TV Ratings Thursday: 'Big Bang Theory' Wins Night, 'Person of Interest', 'Glee', 'Parks and Recreation' & 'Two and a Half Men' Up, 'Grey's Anatomy', 'Elementary' & 'Last Resort' Down,'30 Rock' Premieres Low

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October 5th, 2012


Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 3.3/10 2.9/8 2.5/7 1.5/4 1.5/4 0.3/1
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 2.0/7 2.6/9 2.0/7 1.4/5 1.3/4 0.2/1
Total Viewers (million) 13.289 7.674 8.416 3.482 3.575 0.902


 The Thursday Night NFL Network Arizona/St. Louis game was simulcast on the CBS affiliate in Phoenix and the CW affiliate in St. Louis. As a result the numbers for CBS and the CW 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 in total viewers.

On CBS, The Big Bang Theory earned a 4.9 adults 18-49 rating, down 2% from a 5.0 for last week's premiere. Two and a Half Men scored a 3.7 among adults 18-49, up 6% from last week's 3.5. Person of Interest garnered a 3.1 in adults 18-49, up 7% from last week's 2.9. The second episode of Elementary earned a 2.6 adults 18-49 rating down 16% from last week's 3.1. Note that these numbers may be inflated due to football pre-emptions in Phoenix.

On ABC, Last Resort earned a 1.8 adults 18-49 rating down 18% from a 2.2 for last week's premiere. Grey's Anatomy scored a 3.7, down 16% from the premiere's huge 4.4 adults 18-49 rating last week. Scandal garnered a 2.1 adults 18-49 rating, even with last week.

On FOX, The X Factor scored a 3.1 adults 18-49 rating, down 3% from last week's 3.2. Glee earned a 2.6 up 8% from last week's 2.4 adults 18-49 rating.

On NBC, the season premiere of Thirty Rock notched a 1.3 in adults 18-49, down 28% from a 1.8 for last season's premiere on January 12, 2012 and down 7% from a 1.4 for last season's finale on May 17, 2012 . Last year, the season premiere of Community garnered a 1.7n in the time period. Up All Night earned a 1.4, even with last week's adults 18-49 rating. The Office garnered a 2.1 adults 18-49 rating matching last week’s performance. Parks and Recreation scored a 1.9 among adults 18-49, up 19% from last week's 1.6. Rock Center earned a 1.1 adults 18-49 rating, up 38% from last week's 0.8.

On the CW, the two hour finale of The Next garnered a 0.3 adults 18-49 rating, even with last week.

Late-night ratings are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Thursday, October 4, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 CBS The Big Bang Theory 4.9/16 15.38
FOX The X Factor 3.1/10 9.14
ABC Last Resort 1.8/6 7.87
NBC 30 Rock (Season Premiere) 1.3/4 3.40
CW The Next (8-10PM) (Finale) 0.3/1 0.90
8:30 CBS Two and a Half Men 3.7/11 12.67
NBC Up All Night 1.4/4 3.09
9:00 ABC Grey's Anatomy 3.7/10 10.56
CBS Person of Interest 3.1/8 14.62
FOX Glee 2.6/7 6.21
NBC The Office 2.1/6 4.11
9:30 NBC Parks and Recreation 1.9/5 3.53
10:00 CBS Elementary 2.6/7 11.22
ABC Scandal 2.1/6 6.82
NBC Rock Center  With Brian Williams 1.1/3 3.39


Late night ratings:


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.

  • sarah nz

    @ John_M on page 10

    “I’m also curious as to why anyone would think Caviziel would deserve an emmy playing a guy with little to no emotion isn’t exactly challenging”

    His character is very subtle in how he convey’s emotions… that was part of his job (progressed from the army to special ops to the cia black ops) if people can read you then they can play you or deflect/defeat the mission objectives, etc.

    Add in the things we learn in the last 4 episodes of the 1st season and how we see his chracter starting to slightly unravel in the first 2 episodes of this season. His character has changed over the course of the show from the pilot to Bad Code in my opinion.

    That may just be the fan in me and at least he isn’t doing a Horatio Caine and sunglasses montage… wonder if they will actually do a spoof of that in one of the episodes ?

  • Anon

    @ eridapo

    All the more puzzling, because the ABC affiliate in Nashville carries the Titans pre-season games. The FOX affiliate in Huntsville AL carries those preseason games, but will not get the Steelers-Titans regular season game OTA.

  • Allen

    LOL 30 Rock

    Yay Parks and Rec!

  • Jj

    It’s interesting when on that rare occasion CBS rates low and fans blame it on sporting events, those that hate CBS jump all over them and insist that the sports ratings are not the reason. However, when CBS blows out the competition, well then it’s a different story. Then sports ratings DO matter. Don’t get hung upon those numbers folks because they are inflated.
    Good grief.

  • Mike

    If last resort strays at a 1.8 could it get renewed

  • sarah nz

    Great that PoI got a 3.1 and also seems that the total viewers increased slightly (yes I know the viewers don’t matter) from last week’s The Contingency.

    Hopefully it won’t get adjusted down too hard in the finals.. if it only goes down 0.2 to 2.9 I will be happy as it match’s last weeks rating of 2.9

    Still enjoyed Last Resort, but the ratings don’t look good – will enjoy it while it lasts and have a little hope that it doesn’t get yanked early.

    Not really sure about 2.5 Men being on Thursday’s – in my opinion CBS was extending the life of the show moving it from Monday’s but not sure if it was supposed to bring more ratings to PoI (can’t really see any super improvement in PoI attributable to 2.5) or just keep Thursday CBS night as a whole up.

    * Seen 1 episode at least each of 2.5 Men and 2BG, not my kind of humor and last American comedy I watched was The Office year before last… and nothing this season even tempts me to give them a try.

  • sarah nz

    whoops I do watch TBBT and Modern Family but it’s not appointment viewing and will wait till they show the new season here and if the TV is on..

  • Jj

    Total viewers do matter, why else would they keep track of it.

  • Temis

    Crazy fans arent the only ones carping about LR’s timeslot. I’ve been seeing analyses on various entetainment sites over the summer that have pointed to the competition in that timeslot as worrysome, long before the show debuted. Last May, when ABC picked it up, I was struck by the risk they were taking, not just with the timeslot, but with the military character of the show, which is out of step with their mainly female-appealing shows. I didn’t think that was “bad,” I just wondered if it would work, and now we have the answer and yet more of a reason for broadcast not to take risks.

    LR’s failure is no surprise. 666 Park Ave is the one that I find more surprising. It had good lead-in and subject matter that should interest ABC’s audience.

    PS, i’m not a fan, I havent even watched LR or 666 either and I don’t care if they live or die. I just find it interesting to try to figure out which shows will survive and why. I’ve found that actually watching the shows doesn’t increase my accuracy ha ha. Whatever factors that are driving this, the actual show quality isnt that important. What the marketing depts put in the previews, and who sees the previews, is much more crucial. For the most part, ABC ads are viewed by ABC viewers, so any new ABC show has got to appeal to them first.

  • Brian J

    @sarah nz:

    It was both a move to support its Thursday schedule and to see how Mondays would do without its anchor. Better to see how things shake out now when, if they don’t go well for CBS, it can move the show back to the night.

    Plus, as I’ve been saying, as others have been saying, CBS seems to do want to go with four comedies on Thursdays. If “Men” is renewed for another season, don’t be surprised to see it move up to 9:00 so that CBS can spread its wealth.

  • Temis


    “Perhaps if ABC promoted Last Resort differently it would help. Last night the promos consisted of “Four words! Scott Speedman in Uniform!”.”

    Or, ABC shouldnt pick up shows if it needs to lie to its viewers to get them to watch. LR is not a sexy romp in the tropics, it’s a military conspiracy show and it needs a good sized male audience to survive, which ABC just can’t deliver. It’s like McDonald’s sellng sushi. Nothing wrong with McDonald’s and nothig wrong with sushi, but people don’t go to McD’s when they want sushi.

  • Holly


    Perhaps if ABC promoted Last Resort differently it would help. Last night the promos consisted of “Four words! Scott Speedman in Uniform!”

    And the problem is…..? ;)

    Kidding, kind of. Part of ABC’s difficulty is that their primary viewing base is women. They have spent the last decade or so being the broadcast version Lifetime. It’s hard to market a more male-oriented show to that audience.

  • eridapo

    @ Anon

    Found this for you:

    Prime-Time Broadcasts

    All prime-time games, including those on Thursday, Sunday and Monday, are broadcast coast-to-coast by national networks. The networks that broadcast prime-time games hold exclusive rights to them. However, there is an exception in the NFL broadcasting rules for night games broadcast on cable stations, most notably ESPN and NFL Network. Those games can be broadcast on an over-the-air station within the designated television markets of the two teams playing. The over-the-air station receives the broadcast feed from the cable network and simulcasts it. This rule is in place to allow non-cable subscribers within a team’s television market to watch the game.

    The rule allowing over-the-air broadcast does not extend beyond the set boundaries of a team’s television market. For example, with the New England Patriots, the over-the-air broadcast rights extend only to the Boston market and no where else within the region.

  • hardline_pro


  • ShawnM


    I’m aware of two shows that were somewhat recently put on different nights for tryout reasons. In early 2011, CBS tried Blue Bloods on Wednesdays at 10 out of Criminal Minds. The numbers looked like this (A18-49 rating first, then total viewers):

    1.7 / 11.32 (12/03/10, Friday)
    2.0 / 12.30 (01/19/11, Wednesday)
    2.1 / 12.10 (01/26/11, Wednesday)
    2.1 / 11.80 (02/09/11, Wednesday)
    1.5 / 11.16 (02/18/11, Friday)

    Last season, CBS aired an episode of The Mentalist on a Friday. The results:

    2.8 / 13.84 (03/01/12, Thursday)
    1.8 / 11.34 (03/02/12, Friday)
    2.7 / 13.62 (03/29/12, Thursday)

    Fridays don’t really count, yet it is in fact quite obvious that almost any Friday show would do better in any Sunday-Thursday timeslot. TM is actually a good example just how much of a difference the lead-in and the day of the week can make. Not just based on the example above, but based on the (few) numbers we have from this season. The first Sunday episode a few days ago was two million viewers below last season’s average and the show will probably lose 25% of its viewers among adults 18-49. TM might have lost a few viewers anyway, just like almost any CBS show. However, the extent of deterioration is due to Sundays and due to The Good Wife’s pathetic numbers.

  • eridapo

    @ Holly

    I agree with your assessment of ABC, Lifetime light.

    I think they need to give LR a shot, and if possible develop a male oriented night soon… Otherwise they will be unable to raise their ratings beyond their establish niche of 30+ to 50+ women, and forever be in third or fourth place.

    NBC, FOX, and CBS all have pro-Football or Baseball, so they are able to advertise all their shows to a much wider demo than normal (males and young viewers). Add AI, XF, or The Voice and both FOX and NBC can reach the 18-34 demo.

    If you can’t get guys to tune it, you are ceding half the audience to the competition.

  • Anita

    @Holly I get that ABC’s main audience is female. Scott Speedman does look great in a uniform so no problem with that but there’s so much more they could be using to promote the show to females (which I gather the uniform promo is directed to). There’s a female officer dealing with being the female in a male dominated environment, a man with a wife being lied to at home, a father trying to captain the group after just having lost a son, his fatherly/friend relationship with the second in command and so on. I’m female and after 2 episodes the relationships are what I find more interesting than the conspiracy theory aspect. My husband loves the military/conspiracy aspect. Its a show that we both enjoy.

  • Anita

    Oppps hit submit too soon –

    If ABC could find a way to market its male friendly shows as “couple” shows it may be a way to gain some males. I know its not representative of all but my husband runs screaming (well not really) to the other TV when Grey’s is about to start. I think he’d even paint the house before watching Grey’s.

  • Ultima

    @Brian J
    Plus, as I’ve been saying, as others have been saying, CBS seems to do want to go with four comedies on Thursdays

    I saw a lot of people saying that last season (myself included), but very few suggesting it now.

    This year was probably the optimal year to expand, but they couldn’t do to a terrible development season and that further lowers an expansion next season.

    With the end imminent for How I Met Your Mother (one more season, at most) and Two and a Half Men (likely no more than one more season), I don’t expect CBS to expand their comedy hours.

    At this point, there’s a chance that Men and/or HIMYM will end this season, in which case (assuming Friend Me also flops) I wouldn’t be shocked if CBS reverts back to only its two-hour Monday comedy block again.

    That said, I think the most likely scenario is that at least one of the two shows is renewed and CBS’ comedy lineup looks basically the same next year, with new shows filling in the holes.

  • Ultima

    This year was probably the optimal year to expand, but they couldn’t do to a terrible development season and that further lowers an expansion next season.

    This year was the optimal year to expand, but CBS couldn’t due to a terrible development season, which has also significantly lowered the chance of an expansion next season.

    Fixed it for me. :|

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