TV Ratings Thursday: 'Grey's Anatomy' & 'Scandal' Return Up, 'Big Bang Theory' Steady With Last Year + Premieres for 'Elementary' & 'Last Resort'

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September 28th, 2012


Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 3.4/10 2.9/8 2.8/8 1.7/5 1.4/4 0.3/1
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 2.0/7 2.4/8 2.5/8 1.5/5 1.2/4 0.3/1
Total Viewers (million) 13.800 9.210 7.558 4.655 3.588 0.727


 The Thursday Night NFL Network Cleveland/Baltimore game was simulcast on the NBC affiliates in both markets. As a result the numbers for NBC are probably inflated and subject to more than typical adjustments in the final numbers

CBS was the number one network among adults 18-49 and total viewers.

On FOX, The X Factor garnered a 3.2 adults 18-49 rating, down  from last week's 3.5. Glee earned a 2.5. also down from last week's 2.9 adults 18-49 rating.

On CBS,the season premiere of The Big Bang Theory earned a 4.8, down just a tick from last year's 4.9 premiere 18-49 rating. The season premiere of Two and a Half Men earned a 3.5, compared with last year's Ashton Kutcher-inflated 10.7 premiere rating. The season premiere of Person of Interest earned a 2.9, down only two tenths from last year's 3.1 premiere rating. The series premiere of Elementary earned a respectable 3.1 adults 18-49 rating.

On ABC, the series premiere of Last Resort earned a 2.2 adults 18-49 rating. Your predictions were too optimistic. The season premiere of Grey's Anatomy earned a 4.3, up two tenths from last year's 4.1 premiere rating. Scandal premiered its second season also up to a 2.2 18-49 rating from last year's 2.0 premiere rating.

NBC's Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update special earned a 1.7, up a tenth after last week's 1.6 18-49 rating. Up All Night earned a 1.8, up half a ratings point  from last week's 1.3 adults 18-49 rating. The Office earned a 2.4, up three tenths, after last week's 2.1 adults 18-49 rating. Parks and Recreation earned a 2.1 rating up from last week's 1.7 rating. Rock Center earned a 1.2, up a tenth from last week's 1.1 rating. Its worth mentioning again that all of these numbers are likely inflated due to Thursday Night Football coverage and will look very different in the finals this afternoon.

On the CW, The Next was even with last week's 0.3 among adults 18-49.

Late-night ratings are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Thursday, September 27, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
8:00PM CBS The Big Bang Theory 4.8 15 15.309
FOX The X Factor 3.2 10 9.192
ABC Last Resort -P 2.2 7 9.079
NBC Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update 1.7 6 5.433
CW The Vampire Diaries -R 0.3 1 0.771
8:30PM CBS Two and a Half Men 3.5 10 12.372
NBC Up All Night 1.8 5 4.455
9:00PM ABC Grey's Anatomy 4.3 12 11.546
CBS Person of Interest 2.9 8 14.271
FOX Glee 2.5 7 5.925
NBC The Office 2.4 7 5.23
CW The Next 0.3 1 0.683
9:30PM NBC Parks and Recreation 2.1 5 4.464
10:00 PM CBS Elementary -P 3.1 9 13.288
ABC Scandal 2.2 6 7.006
NBC Rock Center With Brian Williams 1.2 3 4.17


Late night ratings:

In Nielsen's 56 metered markets, household results were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 2.8/7; CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," 2.9/8; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 3.1/8; 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,” 1.1/5; "Late Show," 0.8/4; "Nightline," 1.0/4; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.6/3.

  • At 12:35 a.m., "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.5/5 in metered-market households) beat CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (1.4/5).  In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late Night" (0.6/4 in 18-49) topped "Late Late Show" (0.5/3).

  • At 1:35 a.m., "Last Call with Carson Daly" averaged a 0.9/4 in metered-market households and a 0.4/3 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters.

NOTE: All ratings are "live plus same day" from Nielsen Media Research unless otherwise indicated.



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.


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.

  • Trey

    Damn I was hoping Last Resort would net a higher rating. It was a great pilot. Looks to be the best new show of the season.

  • Psac

    Last Resort will plummet faster than a sinking submarine next week. Way too complex and overloaded opener. On top of that, anyone who could really appreciate the complexity would see through all the holes that Richard Steven Hack mentioned. Show is done.

  • Ultima

    Why did CBS move the Mentalist out of Thursday night???

    Because Thursday 10pm is a much better timeslot to put a new drama than Sunday 10pm.

  • Chuck Finley (AJ)

    I have a brand new fan excuse for the Bingo card. Last Resort premiered low because the pilot has been available online for several weeks. ;)

  • Nadine

    Great night for the Eye

  • Nick

    @Richard Steven Hack

    First of all, they’ve established no background whatever as to WHY the US would be targeting Pakistan.

    THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT OF THE SERIES!!!! To find out why. You obviously didn’t get it.

  • Nadine

    Glad you like Last Resort, but up against BBT AND X-Factor, well, it’s like starting out in life as a quadriplegic.

  • Chuck Finley (AJ)


    Agreed. He does have one point though. Sub commanders can’t manually set a target for their missiles. When they get a fire order they get a target package to put in the computer and they don’t get to do anything but turn the key to fire them, if they even still do that.

  • Nadine

    …it was very successful, yes.

  • Nadine

    Underwhelming results for CBS

    ….in what alternate universe is that the case??

  • Ultima

    @Chuck Finley
    Sub commanders can’t manually set a target for their missiles. When they get a fire order they get a target package to put in the computer and they don’t get to do anything but turn the key to fire them

    If they could, someone would snap and go all “wing attack plan R” on the world! ;)

  • eridapo

    I seen a couple of comments with regards to the lack of promotion by ABC for some shows. This complaint is not new, and I think has some legitimacy.

    CBS and NBC do take advantage of their corporate umbrella companies. You can see ads for programs for those networks on USA, Bravo, TVLand, and others. You never see the same thing with ABC.

    It just seems that each subdivision of the television branch of Disney acts threats the others as though they are entirely separate companies. There is no corporate synergy.

    Maybe it has to do with the branding concept being so ingrained within DisneyABC as a whole that no one even considers airing commercials for the primarily female skewing shows on ABC in ESPN or the kid friendly Disney Channel (and the like).

    Last Resort is a perfect example of a show that should have gotten a huge push on ESPN. It is the type of show that could attract the kind of audience found on ESPN.

    For ABC, this summer has been about promoting Revenge. I understand that you want people to know it’s moving to a new night, but it was already hitting 2.3 late into its run. Wasting money on a sophomore show at the expense of Rookies is not smart business.

    When you don’t promote your Rookies then don’t be surprise with their lack of success.

  • Mary

    great for Elementary!! I really like the show a lot!

  • Ultima

    CBS and NBC do take advantage of their corporate umbrella companies … You never see the same thing with ABC.

    Disney has been promoting ABC shows on ESPN for years (including leading up to this fall season).

    This complaint is not new, and I think has some legitimacy.

    You’re right about the first part, very wrong about the second part.

  • KJ Styles

    I think Last Resort will be this season’s Body Of Proof (show with sub-par ratings that gets renewed).

  • Mary

    Really happy for the rating of POI, truly one of the best shows on TV.

  • Sarah


    I’m curious whether Fox might consider moving Bones back to Thursdays @ 9 after the playoff break if Glee keeps falling since it did pretty well against Grey’s and POI.

  • Kyle7


    1st: Isn’t that half the premise? The order seemed suspicious because there hadn’t been a declaration of war or anything like it against Pakistan, hence why the captain wanted clear and indisputable authorization.

    2nd: This could very well be addressed in the upcoming episodes. The pilot ended not very long after the bluff against D.C., with little time for any other nation to send out attack subs. I could have sworn I read in interviews with the producers that they will not be tangling with just the US later on.

    3rd: You got me there. I’m going to chalk this one up under the heading of “if it were exactly like real life, the show couldn’t happen.” I don’t particularly mind, but if you’re extremely bothered by it so be it.

    4th: Nuking the sub is a lot harder to cover up or hide than using a conventional missle. It certainly seems like whoever is behind the orders to nuke Pakistan didn’t want to draw a whole lot of attention to who was doing it, and it didn’t appear to be the whole Navy trying to sink them at first, just the Illinois, who I’m guessing were under the bad guys’ control.

    Regarding the stealth bombers, the point of the bluff was to be a warning shot, with the clear message “if anyone tries that again, we won’t miss the second time.” As the captain said, he’s got 17 more nukes in reserve. That’s a ton of people killed if you try to force the issue. There are plenty of current world powers that other powers would like to eliminate, but the damage they’d suffer if they just flat-out invaded or nuked their enemies is what keeps things at a standstill.

    Regarding mutiny, I know I read that upcoming episodes will deal with the crew’s divided loyalties. And I wouldn’t discount the effect of a well-liked captain with a very commanding authority (though this may be fiction overrepresenting such a thing).

  • mike

    not too thrilled with elementary. there are too many similar shows on tv nowadays.

  • eridapo


    Which shows?

    As a regular viewer of SportCenter, College Football, and other ESPN Sporting events I’ve hardly ever see a single ABC show promoted on the Channel…. Beer Commercials? Yes. Cars? Yes. ABC Shows? Nada…… The only time I do see some cross promotion is to advertise Saturday College Football on ABC. Other than that, I haven’t seen that many….

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