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.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    I agree with Holly – the comparison are ridiculous. HFO isn’t even the same genre as PoI. Five-O is a more or less straight cop show (albeit they stray from that into espionage as the original series did) while PoI is more of a straight action show (which also strays into espionage). You can compare PoI to, say, Nikita, but not to HFO.

    As for ratings in time slots, again, Five-O is in its second season, PoI in its first. You can’t compare them.

    And as for whether PoI is a “hit”, these days ANY show that does what it’s done in its first season and thus likely to get at least one more season is at least marginally a “hit”. The same with Revenge. And the same with HFO.

    I won’t predict as Bill did that it will go four seasons – the writers could completely blow it in season two. But the show has been getting better over the season and has finally become fairly compelling as it’s become more serial. If they maintain that or continue to get better in season two, then a season three is highly probable – and syndication possibility will get it a season four.

  • bluejays

    @KarenM. Well I’m female and I watch Greys and POI. Oh my god! The cognitive dissonance it involves kills me honestly.

    Plus I do think POI is well written compared to a lot of procedurals however its not super intelligent viewing, its a good network procedural.

    Finally Greys is nothing like ER, except for being a medical drama. That would be like saying that every single cop show or procedural was the same full stop. They aren’t. I love Greys but ER was hands down one of the best network shows ever up there with NYPD Blue and Hill Street Blues (NBC you used to be sooooo good). These days you only get that kind of writing on cable in general.

    @Petar – Jim Caviezel is great I agree (and hot too). He had a few ‘wilderness years’ which he blamed on being blacklisted after doing Passion (that Mad Mel film).

  • Mary Beth

    Well, if the season to date rankings are considered, then POI is the 3nd highest rated drama on TV, behind NCIS & TM and just ahead of CM. I guess we will all just have to wait to see what these shows do in the Fall, but I think CBS is pretty happy. Granted, the 18-49 numbers could definitely be better, but I think that it can take awhile for a freshman series to find its audience. That was what happened with CM and look at what a monster hit it became. Also, any series having to compete with Idol is certainly going to lose viewers in the young demo and I am sure CBS recognizes that. I really wish that they would move POI into a 10pm slot, as I think it would really shine there.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Kavyn: Agree. The Nikita finale was perfectly done. Ad we already know who the immediate villain will be in season three – my girl Amanda! :-) So that’s a nice segue into season three.

    And of course there’s the new group Percy was joining. That should easily carry them through season three with plenty of quality stories.

  • ShawnM

    It’s quite funny to read how some fans are trying to make it look as if CBS had a huge hit on its hand with POI. A 2.5 at 9:00 is a bad rating for CBS, period. Comparing POI to established hits like CM or NCIS is mind-boggling. CM delivered a 3.6 on Wednesday out of a 1.1 lead in. Not only that, it actually increased in every half hour and did a 3.8 at 10:30 which is pretty amazing. At this point, POI isn’t even close to being the bext big hit and, as bluejays mentioned, CBS is already pushing the show as much as possible. Moving 2,5 Men to Thursdays at 8:30 exemplifies that CBS wants POI to be a hit, yet they don’t think POI will actually be a hit without some big time help.

    This is not to say that the show isn’t good or that it won’t be able to draw better numbers next season. It’s just that POI has only had an okay first season when it comes to numbers.

    That said, I agree with those who say that the show is likely to be given at least four seasons for syndication purposes.

  • Shaz

    While POI is in an earlier timeslot than H50, it also faces FAR heavier competition that H50, so I figure both shows are on fairly equal footing. If the timeslots for both shows were swapped, I suspect they would still continue to get around the same ratings.

    I think the “HFO is a failure” refrain is CBS’ fault because in the beginning they promoted H50 as the Next Big Monster Hit, so when it’s “just” a modest hit, it’s criticized because it failed to live up to expectations.

    On the other hand, POI received about the same amount of promotion before its premiere as CBS’ other new shows last year. The only indication that CBS had high hopes for POI was that they placed the newbie show in the highly competitive Thursday, 9 PM timeslot. That was a risky move. Since POI didn’t sink like a stone and is competitive in the timeslot, it’s praised because it has exceeded expectations.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “You can’t compare POI to H50 as one is a 9pm show and the other is a 10pm.”

    I noted the ratings for each because someone had made the erroneous claim that H50 had better ratings than POI. With that error cleared up, you may evaluate the ratings as you wish.

    “I also think POI is safe but it isn’t a “hit” that CBS makes it out to be.”

    Descriptions like “hit” applied to shows are irrelevant to me. The only thing I worry about is whether a show will be renewed or canceled.

    POI will be renewed for a minimum of 4 seasons on CBS, so will Hawaii Five-0.

    I’ll leave fans to chatter about anything else.

  • Mary Beth

    One fact nobody has mentioned is that ratings have been slipping due to the many repeats that are programmed. For a while there, after the mid season spike, it seemed the top dramas, CM & POI in particular, had more repeats than new episodes, with 2 week gaps in between. That has to have a negative affect on ratings.

  • bluejays

    @mary Beth. I hate reality tv. I detest it but I don’t think watching it or not is anything to do with intelligence.

    Lots of people with great qualifications and professional jobs unwind by watching a bit of Jersey Shore, I know a lot of them.

    it’s one thing to say you think a shows really well written, quite another to say that those who watch it are intelligent and those who watch other types of show are stupid.

  • ToXiX

    Person of Interest has potential to be a big hit if it continues to grow. I’m not a fan of the show but I DVRd the finale last tonight since I may as well watch something after two and a half men in the fall. I haven’t seen it yet. Will watch this week probably.

  • bluejays

    @Mary Beth, That ranking is overall viewers and is utterly meaningless.

    @Shaz. No CBS promoted POI as much as HFO – giving it huge publicity and stating that it was its best testing new drama in ever and would be their biggest hit in years etc.

    The thing with HFO was it got a ton of hate from CSI Miami fans and a ton of hate from Moonlight crazys, full stop. It could have pulled a six demo and some fruitloop would have come along every week to say that CSI Miami would have done better or that Alex O’Loughlin was a traitor for not always playing a long haired emo vampire forever and ever amen.

    I doubt that POI will get the same hate from The Mentalist fans as it didn’t actually replace it, will be interesting to see if Elementary does but so far TM fans seem a lot more stable. (Thank God).

  • Silvio

    Person of Interest Season 1 A18-49 ratings are as strong as 1st seasons of Hawaii Five-0 and NCIS: LA were. So: hit yes, big hit no.
    However, in 2nd season POI is bound to benefit from:
    – new better lead-in, Two and a Half Men
    – is likely to lead-out Super-Bowl (2 Broke Girls is only other candidate)

    Thus, anything bellow 3.5 A18-49 average in season 2 would surprise me. POI not picked into syndication over period of next 12 months would shock me. Show not to reach 88 episodes is impossible.

  • Deidre

    Comparing E.R. to Grey’s Anatomy is a travesty…and I like both shows

    Grey’s Anatomy is more of a campy, trashy soap opera with ridiculous plots where as you never felt embarrassed to admit watching E.R.

  • Rebecca

    For those talking about Jim Caviezel….
    Not only was he great in The Passion of the Christ, he was good in Frequency, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Thin Red Line….and I don’t remember him in them but he was in Pay It Forward and G.I.Jane. Also Wyatt Earp, I Am David, and an episode of The Wonder Years and an episode of Murder She Wrote. I only saw the pilot of PoI, but he’s a talented guy who almost became a pro basketball player.

  • Mary Beth

    @Bluejays Wow, you seriously are stretching things by making the inference that I sm calling viewers who like reality shows or violent action shows as stupid. I never said that. The point I was attempting to make was that there are many viewers that simply like to watch TV shows that focus primarily on action and violence for the entertainment value and don’t really care so much if the show has much character or plot development or is serialized so that it requires following the show week to week. I am not insinuating that any viewers are stupid, just that some shows tend to draw specific types of viewers. I have nothing against reality shows either. Obviously, lots of people enjoy them and I have seen some that were really interesting, but as a genre, I would say that there are just too many on TV these days — to the point that I say, enough already.

  • Dan

    I think thats a series low for Rules unless im mistaked

  • Sam

    Congratz to the entire staff/cast of POI. What a show and what a season finale! Can’t wait for 1st season DVD to come out. Thank you CBS.

  • Brian

    NBC this is what you get for cancelling Harry’s Law, your precious Community and 30 Rock combined don’t equal in viewers what Harry’s Law brought in every week..but go ahead and renew those lame two shows..see what you get!

  • Will

    Brian, you’re an idiot. Viewers don’t matter.

  • AO

    No Brian, they each still did better. Look at the demos.

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