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.

  • joel

    Last Resort and Scandal got the same 2.2 rating. Since Scandal is already dead, ABC should switch their time slots. Then Last Resort would get 3.2 and Scandal 1.2.

  • omabin

    Grey’s Anatomy is still amazing. It’s incredible that after 9 freaking years it still has the ratings and the quality that it has. Last night’s episode was amazing and next week looks even better. The actors all brought it, just amazing, so glad the ratings show that.

    Elsewhere on the night… Big Bang very strong as expected, Last Resort premiered to the levels I expected it to premiere and Glee had the dip I expected it to have. Two and a Half Men did not do nearly as well as I expected it, making 2 Broke Girls and How I Met Your Mother numbers look much better than on Tuesday. Also, POI did below my expectations (I have yet to watch the episode), but Elementary did better than I thought it would, did not picture it growing out of Poi.

    I am a bit worried for Scandal I have to say. I love the show but it should have been higher with the sophmore bounce and the fact that it was behind the premiere of Grey’s and that it was itself a premiere. Let’s see how it goes.

    Finally, NBC’s numbers look crazily good (for an NBC Thursday) but I will wait for finals to comment on those.

  • Dan S

    While Last Resort fared as I expected in the demo it did get a nice sizeable audience. Yea yea I know audience total doesn’t matter. Hopefully it can build on WOM & more viewers catch the encore tonight who missed the pilot. 2.2 is not disastrous & hopefully ABC will give the show time since it was given a difficult timeslot for them. It probably would’ve done better on Tues or Wed at 10.

  • RJ

    Since people can’t read the red text….


  • FOXkid

    Grey’s killed POI! LOL! :D

  • Holly

    ABC is happy with Grey’s but it continues to be a tent pole without a tent. Neither Last Resort or Scandal benefited much from its numbers. Last Resort was always going to be a hard sell especially on ABC. It could have done worse, but I’d advise fans to enjoy it while they can. Scandal did as well as could be expected.

    X Factor is down a bit as expected with the full competition. Glee is no longer looking like a hit. With all the trouble FOX is having with their dramas, neither of these shows are concerns for them at all.

    CBS should be happy with the Elementary debut. Less so with the Men premiere. Moving the comedy hurt Mondays and failed to help Thursdays beyond that time slot. PoI’s numbers are meh…not bad, but not great either.

    Ignoring NBC until the finals.

  • rob60990

    I can’t believe all of NBC’s lineup rose! What happened?

  • Vance

    Is it likely that NBC’s numbers will drop by 0.3 and more when we get the final numbers?

  • rob60990

    And boooo Grey’s Anatomy! Worst show on TV!

  • Jd

    I’ve 2 for p&r is great. Disappointed with Last Resort numbers, but no lead-in and it’s great so of course it’s not going to do well.

  • peter

    If only ABC could find something that actually worked at 8 would help Greys a lot

  • Monster78

    I really liked Last Resort and had hope it sticks around, though with those numbers that’s probably not likely.

  • Minnie

    @steve…or most people sampled it online before the premiere. I honestly think the real test for Last Resort is in the coming weeks. Hopefully it will survive in this slot and be moved to a better slot next season. Hopefully then ABC can focus on putting a show with Grey’s that is more compatible. IF ABC is concerned about the show this season and wants better numbers then should switch it Tuesday at 10pm.

  • DKD

    Before someone makes a smartass comment, I hadn’t read the football info when I wrote it.

  • Jd

    Over 2 for p&r is great. Disappointed with Last Resort numbers, but no lead-in and it’s great so of course it’s not going to do well.

  • FOXkid

    I love the ABC (Grey’s & Scandal) & FOX (Glee & X Factor) Thursday. Also Parks and Recreation!

  • Ram510

    Since everything ABC puts on Thursdays @ 8 is old skewing, why don’t they put Last Man StNding and Malibu Country there

    Never would’ve thought Elementary would do better than POI

  • John_M

    If only ABC could find something that actually worked at 8 would help Greys a lot

    Hasn’t this theory been disproven repeatedly? I mean remote controls are pretty established as tools right?

  • Minnie

    @ Peter you mean like a medical procedural/drama like Body of Proof or Private Practice?

  • John_M

    most people sampled it online before the premiere.

    That sounds like a solid Bingo Excuse

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