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.

  • Jenny

    Even if Scandal adjusts down that will still be a series high for the show, so ABC must be happy. It’s very rare for serialized shows to hit series highs these days.

  • KarenM

    I’m not sure if TBBT will help PoI. That remains to be seen but PoI will definitely help Elementary which I can’t tell will be pure crap or not yet.

  • Max

    Can someone confirm, was last night’s ROE series finale or season finale? As it is not on the CBS fall lineup, this makes me think it might be a series finale. It made for a good end.

  • 2134

    Mentalist’s last run in Thursday 10pm slot. Hope it can hold up on Sunday.

  • s0303

    glad community was put on fridays…that can only make grimm look even better…nbc is dumb for giving community a full season when they cut the biggest loser to half a season and it’s consistently in the 2’s…

  • Andy

    Community is such an embarrassment!

  • Mark Wilkins

    ouch @ Person of Interest, a great episode that was ignored. Even if it adjusts up, those numbers are bad. And the ratings for Touch show why its been moved to Friday.

  • Jenn


    At CBS upfronts this week, they said that negotiations were still ongoing for ROE

  • salim

    am just hoping that izzie comes back for 9th season on greys, they wud get better ratings

  • Zed


    POI is a procedural, so that doesn’t give you ANYTHING to think about. And a show in its eight season which beat everything in its time slot all season, doesn’t seem to need any help with the ratings.
    Yes, a character was killed off, but that’s just to add some drama, not a way to get back ratings they already get.

  • Max

    @ Jenn
    That’s what I thought. Thank you.

  • TVDude

    Well, at least that ends the time slot argument for Community. 30 Rock didn’t do any better though. I see both shows coming to an end next season. While Parks and Recs numbers aren’t anything to jump about, a 1.7 would have looked nice compared a 1.3 each half hour. Then again, they could have always got Awake’s rating.

  • Tony ^_^

    I know viewers don’t matter, but NOTHING on NBC got 3 million viewers… :o

    Looks like Scandal did well. Even if it adjusts down two tenths, it will get a series high 2.2 rating. So that’s good for it and its fans! :D

  • João Paulo

    POI season finale rockss last night, amazing end. Can’t wait for season 2. Ratings down, but in views is the second show of the night. Next fall, I think the ratings will up because of the strong lead-in.

  • Jenny

    @ Marcus

    ” Letterman + Conan > Leno (by .1, but all of their ratings are tiny anyway) ”

    I agree, the combo. Letterman + Conan for 1 night, could bearly beat Leno. WOW how Embarrassing for Letterman + Conan.

    I watched the show and it was terrible, Letterman and Conan came off as whiny babies. They need to get over it, Leno is better and the ratings prove it.

    even Jimmy Kimmel beats Letterman + Conan now.
    Late Show With David Letterman now trails Jimmy Kimmel.

  • JB

    Community is done and I’m a fan of the show. NBC should’ve just told them straight up that next season is the last one so we can get proper closure. 4 years is a good run

  • Jen

    So happy to see the ratings jump for Scandal! Can’t wait for Season 2!

    BTW, @Bookworm: I’m loving your positive Scandal posts.

  • Jj

    I love how people think a 2.4 for Scandal is so awesome and a 2.5 for POI means it sucks and is destined for failure. Just shows how that demographic thinks. The NBA finals has nothing to do with POI ratings, just like the NFL draft had nothing to do with it a few weeks ago. My 45 year old brother inlaw was talking about how excited he was about the Greys finale on Mothers day. I asked him why he watches it. He said because his 45 year old wife, 20 year old daughter, and 48 year old sister inlaw made him watch it and he got hooked on it.

    Moral of the story? Hey guys, you don’t have to watch POI, just grow a spine and be a man.

  • a p garcia


  • Bob

    Great job Gray’s…I was thrilled with who got killed off…never liked the character one bit. Great job for Scandal. NBC…disaster as usual…serves you right for cancelling Harry’s Law. Can’t wait til next year when you fall even more. I will be thrilled watching it.

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