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

    If we sold out, somebody forgot to send me a check.

    Well to me – a person starts a blog because they have an interest in something – they want to share with others – but then when you become affiliated with some sort of corporate entity – ala Zap2it (who is owned by someone I believe?)

    As for your new editorial staff, this is meant as constructive criticism, I swear, but a little copy editing that delays an article 5-10 minutes might come in handy in general.

  • John_M

    D’oh – i forgot to finish my thought

    selling out to me isn’t a money thing it’s a ‘becoming part of a ‘conglomerate’ kind of thing’. If the owners of this blog got nothing out of becoming part of the zap2it conglomerate – then it makes even less sense to me

  • Brian J

    @Bill Gorman:

    “3% of US TV households are Cablevision subscribers. You are welcome to do the math yourself.”

    So, this means that with Cablevision subscribers added, the CW would be seeing 6.0s in the demo? :]

  • Rebecca

    In some areas like where I live, the debate came on at 7 pm and all the network comedies aired after its analysis ended. So, supposedly 30R started here on NBC at 9 (but I think later, after the analyzers had their say). I only watched the debate – watching the comedies online now.

  • gerry

    slightly off topic, but i noticed that someone on one of these threads said ‘horsefeathers’ (!!!) and i would like to add that back into the ‘daily use’ lexicon along with malarkey, as it made me laugh loudly in front of everyone in my quiet office. work day be damned.

  • Fake Me Out


    …got nothing out of becoming part of the zap2it conglomerate – then it makes even less sense to me

    I’m sure a palm or two was crossed with silver but probally the biggest benefit to joining the Borg collective was not having to worry or run the backend of things … keeping a popular website online and safe is no easy task … it takes time and money … and lots of both.


  • John_M


    As soon as someone explains to me what a pitard is – I plan to use it a lot more as well

  • John_M

    keeping a popular website online and safe is no easy task

    Using the free word press blog engine does make it simpler. As someone who has multiple sites he does maintain in addition to his full time job – like I said – to me blogs are about passion more than anything.

  • Tony JJ

    X Factor isn’t going anywhere. and I agree with @JONNYSBRO If FOX were to cancel it. ABC would completely eat it up.
    Plus FOX is having pretty bad days with Monday, Tuesday, and Fridays. If they get rid of The X Factor they would have to rebuild every day except for Sundays. Not something FOX needs to tackle all at once.

    Also I wonder how much The CW numbers will drop in the finals!

  • John_M

    Not from the perspective of an internet publisher. Nobody wants mistakes, but being first to post is a lot more important than being later with better prose. The only people who see any mistakes in that early post are the people hanging on the site waiting for it, those who come a few minutes later see it all pretty. However, being first into Twitter, RSS, Google Search, Google News, etc. is an ongoing advantage.

    I doubt the extra 5 minutes will cost you traffic from your devoted (unbalanced?) fans.

    However, I must say that personally, consistently having errors within an article that need to be corrected would cause someone like me to doubt the validity of a site in general and seek out other avenues. Being right should matter more than being first. And it’s not like I’m saying take an hour – it takes 5 minutes to scan through it to make sure it has self integrity in the charts versus the text, at most.

  • Ram510

    @ Bill

    Since you now have Amanda and Sara will we see the Fantasy TVBTN game come back or is it done for good?

  • John_M

    Speaking of technical issues, why is it that sometimes when i submit a comment I get ‘pushed back’ a few pages versus just ending up on the same page (or last page if a new page is created)

  • Julianna


    OUCH Last Resort, ouch!

  • Paul

    The CW showing strong numbers. Moving Supernatural off Fridays was a great idea.

    90210 is in danger.

  • Fake Me Out


    Speaking of technical issues, why is it that sometimes when i submit a comment I get ‘pushed back’ a few pages versus just ending up on the same page

    Congratulations! You have stumbled upon a rip in the space/time continuum … now if only it would go forward I would know who to bet on for tonights games.

  • Sarah


  • Ram510

    It’s sad that CW won’t just put Nikita back on Thursdays at 9. It had good numbers there

  • Tessa

    @Fake Me Out

    OT question but I’m dying to know how you create that light blue quote box. What’s the html tag for it?

  • lala

    I’m not knocking the CW but expect a drop between .1-.3 ratings points for the finals.

  • Fake Me Out


    keeping a popular website online and safe is no easy task

    Using the free word press blog engine does make it simpler. As someone who has multiple sites he does maintain in addition to his full time job – like I said – to me blogs are about passion more than anything.

    Key word was popular … your mom/wife/lover/cat reloading the same page 2000 times a day doesn’t make it popular! ;-)

    @Bill Gorman

    I think what some may interpret as “more testy”, is simply “more”.

    So it’s a quantity issue as opposed to quality! Gotcha :-)


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