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.

  • Nadine

    @Old Woman
    Look at the POI total no. of viewers. It skews so old!!

    Not sure what your point is. So what? It’s younger cohort is quite respectable.

  • KJ Styles

    @eridapo- I did see some promos for Last Resort on Sportscenter. Also on First Take, Around The Horn and Pardon The Interruption.

  • eridapo


    I don’t think so. Glee is a year away from syndication, and Fox would love to see those syndication dollars. If they move it to Monday, it will get kill and therefore hurt its future syndication deal.

    Bones too is an old show. If Fox does anything with that spot, it will be to place a brand new show.

    Fox needs new shows more than it needs to bolster aging shows like Bones. It is a sad fact, but it is what it is.

    For you, you should be happy with the results for Fox this year because it is now more likely that Bones will get another year.

    As a former fan of the show, I wish it luck. Yet I would much rather see the show fade into the sunset in glory than be push out like yesterday’s trash….

  • Ultima

    @KJ Styles
    I think Last Resort will be this season’s Body Of Proof

    Aren’t the “we didn’t cancel everything” renewals usually granted to midseason dramas? Both Body of Proof and V were midseason shows (V only had a four episode fall run).

  • Mill

    It’s great to see John Reese & Co back. POI rocks!!!

  • Anon

    While I would love to get into the debate on the details of SLBMs and MIRVs; that sort of thing is really beyond the scope of this web site.

    I will settle for speculating that a 1.2 or better tonight might convince ABC to move the show to a different slot (not necessarily Fridays).

  • Glen

    Does everyone understand that numbers will be low or high until Jan. There will be a game every Thursday night now till the end of the year. Numbers should rise or fall accordingly after that.

  • Debsafan

    I recorded Last Resort, and watched Big Bang and 2 1/2 men. I don’t care for 2 1/2 men any more. Last Resort is really good, but to much like real life in todays world. POI always good. Elementary was not all that good kinda dull. I’ll keep some shows and dump the rest.

  • eridapo

    @KJ Styles,

    Okay…So they do it with the afternoon shows .. I just haven’t seen them in Primetime nor on the Saturday games…

    I watch some of USA primetime shows, and I do see ads for NBC.

    Heck even Telemundo runs ads for the Voice… My Grandma watches Telemundo, and she is a fan of a “Al Rojo Vivo” which is like a mix of a news show/ entertainment show. I was surprised she knew about the Voice, but she told me she seen something about it on that show.
    I call that smart cross-promotion….

  • Tony JJ

    Last Resort debuted okay considering the competition. The WOM on this show is great, so in all honesty, this show could rise next week.

    Grey’s Anatomy. wow. The episode last night began and I’m thinking “God this show has gotten awful”, but man it just got better and better. Mark’s death was great and heartbreaking and the home videos of Mark were a great touch Shonda. and the shocking reveal of Arizona was intense. The whole episode I was thinking… Arizona? Where the hell is she? Was not expecting that reveal at the end of the episode. Great rating and it should hold up or increase next week as the preview looks amazing and it will answer the: “What the hell happened?”. Should be good and action packed!

    Scandal – a very underrated show. It is an intense show and would probably do much better on cable (as would Last Resort). but the rating is decent and I hope it doesn’t go down in the finals and will go up in coming weeks.

    CBS is not as big as everyone thought. TBBT should adjust up. Hopefully to a 5.0? TAAHM didn’t do as good as it should’ve. POI okay nothing great, but it should increase throughout the season. Elementary decent start, let’s see if it holds up.

  • Sarah


    I don’t think they will either. I was just throwing it out there.

    And yes, overall I am happy. I wasn’t when I saw the numbers for the premiere, but seeing as it only barely lost viewers this week against a full lineup made me really happy. Now, do I think it will keep holding up? Sadly no, but I can hope it will and be happy for the time being.

  • bigbrotherfan

    I actually think it is a smart move for CBS to move Two and a Half Men to Thursdays. I am sure this is what caused the downfall of NBC. They where always so fast to cancel anything after friends in the early 2000s and relied too much on premiring new shows after it and then cancelling them ASAP. They though WILL AND GRACE could stand on its own two feet but when FRIENDS ended WILL AND GREACES plummeted and thus, most of their Thursday night line up did too.

    I bet they are killing for the days of TITANS, THE WEBER SHOW, JESSE, ETC. All of those shows did good numbers for TODAYS standards. Yes,I actually remember they ratings of these shows and any network would renew them asap today. CBS is just trying not to make this Monday line-up so dependant on 2 and a HALF MEN. If anything, it shows them where their MONDAY NIGHT LINE UP stands without it. They are learning from NBC mistakes.

  • SJ

    Sluggish start for Last Resort, just like I guessed. Well, I better not get too attached to it.

    Wow, Grey’s Anatomy, a show in its 9th season, rates as high as the two shows surrounding it together! If the show goes off the air prematurely, ABC Thursdays are going to be in big, big trouble.

    I love that Scandal opened low. I hope it adjusts down in the finals. The sooner that show is off the air, the better. #gonebychristmas

    That’s lower than I expected for Person of Interest. Elementary opened high as I expected. Seems pretty low for Big Bang and Two and a Half Men. I think the latter show is on its way out.

    Glee back at series low. I wonder how many tenths the NBC comedies will adjust down. Five? Six?

  • Slam

    The landscape was different in the days of TITANS and WEBER. Nowhere near as much original programming on cable. They wouldn’t be renewed today because they were lousy shows that would get lousy numbers today.

    As for Glee in syndication, most shows sell during their second or third season (in anticipation of 4 or more). If it hasn’t taken off already, that ship has sailed. Serialized shows don’t do well in syndication esp annoying ones like Glee.

  • Vance

    SJ, you are usually on fire when predicting the extent of downward adjustments, so I will go with an average of five tenths or more.

  • Slam

    Last Resort could go up next week. Word of mouth, paired with a story that got more twisty could have endeared viewers already. The other shows could go down a bit since premieres usually do better than week 2 and most of these returning shows are so past their prime creatively.

  • Nick

    Grey’s had the big cliffhanger. The show is so bad though that it will slowly dwindle down to nothing by year’s end.

  • eridapo


    I was surprised Bones held up. I expected to dip to 1.9 like it did for the finale given the strength of the Voice. The show really did luck out though, and I think it was do to the following:

    1. the failure of Partners (a 2.4). The combination of HIMYM and 2BG last year made the competition fiercer. Those people who left CBS at 830 either went to the Voice or went to Bones.

    2. Though weak… Gossip Girl still pulls younger viewers away (even a .7 is something)

    3. The game started at 830PM… If you are watching an hour show, you wont leave it in the middle to watch the start of a game…. With each half hour the NFL game just started to pull in viewers and demo….

    I fully expect CBS to pull partner by the 6 episode and replaced with Rule of Engagement…. That show has the potential of doing a 3 with HiMYM and 2BG to act as a sandwich… If that happens, I do see hurting Bones at 830.

    The Biggest problem for Bones right now is escalating salaries. I’m sure DB and ED will demand more than what they are getting now in their upcoming negotiations, and last year they bump everyone else’s salary. With the ratings the show is getting now, could it afford those salaries…

  • Eddy

    Ravens and Brownies cleared 8 million viewers for the NFL Network.

    Thursdays are going to be too tough with football in the picture every fall.

  • rob60990

    “Does everyone understand that numbers will be low or high until Jan. There will be a game every Thursday night now till the end of the year. Numbers should rise or fall accordingly after that.”

    Ratings won’t rise when football ends. As the season goes on, shows decline. Football has barely any effect on broadcast ratings.

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