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.

  • AC75

    The BBMA were absolute garbage. Those pits of screaming fans near the front of the stage should be cemented over with the fans in them. Probably most of the performers as well.

  • Joseph

    The decision for NBC to repeat “America’s Got Talent” last night (May 20th) must have been a last-minute one; at the end of the hockey game coverage at 6 P.M. EDT, game announcer Mike Emrick mentioned that “Dateline” would air at 7 P.m. Eastern and Pacific; 6 Central and Mountain.

  • Richard

    How many of you people are the same person.

    About half of you said almost the same exact thing about the Jesse Stone movie. How originial.

    Why repeat something over and over that has already been said. The first few times of reading while that movie sure skews old was enough.

  • Mark Wilkins

    pretty boring Sunday on regular TV, nothing at all to watch. Good thing there was cable and Game of Thrones

  • Only you can be you only I can be me!, You always wanna be what your not cant you be happy with what you got? Your perfect the way you are

    Wow Music Awards doing barely better Than Family Guy
    Family Guy was better btw

  • Danny Tse

    A Jesse Stone movie requires the audience to be intellectual and have the mental capacity to see development in a story. Billboard Special? Not so much.

  • AC75

    “A Jesse Stone movie requires the audience to be intellectual and have the mental capacity to see development in a story.”

    Must also be 90+

  • ToXiX

    These low numbers for Bobs Burgers are really starting to piss me off.

  • SVU: Fringe Division


    Actually NBC has been advertising the Sat/Sun repeats since at least Thursday during 30 Rock.

  • shelly

    howard stern is not bringing his fans to AGT..ive been a fan since ’82 but this concept is not compelling..a lot of his jokes have been used b4 and are stale..like making fun of heavy fat dude who did lots of jumping around..like he should be thin with that dancing technique..but i cant watch this show at all

  • Chris

    I’m thinking that CBS does intend to reach out to retired people with those Jesse Stone movies. Why not ask some advertisers that appeal to those kind of people such as Hoverround and Scooter Store to advertise during Jesse Stone?

  • Chuck_T

    Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:04 AM
    There is a difference between Harry’s Law and Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt , Harry’s Law had 1/2 the viewers.
    As for runnin Jesse, it was probably a smart move since it was up against a Billboard Special , at least this way they gave viewers an alternative to badly done music acts

    Reply: While it’s true Jesse Stone had more viewers than HL–it’s generally not ‘half as many’. HL has had between 7.5-9 million viewers.

  • SarahL


    Why is it so hard for people to write out the names of shows? I can hardly read some of these posts because they’re all acronyms.

    Too funny. I try not to use acronyms for this very reason.

  • NewEnglandMike

    Liked the Jesse Stone movies when I was in my early 40s; still like them at age 50. That said, I DVRd Jesse so I could watch The Killing and Mad Men.

  • Nick

    The only thing worth watching tonight was AFV. The BMAs were utter junk. Can we have more episodes of OUAT instead?

  • boogke

    Yeah the acronyms are really annoying, write out the names of the shows so we don’t have to sit and decipher your posts, don’t be so lazy.

  • Joseph

    I am not going to have a cat fight about how did better between Harry’s Law and a CBS Special .
    Last Week – Harry’s did – .8 , 2 , 7.68 , those were the final numbers
    CBS Special did – 1.2 , 3 , 12.766 , these numbers are not final


  • Boyd

    Half of the Jesse Stone viewers were later found in the cemetery. The other half were either still on life support or too senile to remember how their remote control works.

  • Boyd

    Posted May 21, 2012 at 11:04 AM
    There is a difference between Harry’s Law and Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt , Harry’s Law had 1/2 the viewers.

    Again, like total viewers mean anything to the networks anymore.

  • Gary Whitson

    Apparently the advertisers haven’t figured out that most of the money resides in the hands of theover 50 crowd.

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