American Idol earned a 4.2 among adults 18-49, up 8% from last week's 4.0. Touch scored a 1.8 adults 18-49 rating down 5% from last week's 1.9.

On CBS, the season finale of Rules of Engagement garnered a 2.1 adults 18-49 rating, down 22% from last week's 2.7, which followed a new Big Bang Theory. Person of Interest's season finale earned a 2.5 among adults 18-49, down 4% from last week's 2.6. The Mentalist's season finale scored a 2.5 adults 18-49 rating, up 4% from last week's 2.4.

On ABC, Missing's series finale earned a 1.3 adults 18-49 rating, up 18% from last week's 1.1. The Grey's Anatomy season finale scored a 3.9 among adults 18-49 up 11% from last week's 3.5. Scandal's season finale scored a series high 2.4 adults 18-49 rating, up 26% from last week's 1.9.

On NBC, at 8PM Community earned a series low1.3 adults 18-49 rating, down from last week's 1.4. The season finale of 30 Rock scored a 1.3 among adults 18-49, down from last week's 1.5. Two more episodes of Community garnered a 1.3 at 9PM and a 1.3 at 9:30 PM for the season finale, each matching the series low. For comparison, last week The Office scored a 2.3 adults 18-49 rating at 9PM and Parks and Recreation got a 1.7 at 9:30PM. Awake tied its series low, earning a 0.7 adults 18-49 rating, down from last week's 0.9.

On the CW,  Perez Hilton All Access: Katy Perry earned a 0.3 adults 18-49 rating.


Late-night ratings are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Thursday, May 17, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 FOX American Idol 4.2/14 15.85
CBS The Big Bang Theory - R 2.4/8 8.30
ABC Missing (Series Finale) 1.3/4 6.49
NBC Community 1.3/5 2.99
CW Perez Hilton All Access 0.3/1 0.97
8:30 CBS Rules of Engagement (Season Finale) 2.1/7 7.28
NBC 30 Rock (Season Finale) 1.3/4 2.85
9:00 ABC Grey's Anatomy (Season Finale) 3.9/11 11.15
CBS Person of Interest (Season Finale) 2.5/7 13.35
FOX Touch 1.8/5 6.34
NBC Community 1.3/4 2.60
CW Vampire Diaries - R 0.2/1 0.71
9:30 NBC Community (Season Finale) 1.3/4 2.49
10:00 CBS The Mentalist (Season Finale) 2.5/7 12.96
ABC Scandal (Season Finale) 2.4/7 7.52
NBC Awake 0.7/2 2.11


Via NBC press notes:

In Late-Night Metered Markets Wednesday night:

  • In Nielsen's 56 metered markets, household results were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 2.3/6; CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," 3.0/8; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 3.4/8; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 1.6/5.
  • In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 0.7/3; "Late Show," 0.8/4; "Nightline," 1.1/5; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.6/3.
  • 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) tied "Late Late Show" (0.5/3).
  • At 1:35 a.m., "Last Call with Carson Daly" averaged a 0.8/3 in metered-market households and a 0.3/3 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters.

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 baseball 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.

  • David

    Well, Grey’s sure didn’t deserve that…

  • Charles

    Wish POI could get back to around that 3.0-3.3 it was averaging while it was on before the March Madness break killed it’s progress.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    @Overdamoon, The End,

    I’m quite confident that unless something absolutely *disastrous* happens with POI ratings that it POI will be somewhere on CBS’s schedule a minimum of 4 seasons.

    Edit: removed qualifying phrase. It’s going to be on Thursday at 9pm in its second season. It’s going to get season 3 and 4 somewhere on the schedule. Put that in the bank.

    The only interesting question is at what ratings level does it get moved away from the Thursday 9pm slot? That’s certainly possible at some ratings level. What it is, I have no idea.

  • bluejays

    I don’t get why CBS didn’t move POI to ten? It doesn’t get the numbers for that slot and they’ve even moved 2.5 men before it to try and boost it. They really are moving heaven and earth to try and make it a hit.

    Greys had a great finale. And wow at Scandal suddenly doing so well.

  • zerg

    Grey’s at 3.9 on spring WOW!

    Scandal vs Revenge nosense….anyway AP23 1.9 Revenge 2.0..Grey’s 3.9 Scandal 2.4(? 2.3)

    POI down :(

  • bluejays

    Wow this is hilarious. SO HFO that is in a ten pm slot is often called a ‘failure’ on here and yet has had a better season than this big new massive hit you all love POI?

    Such hypocrites on here.

    And yes POI is not going anywhere. It will get at least four seasons, even if it keeps at these numbers (although not in the same slot i’d bet) but the endless crap that was written about HFO compared to the adoration over POI’s ratings is pretty interesting to see. Because the way I see the one in the lower rated time slot actually did better.

    And no POI didn’t ‘grow its ratings’ as some like to claim. It had a mid season spike with no competition and the last few eps has dropped way off again.

  • jens2488

    @ Maya

    2 Broke Girls built on HIMYM many times. In the demo and in viewers.

  • William


    Jealous are we? just admit it, ratings aside, the writing on POI is far better than that on HFO.

  • bluejays

    @Maya – overall viewers are irelevant. they do not matter so what POI does or does not do in them is not an issue. Retention is also not relevant.

    The main thing is the demo and POI is NOT a huge hit and CBS are aware of that. Why do you think they’ve moved a massive show in front of POI? To try and boost it. That is a defensive and protective move because they know its not strong. It’s also a huge show of confidence in their Monday night line up (one I think they may be misguided in but there you go).

    POI has not been a huge break out hit. It may become one, only time will tell but so far, its first season has been mediocre. It’s why it hasn’t had a syndication deal in its first season like some other new dramas did. The companies that buy syndication rights know what they are doing and know what the numbers mean.

    But don’t let facts get in the way of you twisting the numbers to call it a huge hit will you?

    I say this as a fan of the show by the way.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “SO HFO that is in a ten pm slot is often called a ‘failure’ on here and yet has had a better season than this big new massive hit you all love POI?”

    Commenters may call anything they want whatever they want with absolutely no accounting for accuracy, but nobody writing *for* the site ever called Hawaii Five-0 a “failure”.

    However, Person Of Interest did have higher ratings for new episodes than Hawaii Five-0 during the spring (3.01 vs. 2.68) and fractionally better during the entire season (2.89 vs 2.87).

  • Mary Beth

    Caviezel & Emerson are taylor made for the roles they play in POI. It could not have been cast any better than these two. As far as what I mean as an “intelligent type” of viewer, I’m referring to those types of viewers who prefer TV shows that challenge them to decipher alot of clues and follow many subplots which can be misleading and unpredictable and where the characters are well developed with complex backstories that are intriguing and mysterious. This, opposed to the mindless violence, sex and soap opera type of many typical programs that generally permeate the TV schedule these days, along with endless reality shows, of course.

  • bluejays

    @William. I love both shows! I am a POI fan. And yes I do think its better written than HFO.

    But ratings wise it hasn’t done as well as HFO has in its first two years and if you then factor in the fact that HFO is the number one ten pm show on tv and POI is way down the list for nine pm shows, ratings wise it isn’t a huge hit – not for its time slot.

    It is solid though and I think it has a lot of potential. It just makes me laugh when people try and twist the numbers.

  • Holly

    The Castle vs. Hawaii 5-0 arguments are silly enough. Do we really need an even more ridiculous 5-0 vs. PoI argument?

  • bluejays

    @Bill, I know no one writing for the site said it was a failure. But we have had two years of endless ‘HFO is a failure’ comments. Then when a show gets very similar ratings overall – but in a time slot with much higher ratings across the board – it gets called a huge hit.

    Just amuses me is all.

  • bluejays

    @Holly. Wait until we have POI versus Glee and HFO versus Revolution versus Castle. And then SPN moving. I might sit next year out :)

  • Kate

    Man, that Grey’s finale was brutal. It left a lot of people mad, including myself, so I wonder if some won’t tune in next year.

  • Kavyn

    @Richard I loved Nikita’s season 2 finale! It was the perfect way to end the show considering they had no idea whether or not it’d be the finale.

    I’m really excited for season 3, it’ll be so interesting to see how they do it and I have no doubt in my mind they’ll do it splendidly. If only the show didn’t have that ANTM pairing :(. I’d totally have been cool with CW opening a 10pm slot on Wednesday just for Nikita to fit in, because Friday at 9 is going to suck for them (paired with ANTM, competing with Fringe who shares Nikita’s fanbase, completely unfair).

  • Kavyn

    Not to mention if CTV continues to air Nikita on Thursdays, it’ll always be available the day before it airs on the CW. Let’s just hope that Mark really wants this show getting into syndication.

    Personally I think they also set season 3 up perfectly to act as a bit of a reboot, so that people could follow along from season 3 (given maybe a quick recap at the beginning of the first ep). They really handled this finale well, very proud of the writers :)!

  • William

    @bluejays, My bad – I also like both shows funnily enough and agree that the demo numbers for POI have been disappointing especially after the mid-season ratings spike.

    Btw, I know its a bit early but does anyone think CBS is going to try and push POI hard during emmy season? Only the supporting actors, in my opinion have a realistic shot.

  • Overdamoon

    @Bill Gorman,
    You can’t compare POI to H50 as one is a 9pm show and the other is a 10pm.

    I also think POI is safe but it isn’t a “hit” that CBS makes it out to be. POI was on the bubble earlier in the season and improved somewhat but I blame it for being a poor lead-in to TM. And what irks me is CBS’s favorable treatment of some of their shows and putting them in protected slots (eg. NCIS:LA and now POI.) CBS took away the Monday’s tent pole 2.5 Men and gave it to POI as a strong lead-in while knowing that 2 Broke Girls isn’t doing as strong as before. Monday nights have seen very tight competition with the 2 reality shows, football, Castle and now the new show Revolution.

    ITA with all of bluejays’ comments.

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