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.

  • Mark Wilkins

    CBS still won the night overall, but I’m disappointed in Person of Interest’s numbers. Good for TBBT, but I expected higher numbers.

  • steve

    Was expecting more from POI but then again was also expecting more from two and a half men.

  • Petar Ivanov

    Where is eridapo with the halfs.

  • s0303

    thought big bang theory would be closer (or top) modern family…really good for elementary beating poi at 10pm…

    nbc is going to be adjusted down for football…those numbers do look too high.

    last resort was really good last night…too bad it wasn’t better rated…abc really hurt it by putting a new show in that time slot :(

  • TimsDale4ever

    I hear ya Gerry — Grey’s lifespan is amazing.

  • RJ

    Elementary says a 3.3 in the analysis, and a 3.1 in the table…which is it?

  • Tim

    I remember cbs saying that if a show in a new spot was able to improve the numbers than the show it replaced, then that was a sucess for them. So according to that Elementary is a sucess for them because it improved the numbers of The Mentalist.;) But still, I think CBS should start worrying for their dramas. I don’t see great numbers.
    2BG is stronger than THM.
    Modern Family did better than TBBT.

  • MattM

    Good numbers for The Office and Parks and Rec, even if they’re adjusted down a bit.

    Last Resort was ok but it will get buried in that timeslot just like my beloved Missing.

  • FOXkid

    I AM SO GLAD THAT “PARKS AND RECREATION” WAS UP! I really think that P&R is NOW way better than TBBT!

  • Vance

    @RJ, the table has the correct figure 99% of the time.

  • Terry


    You have Elementary at 3.3 in the CBS summary and 3.1 in the chart. Which is correct?

  • darius

    Cbs should ve brought Ncis to thursday at 9 pm many years ago whet it became their number one show!Or at least bring Criminal Minds from Wednesday!They need a different type of show to hold on the comedies demo!

  • iMember

    If ABC’s 8 o’clock time slot is so bad, why don’t they just move Grey’s Anatomy there? It has a large and very solid fanbase that I’m sure would follow the show anywhere. I mean it has been on air for 9 seasons now. It would be fine.

  • KarenM

    I’m a little disappointed in the 18-49 for PoI but I knew it’s been skewing older. :(

  • Petar Ivanov

    @steve who said:
    Was expecting more from POI but then again was also expecting more from two and a half men.

    I agree. But still PoI is 0.4 UP from its finale. If the uptrend continue in next 2 months will be awesome.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @RJ, it’s the 3.1

  • John_M

    Cbs should ve brought Ncis to thursday at 9 pm many years ago whet it became their number one show!Or at least bring Criminal Minds from Wednesday!They need a different type of show to hold on the comedies demo!

    You mean they should have brought a different procedural to replace other procedurals – one could argue they never should have moved the original CSI for the same reasons.

    Aside from the fact that the actual facts disprove your please

  • MattM

    Grey’s Anatomy is living proof that if you get a large female audience to love your show they’ll be loyal to it to the very end.

  • Minnie

    @ John_M I do not play Bingo Excuse so I have no idea what you are talking about.

  • MoHasanie

    Wow its awful that Scandal had only a 51% retention from Grey’s. It will probably even become worse when the finals come out. What a waste of a lead in, and all those promo’s for it. ABC could have put a new show actually deserving of that lead in, and not a show that will eventually get cancelled.
    Where’s that annoying person from last year, who always said that Scandal is stronger than Revenge?!?

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