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.

  • TVDude

    Community might not do much better than Up All Night’s 1.2, but you have to admit, it’s probably cheaper since it has that Comedy Central syndication deal now. I mean, what are the chances of Up All Night reaching syndication with those same numbers? I’m going to say pretty low.

    For what it’s worth though, CW won against what is probably NBC’s second weakest block (I think Wednesday is a tad weaker). Still, not bad numbers for the CW, especially compared to the embarrassing numbers earlier this week.

  • Meanie

    Congrats for CW finally the are getting good ratings cause they been bombing lately as a broadcast network.

    Xfactor idk what’s going on but those ratings are not that good but maybe the live performance will do better.

  • alexjones

    very good ratings for TVD and BATB, let’s so how the ratings go in the coming weeks though.

  • Connor

    bye bye Last Resort you were a good show.

  • Honey Badger

    ABC Last Resort , NBC Up All Night the Cancellation Bear is very close, anytime now the Bear will strike, Respect and Fear the Cancellation Bear

  • Dude

    Whoa, SO surprised by Beauty and the Beast. I definitely think it will go down because the pilot wasn’t impressive (and that’s coming from someone who LOVES Kristin Kreuk) but they definitely picked the right night to air it. With no competition from Glee or Grey’s Anatomy, the young girl demo was B&B’s for the taking.

  • Steve

    Last Resort is my favorite new show of the season. Im so sad to see these numbers. Yes im guilty of watching TVD over it but its not like I have a neilson box. ;) I also like TBBT but i really on watch that show in Reruns. I never watch it live. Thursdays at 8 is just a crowded slot.

  • Flame

    Question remaining is, how far will XF and TVD / BatB fall in the finals? Preliminary, even a massively down TBBT dominated XF 4.2 – 2.6.

    Go on, Fox, renew that one already, I love a lot of non-competition for my favourite show…

  • Chelle

    The Las Vegas market, carried a local debate from 8p-9p on our ABC and CBS affiate. I wanted to watch BBT and check out Las Resort and I couldn’t watch either.

  • Albert

    Xfactor 2.9? yikes…. where are the ratings that Britney suppose to bring in. I bet Simon wants that 15 mil. back.

  • Penny

    Lol at X factor’s ratings. Pathetic.

  • Petar Ivanov

    Beauty And The Beast will be down two tenths in finals. May be even three. Next week under 1.0. As i expected bomb(fringe in friday beat it). And was without competition.

    ps Series lows for TAHM i think.

  • Luke

    Really interesting to see how low ABC’s coverage was since Martha Radditz was the moderator.

  • Eridapo

    @ Honey Badger

    The bear is sticking around the Fox lot for now. The bear knows its next meal is there, so he waits before moving on those other tempting morsels.

  • Fake Me Out

    While I’m not wishing or hoping TVD & BatB fall, given a large market aired football rather than these shows I’m predicting the final numbers as TVD 1.2~1.3 and BatB as 0.9~1.0 … why, oh why oh why do fans start chirping about how well their show does when they know it’s going to go down? It just makes it harder to take them seriously in the future when they may actually have a valid point.


  • Tabitha

    B&TB: Awful show, I watched half of it and switched to the VP Debate. Should have just watched that from the beginning, far more entertaining. :)

  • Cerebro

    Like many of you, I’m bummed to see Last Resort performing so poorly. This series has been a pleasant surprise, for me. Initially, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I am. Obviously, a back-9 order is out of the question. I’m hoping ABC will play out the first 13 episodes (and that there’s some plot resolution), but I’m not holding my breath.

  • Sparky

    Was afraid that the only thing about the Beast was his scar. Glad to see he does actually have a beastly streak!! Much better show than The Secret Diaries to pair with TVD. Hope it is a success!! But I would imagine that those ratings will drop next week. Still if the last 2 nights prove anything its that the CW forte or market should be geared towards the supernatural genre and those Gossip Girl/90210 type shows are not…

  • Michael

    I wonder how Simon feels about the ratings this season on X Factor. He pretty much confirmed he fired Paula and Nicole due to “poor ratings.” He said it on a talk show. Not that viewership matters, but I know he said that Britney will no doubt bring in about 20 million viewers this season.

  • Nick

    With the war going on between Cablevision and Tribune Cablevision subscribers are not getting access to the CW. This has to have an effect on the ratings considering the size of the NY market. I am stuck watching VD online for now.

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