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.

  • KS

    Mark P. must be celebrating somewhere :)

  • Ian9outof10

    Get your bingo cards out for Last Resort!


  • richard

    the other day people said cw wont survive past te contract expiration of 2016. however, i know nothing about ratings, so if they stayed in the 1s or the high 0s, is that enoguh? i really dont know

  • CW

    Just a wild guess, both VD and BatB will fall about 200-300k viewers once you factor out people in Pittsburgh watching football

  • Brian J

    As much as I like all of those involved with “UAN,” this show is probably finished unless NBC decides it wants to try it out on another night.

    Also, NBC needs to either start running unscripted programming in this slot or just run repeats of another scripted show. At this point, what’s the harm?

    It has a few different unscripted shows waiting in the wings, so why not keep trying to find something that works so that it can have a base to launch a new show next season, like that Michael J Fox show? I don’t know if this should be a dating show, a game show (cough, Supermarket Sweep, cough), or something else, but they have to shake things up sooner rather than later. And they can keep trying even into the summer if need be.

  • s0303

    after the adjustments…tvd/ batb will have similar ratings as arrow/spn, which is still very good :)

    it’s over for last resort…best new show of the season :(

  • Jared

    Finally some good news for the CW. I didn’t love Beauty & the Beast..but will continue to watch to see where it goes and if it gets better. It does have potential.

  • jay

    someone knows exact time of VP debate ended??

  • Eugenius

    “On ABC, Last Resort earned a 2.9 adults 18-49 rating down from last week’s 3.1 adults 18-49 rating.” nothing wrong with this ?

  • Charmed

    So far, it looks like 90210, Nikita and ANTM will be cancelled, possibly HOD.

  • Alan

    They should move Gossip Girl and 90210 to Fridays and Nikita and ANTM to Mondays, just to see what happens.

  • Dillan

    Ouch, X Factor below the 3s, I’m expecting it to rise when the lives start.

    Impressive for The CW, but I’m hoping the downward adjustments aren’t too much.

  • Dan

    Goodbye Up All Night. The remaining episodes should be burned off through September

  • Alan

    I can see 90210 getting a final season, or an announcement in November that this season will be the last one. It will be the oldest CW original show once Gossip Girl ends, so I bet it will get special treatment.

  • Travis

    Bummer for Up All Night. Last night’s ep was probably the best of the series so far.

  • RyanCanada

    I wonder when they are going to call for the cancellation of UAN, that is what the lowest rated show on NBC?

  • Cyrax86

    So when is Wipeout coming back?

  • The Old Woman

    I can’t believe the Last Resort got the same numbers as TVD. Ugh! Americans watch trash like TVD and ignore quality drama like Last Resort. It’s really a sad state of affairs. Good Bye Last Resort. Props to ABC for atleast giving this show with a unique and refreshing new story a chance. I am guess we are back to boring vampire dramas again.

  • Rick

    Lol @ the XFactor’s rating falling below 3

  • Eridapo

    Pittsburgh and Tennessee will definitely generate huge demo numbers on their respected markets, but the impact overall also depends on the size of those markets when compare to the rest of the nation.

    Pittsburgh is 23 with approx. 1.02% of US market.
    Nashville is 29 with approx. .89% of US market.

    If the share in those markets was 20, expect 2/10 adjustment
    If the share was 30, expect 3/10

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