TV Ratings Thursday: Both 'The X Factor' Finale & 'CMA Country Christmas' Down From Last Year

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December 21st, 2012


Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 3.1/9 1.9/5 1.4/4 1.4/4 1.1/3 0.3/1
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 2.7/9 1.1/4 1.0/3 1.3/4 0.8/3 0.3/1
Total Viewers (million) 9.646 8.652 6.559 3.544 4.854 0.930


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

On FOX, the finale of The X Factor earned a 3.1, up  from last week's 2.4, but  down seven tenths from last year's 3.8 adults 18-49 rating.  Most of your predictions were too pessimistic.

On ABC, CMA Country Christmas earned a 1.5 adults 18-49 rating down six tenths from last year's 2.1 adults 18-49 rating

On NBC, A White House Christmas scored a 1.6 adults 18-49 rating . Rock Center garnered a 0.8, down a tenth from last week's 0.9 adults 18-49 rating.


Late-night ratings are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Thursday, December 20, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
8:00PM FOX The X Factor (8-10PM) 3.1 9 9.646
CBS The Big Bang Theory -R 2.8 9 10.923
NBC A White House Christmas 1.6 5 8.462
ABC I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown -R 1.4 4 5.116
CW The Vampire Diaries -R 0.3 1 0.983
8:30PM CBS Two and a Half Men -R 2.3 7 8.73
9:00PM CBS Person of Interest -R 1.7 5 9.377
ABC CMA Country Christmas (9-11PM) 1.5 4 7.28
NBC The Office -R 1.0 3 3.108
CW Beauty and the Beast -R 0.3 1 0.878
9:30 PM NBC Parks and Recreation -R 0.8 2 2.098
10:00 PM CBS Elementary -R 1.3 4 6.753
NBC Rock Center With Brian Williams 0.8 2 3.50


Late night ratings:

"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" delivered its highest Thursday rating
in metered-market households (a 3.0 rating, 7 share) since November 22
(3.1/9), the night of a high-rated NFL overrun.  Jay's guests last
night included Katherine Heigl, Marjorie Johnson and musical guest
Johnny Mathis.

At 12:35 a.m. ET, "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.8/6 in
metered-market households) earned its highest Thursday rating since
February 2 (1.8/6 for an episode from Indianapolis with guests Taylor
Lautner, Adam Levine, Drew Brees and musical guest Nas) and matched
its highest Thursday result since June 4, 2009 (1.9/6 during the first
week of "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien").  Jimmy's guests last
night included Billy Crystal, Tyson Chandler and musical guest Cee Lo
Green, who sat in with The Roots.  "Late Night" also featured an
appearance by Jerry Seinfeld.

At 1:35 a.m. ET, "Last Call With Carson Daly" (1.0/4 in metered-market
households) scored its top Thursday rating since November 22 (1.0/4).


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.

  • kev

    Creepy John Legend was on a “country” music special. No wonder ratings were done.

  • lisa

    John Legend on the country special probably brought the ratings “down”, too. He did not belong there.

  • Joseph

    This is looking to be a big week for Univision in the 18-34 demo with a strong second-place showing the past couple of nights.

    Univision may end-up being close to number-one in the 18-34 demos this week.

  • Fred

    WOW so much deep rooted hate for a singing competition. Or is it for Simon? Or Britney? Or Khloe? Or Mario?

    Yes it was overproduced. Yes there is a need for major changes. But in the end I did recognize some talent and enjoyed the show.

    Hope season 3 will improve in the ratings and the production.

  • Joseph

    There was no NFL Thursday-night game last night (December 20th); otherwise, it might have beaten all of the broadcast networks.

    However, there was a college bowl game last night: Brigham Young University against San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl, which was on ESPN.

    The only broadcast network shows that probably beat the game were the “X-Factor” finale, and the repeats of “Big Bang Theory”, “Two And A Half Men”, and “Person Of Interest”. From 10 to 11 P.M. Eastern time, the Poinsettia Bowl likely drew more viewers than any broadcast network.

    Tomorrow (December 22nd) is the final NFL game on ESPN for the season (being played on a Saturday instead of a Monday because Monday is December 24th); expect it to absolutely dominate the night and maybe be one of the most-watched ESPN NFL games of the year because of the weak opposition.

  • rob60990

    X Factor did about what I expected. Not great but not too bad. I only watched the last 10 minutes. Khloe K is the worst host I have ever seen.

    Anyways, WE’RE ALIVE! ;)

  • Stephen

    While X-Factor has failed to live up to expectations it technically isn’t a flop considering that it typically ends up being the highest rated hours on FOX outside of football elevated animation on Sundays.

    FOX won’t cancel it based on ratings even next year unless it really drops down significantly more since it’s unlikely FOX will have anything to replace it with at this point that would get similar ratings.

    The only way I could see FOX cancelling the show after next season would be if it isn’t profitable because production & judge/host salaries are too high to sustain the show with its “low” ratings.

    FOX should have tried to negotiate with Cowell to have X-Factor not start until after Idol ended or after Idol had faded more because it seems as though both shows have suffered to some extent.

  • Will

    Too bad this site never displays the half-hour numbers. X Factor almost reached 11 million viewers at 9:30pm and hit a 3.4 there.

    9:30p – Fox – The X Factor (season finale)
    Viewers: 10.80 million (#1), A18-49: 3.4/ 9 (#1)

  • CrimTV


    Last season’s X Factor earned a 4.2 in it’s last half hour, so it’s still down a lot. And while last year, X Factor beat The Voice’s finale (3.8 vs. 3.7) this year The Voice beat The X Factor (4.9 vs. 3.1).

  • Honey Badger

    Wow, CBS The Big Bang Theory Repeat tied a new FOX The X Factor finale in 18-49 Rating, and beat them by over 2 million viewers!!!

    Wow, CBS Two and a Half Men Repeat nearly tied a new FOX The X Factor finale in 18-49 Rating, and nearly tied them in viewers!!!

    And the only things on other networks were repeats and a poor special that nobody watches.
    Why didn’t CBS put on a new The Big Bang Theory and a new Two and a Half Men instead of repeats?

    If they did that, they would have put an end to The X Factor on FOX.
    The X Factor Finale would have had a 1.9 rating.

    8 p.m.
    CBS: “The Big Bang Theory” (rerun) (10.9 million viewers, 6.7/11 households)/”Two and a Half Men” (rerun) (8.7 million, 5.4/9)
    FOX: “The X Factor” season finale (8.9 million, 5.2/8)
    ABC: “I Want a Dog For Christmas Charlie Brown” (special) (5.1 million, 3.0/5)
    NBC: “A White House Christmas: First Families Remember” (special) (8.5 million, 5.3/9)
    The CW: “The Vampire Diaries” (rerun) (983,000, 0.6/1)
    18-49 leader: “The Big Bang Theory” (2.8) / “The X Factor” (2.8)

    I guess that this shouldn’t be a surprise because CBS put Survivor against The X Factor on FOX this season, and Survivor beat them in 18-49 Ratings and Viewers Live+SD (million) for the last several weeks.
    “On FOX, the finale of The X Factor earned a 3.1, up from last week’s 2.4, but down seven tenths from last year’s 3.8 adults 18-49 rating.”

  • Joseph A

    Xfactor will come down to ad sales, and if they can cover the projected cost next year. 2012 Adverting spots on Xfactor cost more then almost another non sports related program this year. The question to be asked , “Will advertisers pay such a premium for an audience demo that averages under 3.0 “.

  • Will

    @ CrimTV

    I’m not arguing against that I just wanted to post the half-hour numbers since this site never posts them unfortunately.

  • zach

    Im so glad X factor is over. Now britney spears can leave this show! an go on to making more #1 albums and #1 singles. a singing compeition show is not for her.
    Works for christina Augilera tho becuases she needs the show. her music career is pretty much over.


    8:00 p.m.

    ABC – I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown (R)
    Viewers: 4.95 million (#4), A18-49: 1.3/ 4 (#4)

    CBS – The Big Bang Theory (R)
    Viewers: 10.92 million (#1), A18-49: 2.8/ 9 (#1)

    NBC – White House Christmas: First Families Remember
    Viewers: 8.22 million (#3), A18-49: 1.6/ 5 (#3)

    Fox – The X Factor (season finale)
    Viewers: 8.46 million (#2), A18-49: 2.7/ 8 (#2)

    CW – The Vampire Diaries (R)
    Viewers: 1.06 million (#5), A18-49: 0.4/ 1 (#5)


    8:30 p.m.

    ABC – I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown (R)
    Viewers: 5.28 million (#4), A18-49: 1.5/ 4 (#4)

    CBS – Two and a Half Men (R)
    Viewers: 8.73 million (#2), A18-49: 2.3/ 7 (#2)

    NBC – White House Christmas: First Families Remember
    Viewers: 8.71 million (#3), A18-49: 1.7/ 5 (#3)

    Fox – The X Factor (season finale)
    Viewers: 9.44 million (#1), A18-49: 3.0/ 9 (#1)

    CW – The Vampire Diaries (R)
    Viewers: 910,000 (#5), A18-49: 0.3/ 1 (#5)


    9:00 p.m.

    ABC – CMA Country Christmas
    Viewers: 7.76 million (#3), A18-49: 1.6/ 4 (#3)

    CBS – Person of Interest (R)
    Viewers: 9.42 million (#2), A18-49: 1.7/ 5 (#2)

    NBC – The Office (R)
    Viewers: 3.11 million (#4), A18-49: 1.0/ 3 (#4)

    Fox – The X Factor (season finale)
    Viewers: 9.88 million (#1), A18-49: 3.1/ 9 (#1)

    CW – Beauty and the Beast (R)
    Viewers: 890,000 (#5), A18-49: 0.3/ 1 (#5)


    9:30 p.m.

    ABC – CMA Country Christmas
    Viewers: 7.37 million (#3), A18-49: 1.5/ 4 (#3)

    CBS – Person of Interest (R)
    Viewers: 9.33 million (#2), A18-49: 1.6/ 4 (#2)

    NBC – Parks and Recreation (R)
    Viewers: 2.10 million (#4), A18-49: 0.8/ 2 (#4)

    Fox – The X Factor (season finale)
    Viewers: 10.80 million (#1), A18-49: 3.4/ 9 (#1)

    CW – Beauty and the Beast (R)
    Viewers: 865,000 (#5), A18-49: 0.3/ 1 (#5)

    Those ar ethe half hours so almost 11 million watched the final half hour. Thats solid numbers. The show had a season high and fell within season average. It was FOX’s number 1 rated fall show it needs so much work. My propsoal is a way to make this all work. IMO they should move X Factor as a SUMMER SHOW. Have it start in the middle of June and go through the beginning of October before baseball. This way its a longer season and it will be uninterupted by baseball. Plus it gives a three month window between Idol so its not right after Idol. Also moving X Factor away from fall allows the show not to be competing with the Voice so isn’t overKILL. I would keep Idol as usual. On NBC I would keep Voice on fall and move AGT to spring. Make America’s Got Talent have a new rule, the new rule is anyone can enter the compeition except SINGING contestants. No more singing contestants on AGT its talents of all other kinds. Also this way Voice isn’t spread thin and they keep their original cast. Plus

  • BigDirtFace88


    Im so glad X factor is over. Now britney spears can leave this show! an go on to making more #1 albums and #1 singles. a singing compeition show is not for her.
    Works for christina Augilera tho becuases she needs the show. her music career is pretty much over.

    I’m glad The X Factor is over as well, but also wish The Voice was out of the way, too. Why? Because both Britney & Christina are washed up hasbeens with about as much relevance as the penny-farthing.

  • zach


    How so? with britney anyway. last year she had yet again another #1 album debut…an another lead single debut at #1. as well as 2 other singles reaching the top 10.and the 4th single in the top 100. She had the biggest singles of her entire career on radio. Thats not a hasbeen. However, christina maybe. her last few albums flopped bad.

  • Mayans

    X-Factor will not move to the summer. It’s Cowells strategy to have all 3 the English speaking UK, Australian and American shows on at the same time. This will increase their social media ratings because those that monitor it contribute it to 1 show while in fact it’s 3. Very savvy if you ask me.

  • Honey Badger

    Britney Spears is a Superstar.
    So are the Judges on The Voice
    Moves like Jagger” is a song by American pop rock band Maroon 5 featuring American pop singer-songwriter Christina Aguilera. Is a mega hit
    Christina Aguilera a Superstar still putting out hits.

    Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton and Adam Levine; The Voice Judges on NBC are all Superstars and Icons!

  • Mayans

    Good news for you BigDirtFace88. The Voice has replaced Xtina with Shakira!

  • Mayans

    I honestly wonder if FOX really goes through with X-Factor next season. Should Britney leave it would mean they have to replace 2 judges yet again. With Britney gone this would open up for Rihanna to join in terms of salary, but I can’t see her going on well with Simon. Will be very hard for them to find new coaches that are relevant considering the shows position as #3 behind The Voice and Idol.

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