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.

  • Oskar

    Bill, would yiu say Last Resort won’t at least be canceled before episode 13? I think it’s the best new show but I’m also realistic seeing those numbers:/

    Man, I envy Americans every day, when I see this crap shows they make here in Poland;)

  • Aeiouy

    30 rock and UAN will adjust down.

  • Max Vrany

    @Bill, I wasn’t thinking about that. Okay. Ignore everything until finals

    @Jay, It did overrun into the 10:30 half-hour, but Nielsen doesn’t care. (Essentially, It’s a little more complicated than that.)

  • PinoyTVCritic

    wow! coming from 5th place…NBC jumped to 2nd place and tie to 1st place in demo once the NEWS COVERAGE began.

    Is NBC that a news leader in America (among broadcast nets)???

  • kat


    The new standard for syndication is 88 episodes, or 4 season. Nikita has 22 episodes ordered for this season which will get it up to 67 episodes (there were 23 in the last season) so they’d only need a 21 episode season 4 to get syndication.

    That being said, being close to syndication helps, it doesn’t 100% guarantee renewal. Regardless, though, perhaps people should wait before we have, I don’t know, *any* ratings for Nikita this season before starting to predict it’s demise?

  • Jared

    The CW has success in the Sci fi/fantasy genre (smallville..arrow..nikita..tvd..supernatural and now beauty). Its definatly a step in the right direction. If I remember correctly the CW does have a few more of these types of shows in development for next season. I have a feeling there midseason drama CULT will be there next big surprise.

  • Joao

    Bill, the CW could be adjusted up in the finals?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    @jay, Another source has the debate running until 10:33pm, and analysis beginning then. Either way, the difference is small.

    I have edited my earlier comment.

  • Michael

    Poor Last Resort. I really want that to last.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “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”

    My daily editorial duties are over, but my fun is not!

  • Greg

    I suspect both The Vampire Diaries and Beauty and the Beast will fall two to three tenths. Still, four shows hiting over a tenth on the CW is cause for celebration for them.

  • SmG

    So CW seems to have solved wednesdays and thursdays :)Particularly surprised at BB ratings, many expected that to be a flop.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    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.

    Based on past experience I’d guess the game itself had somewhere around a ~70% household share (of people watching TV) in Pittsburgh and a fair chunk of them watched on the CW instead of the NFL Network/ the metered market half hour household share % for CW between 8-10 in Pittsburgh were 25%, 40%, 37% and 34%.

  • thesnowleopard

    @Bill Gorman
    If Nikita comes back and tanks even more, I suppose they could always make it a summer show. Unless it’s too expensive for that. It depends on how badly they want that syndication number.

  • man

    So tvd has better ratings than 90210+gossipgirl+flop of dixie combined :)

  • Percysowner

    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.

    I would add Supernatural to that list, considering how MP has praised it and considering both outings have done well. It has a fanatical fanbase, so I at least expect a last season complete with announcement and publicity a la Smallville. Other than that, it is too early to tell.

    I will be interested to see the final numbers for tonight. I like TVD so I hope it does well. I could not care less about B&TB, but if other people enjoy it go them. I would really like to see the CW get in the game, especially because they are moving toward the genre shows that I personally enjoy.

    XFactor was also preempted for football, so it may not adjust up the way it usually does. Obviously this is a week to wait for finals.

  • ethan

    nikita hasnt even aired yet, and already ppl are predicting it being cancelled…i think with GG ending, 90210 failing, and HOD and EO both being question marks Nikita has a decent shot…also while everyone is getting excited about the new the 1.3 premiers, lets remeber that last year TSC got a 1.3, and i think ringer got a 1.2 in their premieres…so i dont think either of these shows are anything close to safe bets yet…im more impressed with arrow because it ddnt had TVD lead in, but a LOT can happen between now and the end of the season…and i have a feeling mark pedewitz may have a different way of doing things than dawn ostroff did…for example i dnt think he’d hesitate to cut a show like 90210 without announceing a final season the way ostroff may have…just my gut feeling tho

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    @Oliver, impossible to do that calculation because the split between broadcast and NFLN in Pittsburgh is unknown at this point, but here’s a recent week when the local Steeler broadcast drew a 45.5 household rating in Pittsburgh.


    Edit: although that was for a Sunday game, note Robert’s comment for primetime ratings.

  • Steve

    Wow…. Great Premiere for TVD. It was a pretty great episode. Didn’t stick around for BatB. Don’t think it will be my cup of tea. Yes I am a man and Yes TVD is my weakness and im not ashamed to admit it. The only 2 shows I watch on The CW Nikita and Vampire Diaries. Thought about checking out Arrow. We will see. I’ve been DVRing Last Resort still need to watch last nights.

    Even though the premiere was pretty great.. I imagine TVD will stablelize around a 1.2 for the season. I have to agree with Beauty and the Beast probably massively dropping the next episode. It obviously benefited from TVD lead in and the VP debate making it have less competition. Seeing has i didn’t care to watch the episode i can’t comment on whether or not any of those viewers will stick around to check out a second episode.

  • Ram510

    I bet even Guys With Kids could pull better numbers in that time slot than UAN. It’s already doing better than UAN on Wednesday

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