TV Ratings Thursday: 'The Big Bang Theory' Falls, 'The Vampire Diaries' Returns Up, 'Beauty & The Beast' Debuts Well for The CW + Vice Presidential Debate

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October 12th, 2012


Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 2.7/7 2.4/6 1.9/5 1.7/4 1.4/4 1.4/4
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 2.0/6 1.9/6 1.5/4 1.2/4 1.4/4 1.4/4
Total Viewers (million) 9.353 6.798 5.728 6.911 3.320 3.466


 The Thursday Night NFL Network Steelers/Titans game was simulcast on the CW affiliate in Pittsburgh and the FOX affiliate in Nashville. As a result the numbers for FOX and the CW are probably inflated and subject to more than typical adjustments in the final numbers

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.

CBS was the number one network among adults 18-49 and in total viewers.

On CBS, The Big Bang Theory earned a 4.2, down seven tenths from last week's 4.9 adults 18-49 rating. Two and a Half Men scored a 3.4, down two tenths from last week's 3.6 adults 18-49 rating.

On ABC, Last Resort earned a 1.6 adults 18-49 rating down from last week's 1.9  adults 18-49 rating.

On FOX, The X Factor scored a 2.9,  adults 18-49 rating down from last week's 3.2.

On NBC  30 Rock was even with last week's 1.4 adults 18-49 rating. Up All Night earned a 1.2, down two tenths from last week's1.4

On the CW, the season premiere of The Vampire Diaries earned a 1.6, up from last year's 1.5 premiere rating. Beauty and the Beast debuted to a 1.3. For once, your votes were too pessimistic!

Coverage of the Vice Presidential debate earned a 2.1 on CBS, a 2.1 on NBC, a 2.0 on FOX, and a 1.8 on ABC. However these are live numbers and likely for more adjustment in the finals. 

Note: Since the debate is commercial-free, ratings will be not be counted in the final national ratings.

Late-night ratings are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Thursday, October 11, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
8:00PM CBS The Big Bang Theory 4.2 13 13.767
FOX The X Factor 2.9 8 8.25
ABC Last Resort 1.6 4 6.93
CW The Vampire Diaries 1.6 5 3.483
NBC 30 Rock 1.4 4 3.824
8:30PM CBS Two and a Half Men 3.4 9 11.74
NBC Up All Night 1.2 3 3.462
9:00PM CBS Vice Presidential Debate 2.1 5 10.397
NBC Vice Presidential Debate 2.1 5 6.771
FOX Vice Presidential Debate 2.0 5 5.345
ABC Vice Presidential Debate 1.8 4 6.902
CW Beauty and the Beast -P 1.3 3 3.158


Late night ratings:

* In Nielsen's 56 metered markets, household results were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 2.5/6; CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," 2.1/5; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 2.6/6; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 1.3/4. * In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 0.7/3; "Late Show," 0.5/2; "Nightline," 0.8/3; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.5/3. * At 12:35 a.m., "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.3/4 in metered-market households) beat CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (1.1/4). In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late Night" (0.5/3 in 18-49) topped "Late Late Show" (0.4/3). * At 1:35 a.m., "Last Call with Carson Daly" averaged a 0.8/3 in metered-market households and a 0.3/3 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.


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.

  • John_M

    Am I the only one here who considers a 1.3 for a premiere show a little bit not so “good”?

    It’s relative to the rest of the CW’s ratings I guess, a 1.3 is good for the CW a disaster for most other networks.

    Then again, it’s also an elevated number.

  • John_M

    the Nets will not wait to cancel their lowest performing show (Made in Jersey), but they would for those somewhere in the middle.

    Again, I’m going to use the lone star mob doctor question.

  • Dan

    @Bill I think that Nikita will stay in the friday 9pm slot through this season as well next season. Since the show will fulfill syndication CW has no reason to pull it from that slot no matter how low ratings go.

    My guess for CW shows

    Arrow & Beauty and The Beast will get full seasons
    Emily Owens may be cancelled after a few eps (A lot of competition) or may get additional episodes

    My guess for ABC shows
    Nashville will get a full season (even if it goes down each week to save face)
    666 Park Avenue will get additional episodes as a bridge until midseason (A Gifted Man, The Forgotten, Detroit 187, Pan Am)
    Last Resort will last 13 episodes until December (like Eastwick, Charlie’s Angels) and will be burned through.

  • Lane

    Arrow still ahead in viewers I know they don’t count for renewal but its nice too see. Also the vampire diaries will go on for 7 seasons. They’re in the fourth and I wonder where their syndication could go?

  • thesnowleopard

    @Jiji Moran

    Considering this is the CW, yes, you are.

    There is no set number for “good” or “bad” between networks. It’s all relative within the network itself.

  • gabriel borges

    wow for CW

  • thesnowleopard

    More likely six, due to increased production costs each year and cast contracts. I doubt it will be cancelled any earlier, though, unless it really drops.

  • Dan

    1.3 would be crap for any other network but for The CW its a hit.

  • Tessa

    So happy for the CW. Looks like our worries for the network were unfounded. They just need to fix their Mon-Tue lineup.

    Lets see how these numbers hold. Hopefully there’s not too much inflation.

  • Eridapo

    @ John_M

    Here is what Maskedscheduler had to say about Lonestar. I believe the logic is applicable to other shows on other nets as well that face cancelation.


  • tjw


    “How many episodes did Lone Star air before it was canceled? How many episodes has the Mob Doctor aired?”

    Lone Star premiered to the same ratings as Mob Doctor in a world of significantly higher ratings. The average show when Lone Star aired drew a 3.3/8 rating compared to last Monday’s 2.65. So a 1.3 then was significantly worse than a 1.3 now.

    I also think you’re overestimating the number of shows that get pulled immediately. Looking back at last year, The Playboy Club was the only show to air fewer than 4 episodes and we’re only on week three right now. Even some of the early dead shows walking from last year (Charlie’s Angels, Free Agents) got 7 or 8 episodes before being canceled.

    Going back to 2010, Lone Star and My Generation got pulled after two episodes, but every other new fall show got at least 8 episodes. I think Fox’s treatment of The Mob Doctor is a little odd, but I don’t think there’s any kind of “trend” of waiting longer to cancel shows.

  • tahina

    Beauty and..numbers are pretty good, but it was because of viewers choice, over the VP debate? MEA CULPA>.

  • ann

    The Secret Circle premiered well last year too and we all know how that ended.

  • Dan

    @Tessa – CW does have problems but two shows in one week having good premieres may be good news even if their numbers go down, they still wont be as bad as last seasons series in terms of going up and down. 3 million viewers and a 1.3 is impressive for CW considering their track record with recent shows.

  • psychic

    A 4.2 still isn’t anything to turn your nose up at.

  • Andy

    90210 0.4/1 (0.94 viewers)
    GG 04./1 (0.78 viewers)
    Dixie 0.5 (1.19 viewers)
    Arrow 1.3 (4.14 viewers)
    SPN 1.0 (2.51 viewers)
    TVD 1.6 (3.48 viewers)Prelims.
    B&tB 1.3 (3.15 viewers) Prelims.

    I should note, once last year, the CW was preempted and TVD was actually adjusted up. Also, Arrow skews really old. :P


    Also people slammed the CW for cancelling the Ringer. Everyone knew that was a very expensive show that didn’t deliver nor did it work in the end. Even SMG said ultimiately the show didn’t work too confusing for viewers. I would love to see Sarah back in a better project. CW was wrong network for the Ringer, it was more ABC kind of show. CW can look to what shows sell for them its Vampire, Supernatural, Smallville, Arrow and now Beauty and the Beast. They need to brand this network with these kinds of shows. Hoenstly Hart of Dixie was picked up for season 2 cause its a very inexpensive show for CW.

  • John_M

    I also think you’re overestimating the number of shows that get pulled immediately.

    Well – I didn’t really ‘estimate’ anything – I said nothing about numbers (though one show being cancelled so far does seem low) – I asked a question about Lone Star vs Mob Doctor

  • John_M

    Even SMG said ultimiately the show didn’t work too confusing for viewers.

    There’s no way ringer was more confusing than Lost

  • Oliver

    How To Be A Gentlemen was pulled after two weeks.

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