TV Ratings Thursday: 'Big Bang Theory' Not Quite as Big, 'Grey's Anatomy', 'Person of Interest' & 'The Office' Down, 'Scandal' & '30 Rock' Up

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November 30th, 2012


Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 3.3/9 2.5/7 2.1/6 1.7/5 1.2/3 1.1/3
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 1.9/6 2.4/8 1.7/5 1.6/5 1.0/3 1.1/3
Total Viewers (million) 13.392 7.016 6.860 4.013 3.398 2.678

Last night’s Thursday Night Football game (Saints/Falcons) was simulcast on the FOX affiliate in New Orleans and the CW affiliate in Atlanta. The CW was also preempted in Baltimore for high school football. As a result, the FOX and CW numbers may be inflated  and subject to more than typical adjustments in the finals.

CBS won the night in adults 18-49 and in Total Viewers.

On CBS, The Big Bang Theory earned a 5.4 adults 18-49 rating, down 5% from a season-high 5.7 on November 15. Most of your predictions were too optimistic.  Two and a Half Men garnered a 4.1 among adults 18-49 even with its most recent episode’s performance. Person of Interest scored a 2.9 adults 18-49 rating down 6% from a 3.1 on November 15. Elementary notched a 2.2 adults 18-49 rating, down4%  from  a 2.3 on November 15 and tying its series low.

On FOX,  The X Factor earned a 2.7 adults 18-49 rating down 4% from last week’s 2.8.  Glee scored a 2.2 adults 18-49 rating up 47% from a 1.5 on Thanksgiving. However, football preemptions may have impacted these numbers.

On ABC, the first episode of  Last Resort to air since its cancellation was announced garnered a series-low 1.0 adults 18-49 rating down 17% from a 1.2 on November 15. Grey’s Anatomy tied its season low with a 3.0 adults 18-49 rating down 6% from November 15’s 3.2. Scandal earned a season high 2.2 adults 18-49 rating up 10% from a 2.0 on November 15.

On NBC, 30 Rock scored a 1.3 adults 18-49 rating up 8% from a 1.2 on November 15. Up All Night garnered a 1.2 adults 18-49 rating down 8% from a 1.3 for its November 15 episode. The Office notched a series low 1.9 among adults 18-49 down 10% from a 2.1 on November 15. Parks & Recreation earned a series low 1.4 adults 18-49 rating down 18% from a 1.7 on November 15. Rock Center garnered a 0.9 adults 18-49 rating, down 18% from two weeks ago.

On the CW, Vampire Diaries scored a 1.5 adults 18-49 rating up 15% from a 1.3 on November 15. Beauty and the Beast garnered a 0.8 adults 18-49 rating up 33% from a 0.6 on November 15. However, these numbers may be inflated due to being preempted for NFL football in Atlanta and high school football in Baltimore.


Late-night ratings are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Thursday, November 29, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 CBS The Big Bang Theory 5.4/16 17.15
FOX The X Factor 2.7/8 8.23
CW Vampire Diaries 1.5/4 3.20
NBC 30 Rock 1.3/4 3.61
ABC Last Resort 1.0/3 5.20
8:30 CBS Two and a Half Men 4.1/11 13.81
NBC Up All Night 1.2/3 2.97
9:00 ABC Grey's Anatomy 3.0/8 8.71
CBS Person of Interest 2.9/7 14.33
FOX Glee 2.2/6 5.80
NBC The Office 1.9/5 3.89
CW Beauty and the Beast 0.8/2 2.15
9:30 NBC Parks and Recreation 1.4/4 3.04
10:00 CBS Elementary 2.2/6 10.36
ABC Scandal 2.2/6 6.67
NBC Rock Center 0.9/2 3.44


Late night ratings:

via press note

In Nielsen's 56 metered markets, household results were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 2.7/7; CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," 2.2/6 with an encore; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 3.3/8; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 1.6/5 with an encore.
> * In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: > "> The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,> "> 0.8/4; "Late Show," 0.6/3 with an encore; "Nightline," 1.1/5; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.5/3 with an encore.
> * At 12:35 a.m., "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.3/4 in metered-market households with an encore) beat CBS's first-run "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (1.2/4). In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late Night" (0.4/3 in 18-49 with an encore) tied "Late Late Show" (0.4/2).
> * At 1:35 a.m., "Last Call with Carson Daly" averaged a 0.8/3 in metered-market households with an encore and a 0.3/2 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.

  • Dan S

    It didn’t take long for NBC to take my suggestion to schedule Do No Harm on Thur LOL. Now will they please keep P&R on at 9:30 where it’ll post even lower numbers at 8:30pm.

  • Ashley

    Obviously the NBC lineup always tanks on Thursdays but I am very surprised at the big drops for Parks. A series low ?WOW. Although the ratings have always been on the lower side for Parks, it at least has been consistent for NBC. I wonder why the huge drop last night? Haven’t the ratings been in the 1.7-1.8 range all year?

  • Leondre

    I had a feeling thursday would end the post-Thanksgiving bump for most shows.

  • Allen

    Parks and Rec Nooooooooooooooooooooo!

  • Mary 1

    I don’t see why NBC is wasting their time slot with Rock Center. There must be something better they could put there.
    They need to develop some more dramas and become successful like they used to be with all the law & orders.

    It looks like Go On is now NBC’s highest rated comedy & I don’t see them throwing it away(on low rated THurs) just to prove it can’t do well without the Voice as lead in. Also people act like there’s no competition on Tuesdays and Go On & TNN are just coasting on their lead in, when in fact this week they had to face off against DWTS season finale episode, a show with much higher ratings than ABC’s normal comedies. In addition there’s Fox comedies as competition and there’s the very highly watched NCIS: LA. It’s not some piece of cake schedule even with the Voice lead in.

    I do think the Betty White show as lead in will hurt them but I think some of these other comedies like Up ALL Night(because it’s not good or funny) and Whitney would do a whole lot worse in that same timeslot. Maybe this 1600 Penn will become a hit on Thursday. I think it’ll fit well next to Parks and Rec. If they add in the Michael J Fox new comedy, they have a chance to really improve their Thursday numbers.

  • aciel

    tell me about scandal tries so hard to be so full of itself and yet its not. i tried watching it to see what was so good about it and ironically its boring. but i could understand why it always has the same ratings i think that you have to understand it.

  • Serene

    It would be good to remember that POI droped big time in April and May 2011 from 3.0 to 2.4-2.6 rating (due to some sport competition). This was surprising since it was doing 3.3 and 3.4 in March. And the season finale was only 2.5. So it might rise in spring but it could (and will most likely) fall again.


    @ Mary 1

    Well said!

    However, RC is now moving to Fri & Do No Harm will start Jan 31 in its place.

    Both RC & “Off Their Rockers” are extremely cost effective (cheap to produce). I’m not one for retentionista theories, but feel OTR is a good fit for Tues @8 & Go On/TNN should be able to maintain their current avrg, or dip slightly (due to spring).

  • Cory

    POI fell to 2.8 one week in February when AI was 2hr, it hit 3.4 when at 8:30pm was TBBT repeat.

    Grey’s manages to get 3.0 from low 1s as lead-in, and it’s a 8 year old show while POI loses full demo point and POI fans call it a hit when it’s nothing more than a solid performer.

    You’re very delusional.

  • Tihomir

    The vampire diaries!! Stronger than ever!!!

  • Emily

    Sad to see too many scandal haters:( why do u want Scandal to be adjusted down?? U don’t like the show, so be it……This is the only show in recent memory that has been steady for weeks!

  • SarahL


    I generally try not to get into a debate about if a show is good or not since is all opinion. IMO, Scandal is okay. I have gone from not liking it to liking it a lot to having absolutely no use for it at all. I now think that it is an overwrought hot mess with a load of bad acting. However, my opinion can always change yet again. Scandal has its fans and I am not knocking them. I am a huge The Neighbors fan so my motto is to each their own.

  • Just Desserts

    Haha. Elementary = Scandal. :)

    If Scandal is a flop then what do you call Elementary?

    The Superbowl slot was wasted.


    POI & GA are both stand alone shows & are running neck & neck towards the winter finish line.

    POI is currently the 4th highest rated hour long CBS has & would at least maintain that status.

    POI fans are just quoting numbers & are not delusional at all.

  • omabin

    For every retention fanatic out there who likes to criticize Scandal’s performance based on that:
    – Scandal’s retention oucht of Grey’s this week: 73%
    – Nashville’s retentions out of Suburgatory: 72%

    I know it will likely adjust down, but the bottom line, that it has a retention pretty much in line with Nashville, still stands.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Or, you could just ignore the retentionistas.

  • Sarah

    If ABC moves Scandal it’s numbers are going to fall even faster than Private Practice and Brothers & Sisters when it was moved from it’s Desperate Housewives lead in. It lost .4 in the second half hour


    @ Dan S

    CONGRATS! For NBC taking your advice on “Do No Harm.”


    @ Bill

    Thanks for the pop up!

  • Freyja

    Good lord TVD fans are having an orgasm over it’s ratings and forgetting that it’s been there before LMAO

    It got a 1.6 at one point, so take a chill pill and relax.. ;)

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