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.

  • Mary

    I really missed POI last night :(

  • Joe Smith

    i don’t understand how Batb makes it to air

    doesn’t someone watch these things first?

  • Leoben Conoy

    *sob* Last Resort

    There is no fairness in the world.

  • Vance

    I wouldn’t suggest that B&TB is in good shape yet. It is almost certainly going to be adjusted down and when Grey’s Anatomy returns, the show will probably take a hit.

  • Brandy

    Good for VD!good episode last night.Beauty was ok.Im dissaponed by the quality of pilots this season-beauty was ok,Made in Jersey was bad,Nashville was ok though with its critical praise I expected better.Have yet to see Emily Owens-I know it’s online but I’ll wait til Tues.Even if VD is adjusted down, at least the glue keeping CW together will still have good ratings.I’ll stick with Beauty a couple more episodes at least.

  • KS

    Nielsen is not only inaccurate but also dead slow. Why on earth it takes 6 – 7 hours to give the final ratings?

    Are they even using computers or they checking the diaries of the TV viewers to give the final numbers!

  • Dan

    Every year there will be at least 1 show pulled after 2 eps. Made in Jersey is this year’s contender hwoever I think that may be it (Unless Emily Owens tanks) ABC will likely let all of its current freshman series air most of their episodes, FOX already let the Mob Doctor air 4, CBS pulled Made in Jersey but the rest will make it through Noevember, and NBC is likely to only pull Animal Practice but after next weeks episode (5 eps)

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “@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.”

    That, or 8pm Friday, are the only likely in season options.


    Also I am really sick of the X Factor bashing when the show again is delivering well for FOX. Honestly if FOX cancelled the X Factor u don’t think ABC or CBS or another network would pick it up. IMO its young demos would definitely make the show a viable pickup for another network. Honestly it would fit very well for ABC.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “your response summed up like this to me ‘figure it out your damn self’”

    Subtract the “damn”, and you nailed it.

  • John_M

    Nielsen is not only inaccurate but also dead slow. Why on earth it takes 6 – 7 hours to give the final ratings?

    It might have something to do with the west coast and when they go to work more than anything else.

  • Dan

    @Bill – or 8pm Friday, but CW won’t move it from Fridays. I believe that and ANTM will both stay put on Fridays even for next season while CW will try to rebuild Mon-Wed, especially with Gossip Girl ending this year and 90210 likely ending in 2013-2014. I could see CW giving a nice final season to 90210 as well.

  • Fake Me Out


    … also dead slow. Why on earth it takes 6 – 7 hours to give the final ratings?

    Carrier pidgeons can only fly so fast you know! Factor in weather, cats, hungry Englishmen looking for pie filling and you can see why 6-7 hours is actually amazingly fast!


  • John_M

    Interesting how on Tuesday so many were talking about how the CW was headed to off the air and how were its affiliates going to get out of their contracts through 2016 if they wanted to.

    Small Sample Size bites again

  • SPM

    I hope B&TB adjusts down massively

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “Nielsen is not only inaccurate but also dead slow. Why on earth it takes 6 – 7 hours to give the final ratings?
    Are they even using computers or they checking the diaries of the TV viewers to give the final numbers!”

    You thought they used computers? They use Ouija boards. That’s why it takes so long.

    Either that, or the crazy are simply excessively impatient.

    Nah, I’m sticking with the Ouija boards explanation.

  • Honey Badger

    The X Factor is a very expesive show with the judges and Simon’s salary.
    at what ratings does this show become umprofitable?

    bad for Fox

  • John_M

    Nah, I’m sticking with the Ouija boards explanation.

    Occams razor strikes again

  • Colin

    Lol CW beats new episodes on the other networks! CW is having a amazing week!

  • John_M

    I would just like to take a moment and reflect on how glad I am that malarkey is now part of the national discussion again, malarkey is a word that needs a come back

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