TV Ratings Wednesday: NFL Season Opener Down But Still Dominates Night, 'Big Brother' & 'So You Think You Can Dance' Fall, Plus DNC Coverage

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September 6th, 2012


Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 8.2/22 1.6/4 1.4/4 1.4/4 1.0/3 0.4/1
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 8.0/25 1.5/5 1.3/4 0.9/3 0.7/2 0.3/1
Total Viewers (million) 20.565 3.767 4.144 5.061 3.610 0.961


Note:  Due to the live nature of the Democratic National Convention coverage as well as NFL football on NBC, these time-period based Fast Affiliate Ratings are subject to more than the typical adjustments.

NBC was the number 1 network with adults 18-49, and total viewers.

On NBC,  NFL Kickoff scored a 5.5 adults 18-49 rating, down 14% from a 6.4 fast national for last year's telecast on Thursday, September 8. The NFL Football game, featuring  the Cowboys versus the Giants, garnered a 8.7 among adults 18-49, down 15% from a 10.2 fast national for last year's telecast on Thursday, September 8.

On CBS, Big Brother garnered a 2.1 adults 18-49 rating, down 9% from last week's Wednesday high of  2.3.

On FOX, So You Think You Can Dance earned a 1.4 adults 18-49 rating, down 7% from last week's 1.5 adults 18-49 rating.

On the CW, Oh Sit! scored a 0.4 adults 18-49 rating,  even with last week.

Coverage of the Democratic National Convention earned  a 0.9 adults 18-49 rating on ABC and a 0.9 adults 18-49 rating on CBS. However, these numbers are approximate and subject to more than typical adjustment.

Late-night results are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Wednesday, September 5, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (millions)
8:00 NBC NFL Kickoff 2012- Live 5.5/17 14.32
CBS Big Brother 2.1/6 6.09
FOX So You Think You Can Dance 1.4/4 4.14
ABC The Middle - R 1.1/4 4.55
CW Oh Sit! 0.4/1 1.14
8:30 NBC NFL Football (8:30-11PM) - Live 8.7/23 21.81
ABC Suburgatory - R 0.9/2 3.28
9:00 ABC Modern Family - R 1.3/3 3.78
CBS Criminal Minds - R 1.2/3 5.16
CW Supernatural - R 0.3/1 0.78
9:30 ABC Suburgatory - R 1.0/3 2.97
10:00 CBS Democratic National Convention - Live 0.9/2 3.94
ABC Democratic National Convention - Live 0.9/2 3.54



In Late-Night Metered Markets Wednesday night (New Orleans is excluded and all start times were delayed due to overrun convention coverage on ABC and CBS and NFL coverage on NBC):

  • In Nielsen's 56 metered markets, household results were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 2.8/9; CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," 1.6/5; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 2.2/6; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 1.2/4.
  • In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 1.2/7; "Late Show," 0.4/2; "Nightline," 0.7/3; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.3/2.
  • At 12:35 a.m., "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.6/7 in metered-market households) beat CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (0.9/3). In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late Night" (0.7/5 in 18-49) topped "Late Late Show" (0.2/2).



NOTE: All ratings are "live plus same day" from Nielsen Media Research unless otherwise indicated.
Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2012 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

You can see TV ratings from other recent Overnight ratings reports here.

Definitions: 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 football 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.

  • Linus Rawlings

    Has anyone seen what’s on tonight? There’s always Netflix, I guess.

  • Brad

    Democrats did worse than the Republicans on both night 1 and night 2. Its a pity only the choir got to hear those extremists Warren and Fluke. But, at least the GOP can make ads about the Democrats voting against God 3 times and booing God and Jerusalem. That’ll win alot of moderates over to the most leftist candidate in our nation’s history.

  • LastOneStanding

    Why are they having those old guys giving speeches from the 20th century like Biden and Clinton. Biden still referring to the 20th century in his speeches. We need new young ideas, not old ideas on yesterday’s old economy and speeches from the 1990’s from old man Clinton and Biden.

  • Mauna

    I wonder how much Bill Clinton was paid to speak for Obama? I would bet he got $1.5 million. Clinton really did not want to speak, and finally agreed. He would not give the DNC a copy of his speech until the last hours. I would think that as much as Clinton gets for speaking around the world, he would get at least $1.5 million from Obama.

  • elle

    The DNC was broadcast on several different channels. They had about 16 million viewers overall I think.

  • Networkman

    Oh Sit! is really doing good for the CW network. It has really been consistent. So You Think You Can Dance needs revamped. I would like to see a new panel of judges. People are tired of Nigel and Mary. Lastly, hopefully Sunday Night Football will go down. I would want to see the awesome dramas on ABC see an increase of viewers. Last year people were so happy with the return of Football because of the strike/lockout.

  • K


    Wishful thinking for SNL going down, in the short term. The rest of this month has very interesting games scheduled, like Denver and Pittsburgh, Giants and Eagles (?), sorry

  • Jenny


    Put Oh Sit against regular competition, and it’d be just another flop. Fine for a summer show it’s gets barely okay ratings, but give it real network competition. Flop!

  • BobTheGoon

    Why would anybody watch the DNC anyway?

    What is the point of having having a convention for an incumbent President? What is it like group therapy or something?

  • Sandra

    This is very misleading. This article doesn’t show how many viewers ALL the networks had when the DNC was covered.

    FACT: The DNC had an estimated 25.1 million viewers. Football had an estimated 23.9 million viewers.


    DNC dominated. Sorry trolls.

  • Networkman

    @Jenny. I agree Oh Sit! should remain a Summer show. And it will do ok for the network. If the CW ever was tempted to try it during the regular season as a fill in, I would say put it on Friday Night @8pm. At least it would be great counterprogramming. And then eventually CW can try comedies on that night as well next season. That is just wishful thinking but I really do think CW should get back into the Comedy game.

  • Ruby


  • SSS

    Thank the lord these stupid political conventions are over with. Now we can look forward to the political commericals these idiods put out. I like the fact checkers who say they are all liers.

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