TV Ratings Wednesday: 'Supernatural' Premiere Steady, 'The X Factor' Flat, 'Animal Practice' & 'Guys With Kids' Up, 'The Middle' & 'The Neighbors' Down Plus Presidential Debate Coverage

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October 4th, 2012


Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 2.8/7 2.8/7 2.7/7 2.6/7 1.3/3 0.6/2
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 2.9/9 1.8/5 2.3/7 2.0/6 1.2/3 0.6/2
Total Viewers (million) 7.388  9.742 8.002 8.765 2.994 1.357


Note: Due to live coverage of the first Presidential Debate on ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX, the entire primetime line-up is subject to more than the usual adjustments in the nationals.

FOX and CBS  tied for number 1 network with adults 18-49, but CBS won with total viewers.

On FOX, a one hour edition of The X Factor garnered a 3.4 adults 18-49 rating,  matching last week's performance

On CBS, Survivor: Philippines earned a 2.9 down 6%  from last week's 3.1 adults 18-49 rating.

On ABC, The Middle scored a 2.2 down 24% from last week's 2.9. The second episode of The Neighbors earned a 2.0 down 38% from a 3.2 last week, when it premiered in the cushy post Modern Family timeslot.

On NBC Animal Practice garnered a 1.5 among adults 18-49,up 7% from last week's 1.4. Guys With Kids earned a 1.8, adults 18-49 rating, up 13%  from last week's 1.6.

On the CW, Oh Sit! scored a  0.3, down 25%  from last week's 0.4  among adults 18-49. The season premiere of Supernatural earned a 0.8 adults 18-49 rating, even with last season's premiere on September 23,2011 and  up 14% from a 0.7 for the season 7 finale on May 19 , 2012. Most of your predictions were about right.

The Big four network aired Presidential Debate Coverage from 9-10:33PM, followed by analysis. The commercial free ratings for the debate itself will be sustained (in other words not counted) in the final national ratings. NBC earned a 3.2 CBS  and ABC a 3.0 and FOX? a 2.8 among adults 18-49. We'll have a better idea of precisely how many people watched the debates when the cable ratings and nationals are released this afternoon.



Late-night results are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Wednesday, October 3, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (millions)
8:00 FOX The X Factor 3.4/10 9.26
CBS Survivor: Philippines 2.9/9 10.49
ABC The Middle 2.2/7 7.93
NBC Animal Practice 1.5/5 5.22
CW Oh Sit! 0.3/1 0.92
8:30 ABC The Neighbors 2.0/6 6.61
NBC Guys With Kids 1.8/5 5.50
9:00 NBC Presidential Debate (9-11PM) Live 3.4/8 9.91
CBS Presidential Debate (9-11PM) Live 3.0/7 10.18
ABC Presidential Debate (9-11PM) Live 3.0/7 10.12
FOX Presidential Debate (9-11PM) Live 2.8/7 6.98
CW Supernatural (Season Premiere) 0.8/2 1.80
10:30 NBC Post-Debate Coverage - Live 2.5/7 7.55
ABC Post-Debate Coverage - Live 2.2/6 7.70
CBS Post-Debate Coverage - Live 2.0/5 6.95
FOX Post-Debate Coverage - Live 1.8/5 4.88


In Late-Night Metered Markets Wednesday night:
> * 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," 2.2/6; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 3.0/7; and "Jimmy
> Kimmel Live," 1.5/5.
> * In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results
> were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 0.9/4; "Late Show," 0.7/3;
> "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" (1.2/4). In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late
> Night" (0.6/3 in 18-49) topped "Late Late Show" (0.4/3).
> * 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.
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.

  • Silvio

    Did you read it until end? If yes, why quoting only part of it? Not understanding rest?

    Let’s try again for you: People watching debates are not same those people that usually watch broadcast (save for CBS audience maybe), they kind of came out of thin air, like they come for all big events, as Super Bowl or whatever.
    Supernatural (or CW if you like) failure yesterday was: they wasn’t able to snatch young audience of not airing Wednesday scripted shows and X-Factor.

  • The End

    I’m quite happy to accept that Nielsen families watched the debate because there was nothing else on to watch on TV. The reported numbers back this statement up.

    People love watching TV and will happily watch the best program(To them) on the air at that moment, and this to people was that program.

    There is no plausable explaination to explain these numbers beyond that. Had only one network covered the debate and others airing programs as normal perhaps this point would be different.

    These viewers are just regular Nielsen viewers who love watching TV and nothing more.

  • BobbyDazzler9876


    Supernatural was never going to pick up new viewers in it’s eighth season. That’s the sorta thing that happens during second and third seasons. Debates or no debates, SPN has it audience and that was all it would ever attract. The fact that it managed to hold on to it is a success. Not a failure.

  • Derrick

    someone asked why NBC always wins in political coverage, the best answer look at the camera.

    NBC just looks better to the eyes.

  • Tessa

    “People watching debates are not same those people that usually watch broadcast (save for CBS audience maybe), they kind of came out of thin air, like they come for all big events, as Super Bowl or whatever.”

    Your proof of this being what?

    “Supernatural (or CW if you like) failure yesterday was: they wasn’t able to snatch young audience of not airing Wednesday scripted shows and X-Factor.”

    Those people don’t watch the debates because they don’t vote? They watched the Golf Channel instead?

    I’m not sure I understand what you’re getting at. I’m not sure you yourself do either.

  • simonal

    Silvio, you need to speak more slowly for her.

    He is saying that the younger audience did not stick around after the 8pm shows to turn over to the CW.

    Likewise, he is saying that debate viewers are not typical television viewers, more specifically broadcast viewers.

    Does CW stand for Crazy Women?

  • simonal


    What networks were you following in the 80s and 90s when the Nielsens were whole numbers?

    It is not only an honest assessment, but an empirical one. Supernatural has coasted along with its niche audience, even surviving being dumped on Fridays, for its entire existence. Its numbers and fans don’t really matter. Those poor actors have been stuck in this limbo for eight years having had any chances of their careers expanding pass them by. The network moved it to Wednesday to pair with Arrow which would have a better chance on a weeknight other than the crumbling Friday landscape. If it had any worth as a show, Supernatural would have been the 8pm lead-in for a new show (Arrow).

    Seriously, Tessy, if you don’t understand when people tell you things, that doesn’t mean the teachers are explaining things incorrectly. It just means the student has a learning disability.

  • simonal

    You didn’t even get Bill’s joke. CBS ISN’T missing Gunsmoke’s audience. He was being ironic. And most of those folks are dead. Try and keep up during study hall.

  • The End


    How hard is it to accept that perhaps people watched the debates because, er there was nothing else to watch?

    Honestly, it quite frankly amazes me that some people are unable to accept this, it is a very plausable explanation as to why the ratings are so good, because as said. THERE WAS NOTHING ELSE ON TO WATCH!.

    Christ. I don’t know how I can break this down to make it understandable to some people, short of using spaces inbetween sentences, and capslock for keywords I just don’t know.

  • SarahK123

    Wanted the Middle to go up!

  • Ale

    The Gunsmoke crap well I bet CBS doesn’t missed But the CW publicly admitted that they indeed missed the Smallville’s numbers, why do you think Arrow was created for?

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