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.

  • 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?

    Looking at the source code would reveal my secrets … which is using the angle brackets start with blockquote, then the i for italics and end with /i /blockquote again enclosed in the angle brackets. Hope this helps.


  • Joseph

    I suspect that when the cable numbers come out, they will show that the NFL Network’s broadcast of the Pittsburgh/Tennessee game likely pulled more viewers than any single network’s coverage of the debate.

    But with the debate on so many networks, I suspect the total debate viewership would be about 40-45 million.

    I also wouldn’t be surprised if CNN and Fox News Channel (maybe even MSNBC as well) drew more viewers to their debate coverage than ABC and NBC did.

  • KS



    This might probably help you.

    @Fake me Out

    I am a male.

  • Pepper

    NBC beaten by the CW two nights in a row?! Congrats CW!!

    I wasn’t a huge fan of the BatB pilot but I’m gonna watch next week and see if it finds its footing – there’s potential there!

  • Jay

    That’s kinda low for big bang. Hopefully it gets back up near 5 again. We can’t let Modern Family keep beating Big Bang.

  • Jay

    @FakeMeOut What are you trying to prove by attacking Bill? Just shut up, guy.

  • Mike

    i think last resort will adjust up as it aired at 9:pm here when the scheduel said 7:

  • joss

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

    OMG have u heard about UNIQUE IP address ?

  • Crystal

    I hope they try moving Last Resort before it’s cancelled. I’m really liking the show but don’t watch it until Saturday mornings – the time slot is horrible!!

  • Anon

    I think [i]BATB[/i] might have just enough of a government conspiracy angle to hang on. As long as this doesn’t become a hairy version of [i]The Incredible Hulk[/i], that is.

  • Holly


    You need to use the greater-than and less-than symbols instead of the brackets.

  • ZmaX

    @ Anon, yeah I like that part of the story too. It adds some danger/mystery too it and hopefully we’ll get some other runaway “beasts” showing up sooner rather than later.

    Or maybe a new series of experiments could be started and they would have to stop those.

    The show has potential,the question is if they’ll be able to make it work.

  • Phill

    sorry nbc, you just cant hide behind the voice all week.

  • Fake Me Out


    I am a male.

    But trapped in a womans body? ;-)


    What are you trying to prove by attacking Bill? Just shut up, guy.

    So who died and made you webcop? Even assuming I was “attacking” Bill … Bill be big and has consistently shown he can take care of himself … no brownie points for you! Try again.


    OMG have u heard about UNIQUE IP address

    OMG have u heard about humour? I think you can buy it online now @ Amazon … go get some, it’s wonderful!

  • aiden

    xfactor nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  • k:Alex

    CBS is become ‘the old people station’, with a less viewers they got the same 2.1 18-49 rating.

  • Fake Me Out


    Bill be big and has consistently…

    should read

    Bill be big boy now and has consistently …

  • Tessa

    @Fake Me Out

    Yes, blockquote, thank you!

  • Ale

    LOL I predicted a 1.3 for Beauty and the Beast! there were a lot of bad reviews but I never pay attention to them, they really don’t matter as long as YOU like the show. The pilot was good, I was entertained the whole time and Kristin Kreuk can play a tough chick!

  • aiden

    x factor is doing better WEDN against modern family than thur against tbbt
    the show is really good i hope is up!

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