TV Ratings Sunday: 'Billboard Music Awards' Leads ABC to Nightly Win, 'Celebrity Apprentice' Sees Finale Low

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May 21st, 2012

Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 2.4/7 1.9/6 1.6/5 1.3/4 1.0/3
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 1.9/6 1.8/6 1.0/3 0.6/2 1.0/3
Total Viewers (million) 6.981 4.058 5.551 11.316 2.849


ABC won the night in adults 18-49, but CBS claimed victory with  total viewers. 

On ABC, America's Funniest Videos season finale earned a 1.5 adults 18-49 rating, down a tenth from last week's 1.6  adults 18-49 rating. The 2012 Billboard Music Awards earned a 2.7 18-49 rating and was the highest-rated program of the evening, despite tying it's all-time ratings low, set in 2006.

On CBS, back to back episodes of 60 Minutes earned a 1.4 and1.5 adults 18-49 rating, both up from last week's 1.2 rating. Made-for-TV movie Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt at 9PM earned 1.2 among adults 18-49 but was the most-watched program of the evening.

On Fox, The Cleveland Show season finale was even with last week's 1.3 rating among adults 18-49.  The Simpsons finale was up two-tenths to a 2.1 from last week's 1.9 adults 18-49 rating. Bob's Burgers was down a tenth to a 1.7 from last week's 1.8 in adults 18-49. An hour-long Family Guy was up two-tenths from last week's  2.3, earning a 2.5 adults 18-49 rating.

On NBC, the finale of Celebrity Apprentice was up four-tenths, drawing a 2.2 compared to last week's 1.8 among adults 18-49. However, this was the lowest-rated finale episode of the series to date.

Broadcast primetime ratings for Sunday, May 20, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
7:00PM ABC America's Funniest Home Videos 1.5 5 5.817
CBS 60 Minutes 1.4 5 5.000
FOX The Simpsons -R 1.0 4 2.338
NBC America's Got Talent -R 1.0 3 4.282
7:30PM FOX The Cleveland Show 1.3 4 3.030
8:00PM ABC Billboard Music Awards (8-11P)  2.7  7  7.400
CBS 60 Minutes 1.5 4 10.128
FOX The Simpsons 2.1 7 4.790
8:30PM FOX Bob's Burgers 1.7 5 3.568
9:00PM FOX Family Guy 2.5 6 5.286
NBC The Celebrity Apprentice (9-11p) 2.2 6 6.820
CBS Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt (9-11P) 1.2 3 12.766

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2012 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.


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 and Numbers 102.

  • Jeff R

    @s0303 I realize AGT was a repeat, just seemed pointless to pull a new HL for it. I get the argument that it might have gotten new eyeballs to it, but it was so bad, I can only imagine it turning people away! ;)

  • RJ

    Family Guy was pretty bad last night.

  • Freddy Arrow

    Every time I see that another Jesse Stone movie has aired, I wondered why there isn’t more effort to do a Magnum PI movie. I would think that would get double the number of viewers.

  • Chuck_T

    NBC should have just left Harry’s Law instead of repeating AGT! HL might have gotten about the same 18-49 but it probably would have also gotten twice as many viewers.

  • Californiadgd

    The Simpsons was funny last night, I expect more viewers…

  • Taylor

    The Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt movie had 12.766 million viewers, but it only got a 1.2 in 18-49 demographic? Man the ratings for that movie sure skewed very old, lol.

  • DW

    even the networks know that no one watches the last sunday of the tv season.

  • Tommy M.

    “NBC should have just left Harry’s Law instead of repeating AGT! HL might have gotten about the same 18-49 but it probably would have also gotten twice as many viewers.”

    Harry’s Law fans should be greatful NBC aired all the episodes they had of the show. A lot of canceled shows don’t even get that!

  • Ike

    LOL @ “The 2012 Billboard Music Awards earned a something.”

  • rob60990

    AGT actually pulled a 1.4 from 8-9 which is better than any Harry’s Law this season!

  • Ben

    Considering the high ratings for the Hawaii Five-0/NCIS: Los Angeles crossover; why doesn’t CBS have Tom Selleck do a cameo on Hawaii Five-0 playing anyone, (Jesse Stone, Thomas Magnum, Frank Reagan, himself), and see how many viewers turn in to watch the program.

  • Steve-A

    @Ben. Not many 18-49 viewers.

  • MoHasanie

    So, I’m assuming the awards show got a 2.7. It had a lot of annoying promo’s, so its ratings aren’t good.

    And the Celebrity Apprentice is down 8 tenths from last years finale! Yikes. Ever since it aired against the Oscar’s, it hasn’t risen.

  • MoHasanie

    *risen back to its January/ early February ratings.

  • Big Tim

    Puzzles me why the ratings for Jesse Stone are so low in the 18-49 demo. It’s very well done, much better than the usual fare on broadcast tv, a bit dark and brooding but goodstuff just the same. You’d think demo side of the the upper, say the 35 on up, would get it.

  • a p garcia

    According to this no body watched the BillBoard Music Awards b/c there are no #s!

  • Mob Wife

    It’s cool, the analysis astutely points out that “The 2012 Billboard Music Awards earned a something”

  • rob60990

    Berman has 2.8/3.3/3.5/3.5/3.5/2.9 for the awards show but for some reason, I don’t think that’s right.

  • SarahL

    Hey, don’t diss Tom Selleck. He was the heartthrob of his tv era. Those ratings do really skew old though. :)

  • scifi

    “The 2012 Billboard Music Awards earned a something.”


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