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.

  • JohnnyRico

    Assuming CW makes it to the 2013-14 Nikita will make it to 4 seasons because Maggie Q is a bonafide HK Movie star so this does well in Asia and it’s also a huge hit in a lot of European countries.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “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?”

    It certainly could have been a factor in ratings declines elsewhere (ala Fan Excuse Bingo), but unless it was carried on a broadcast affiliate locally (and I don’t think it was) it will not be something that causes adjustment to these preliminary numbers.

  • Pat W

    I hope by some inexplicable miracle the TV gods make Last Resort rise next week

    A man can dream

  • Oliver

    Thanks for the information. I’ll guess a third as a ballpark estimate, so a downward adjustment of 0.3-0.4 is probably a reasonable guess.

  • thesnowleopard

    That’s because Nikita has already been doing poorly. And it’s running out of other shows behind it in the Cancellation Bear’s path. Plus, its record (and new time slot) is such that it’s unlikely to gain back any ground.

    But you’re right that nobody really knows what will happen to Nikita before the season premiere has even aired. The show could surprise us.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “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:/”

    Very, very difficult to judge timing, but if LR is on the schedule in November, it will air at least 13 episodes.

  • Michael

    @JohnnyRico, yes we know. Bondoel told us that 800 million viewers watch Nikita in China!

  • Laura

    Beauty and the beast?3160 bad because the viewers are few in an evening without competition in the other networks. all smoke and no fire! flop!

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @Oliver, impossible to do that calculation because the split between broadcast and NFLN in Pittsburgh is unknown at this point

    True, but based on the metered market numbers for CW in Pittsburgh last night, a 50-50 split between NFLN/CW would be a good enough starting point for speculative purposes for anyone who can’t wait ~4 hours to see the finals.

  • Billy

    ABC obviously does not like Last Resort that much. It has no chance in that time slot.

  • Honey Badger

    Wow, unless big up adjustments, these shows continue the trend of them tanking in the ratings.

    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

  • thesnowleopard


    Maybe JohnnyRico *is* Bondoel. He was Robert yesterday before he got canned again, but he is a man of a thousand fake mustaches when it comes to user names.

  • Fred

    Hard to believe CW beat NBC again.
    So sad to see the very exciting Last Resort dying at 8:00 PM. Wonder what ratings would be on Sunday at 10:00? I’m conflicted because I enjoy 666 Park Ave too. Shouldn’t be long before we see a timeslot change for one or the other.

  • Bliss

    VD will not be affected by Football people. Thursday football is on cable so there should not be any run over from that. CW is probably the only not to be adjusted for thursday.

  • Petar Ivanov

    This is series low for TAHM. Must be in the title.

  • Eridapo

    @ Robert Seidman

    Thanks for the info. on the household share in Pittsburgh for the CW.

    Based upon those numbers, we should see a 3/10 to 4/10 adjustment to the CW numbers..

  • Ram510

    I really hope NBC gives Guys With Kids a real chance. Clearly it has a fan base with people making a conscious effort to tune out of Animal Practice and into GWK. On a different night or with a better lead in I think it can do ok for NBC

    Please NBC keep GUYS WITH KIDS!!!!!

  • a p garcia

    Wow for the ratings on CW, BaTB, TVD, Arrow, SPN. Lets hope they don’t go down signifantly next week and it hearalds the emergence of a CW that is a ratings winner.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Robert Seidman

    @Bliss: sorry, but you’re wrong. ~30% of all people watching TV in Pittsburgh were watching the CW between 8-9pwhere the game was syndicated. They weren’t watching CW because of the Vampire Diaries in Pittsburgh. CW’s shows will definitely be adjusted down.

  • Honey Badger

    I think final adjustments will make the Cancellation Bear very happy

    Lots of shows to be canceled before November sweeps
    ratings = revenue, so the networks are losing a lot of money on the low rated shows

    time for the the Cancellation Bear to feast!

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