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.

  • nina

    I’m sure the X Factor will be adjusted up in the finals. It usually does.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “ABC/CBS/FOX/NBC program ratings include the debate instead of the listed shows in the Mountain Time Zone. My advice is to ignore everything until the finals. (Except maybe CW)”

    CW ratings could have the biggest adjustments because of NFL in Pittsburgh, which while just 1% of US TV HHs typically has the highest of all cities local ratings for their Steelers games.

  • Kavyn

    Looks like BTB might pull a TSC soon. The pilot was not enjoyable. Probably won’t tune in next week.

    TVD seems promising this season but I can’t stand Elena, Damon and Stefan. I really hope they bring back Katherine because Nina plays that role a lot better.

  • Dan

    @Alan. Nikita won’t end this year its safe because of Syndication

  • man

    Tvd is a beast

  • David


    Why would you think that they would give Nikita a 3rd season with horrible ratings and cancel it before it has enough for syndication? I would make no sense.

  • Dan S

    Horsefeathers!!! For a moment there I thought LR had a 2.9, too good to be true tying in the demo 1.6 with TVD. Crud, I can only hope ABC moves it to a more favorable slot before pulling the plug.

  • jay


    For Nielsen ratings purposes, it looks like the debate period was 9-10:30pm Eastern, and the analysis period was 10:30-11.

    so… VP debate didn’t overrun 10:30?

  • Alan

    Syndication? The show has barely 45 episodes. It would need three more seasons, and I don’t think the CW will keep renewing it until it hits 0.2’s and 0.3’s.

  • s0303

    @nina…x factor will most likely be adjusted down due to football…read the red text…

  • Michael

    Apparently, Justin Bieber is mad that X Factor people used him for ratings. Hello, that’s the entire point of stunt casting lol.

  • Sid

    “I love how we are 1-2 episodes into the CW season and people are already asking for certain shows to be canned. Not to mention that Nikita and Emily Owens haven’t even premiered yet and they are on the chopping block. Calm down people”

    I thought I was the only one who thought that was funny. The only CW show certain for another season in my eyes is TVD. It’s way too soon to predict the fate of the rest of their lineup.

  • richard

    @ Bill

    why did you stop writing as much for the website?

    but you still seem to have a lot of fun making sarcastic responses, not letting any of us be delusional for one second ;)

  • Oliver

    @Bill Gorman

    Can you provide a typical Pittsburgh rating for a Steelers game? Just want to get a ballpark figure on the size of the adjustment.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Re: Nikita

    “Syndication? The show has barely 45 episodes. It would need three more seasons, and I don’t think the CW will keep renewing it until it hits 0.2?s and 0.3?s.”

    Nonsense. Nikita will have 67 episodes after this season, and 89 after another full season. Over the minimum for syndication.

    It’s getting another season of episodes, regardless of its ratings.

    They might not slot it in their regular season rotation, but the episodes will get made, and aired, somehow.

  • alim

    lets hope abc learns there lesson with the 8pm death slot

  • Kavyn

    @Charmed Nikita won’t drop below toss up due to it only needing an extra season. I don’t see HOD going anywhere either since it’s the only show the CW kept from last year. If TSC were also renewed I might agree about HOD.

  • ForsGump

    Curious–did the 13-inning Orioles-Yankees come into play for last night? I see mention of football actually pre-empting on CW + Fox, but could large groups of people in large markets (ie NYC) have been watching TBS last night?

  • thesnowleopard

    This ratings stuff really confuses you, doesn’t it?

  • JohnnyRico

    Looking at how all networks were pretty close in 18-49 for the vp debates but CBS had considerably millions more 50+ viewers makes me think the theory there is swath of seniors who will watch CBS no matter what is on holds true.

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