TV Ratings Friday: 'Fringe' Dips + Christmas Special Repeats and 'The Good Wife' Marathon

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December 22nd, 2012

Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 1.0/3 1.0/3 0.8/3 0.6/2 0.6/2
Total Viewers (million) 4.844 2.711 4.421 4.053 1.804


FOX and ABC tied for number one in adults 18-49, while ABC was on top in total viewers.

On ABC, Back to the Beginning With Christiane Amanpour  earned a 1.1 adults 18-49 rating.

On FOX, Fringe  scored a 1.0 adults 18-49 rating, down a tenth  from last week’s 1.1 adults 18.49 rating

On NBC,  Dateline scored a 0.8, down sharply from last week's Sandy Hook special, which earned a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating.



Overnight broadcast primetime ratings for Friday, December 21, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
8:00 PM NBC Blake Shelton's Not So Family Christmas -R 1.0 3 5.047
ABC Last Man Standing -R 0.9 3 4.294
FOX Kitchen Nightmares-R 0.9 3 2.399
CBS The Good Wife -R 0.6 2 4.127
CW The Happy Elf -R 0.6 2 1.726
8:30PM ABC Malibu Country -R 0.8 3 3.778
9:00 PM ABC Back to the Beginning With Christiane Amanpour (9-11) 1.1 3 5.248
FOX Fringe 1.0 3 3.023
NBC Michael Buble: Home for the Holidays -R 0.8 3 4.435
CBS The Good Wife -R 0.6 2 3.918
CW Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer -R 0.6 2 1.882
10:00 PM NBC Dateline 0.8 3 3.78
CBS The Good Wife -R 0.7 2 4.115


via press note:

In late-night metered-market households Friday night:


* In Nielsen's 56 metered markets, household results were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 3.2/8; CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," 2.4/6; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 3.2/7; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 1.6/4 with an encore.


* In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were:The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,0.9/4; "Late Show," 0.6/3; "Nightline," 1.0/4; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.5/3 with an encore.


* At 12:35 a.m., "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.9/6 in metered-market households) beat CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (1.3/4). In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late Night" (0.7/4 in 18-49) topped "Late Late Show" (0.4/3).


* At 1:35 a.m., "Last Call with Carson Daly" averaged a 1.1/4 in metered-market households with an encore and a 0.4/3 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2012 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

NOTE: All ratings are "live plus same day" from Nielsen Media Research unless otherwise indicated.


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.  More information on ratings is available here.

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.)

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 football 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.

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 and Numbers 102.

  • Terryjackson1NYC


    I absolutely agree that it is silly to say that one audience is any brighter than another. It is even more silly to suggest that any one show can capture a more intelligent cross-segment of the people who comprise any of the markets in which it is available. To suggest that Fringe “polluted Fox isn’t fair, though. And there are a few reasons why.

    The show was never a huge hit but its first three seasons were justified by the ratings. The 22-episode fourth season pickup was clearly to get the show to syndication numbers. This final season never had to exist, but it did because of reasons to which we may never be privy. By the end of season four, there were enough episodes (88, since the pilot is two episodes when “stripped”) to get a good syndication deal, but WB decided to push out a third season to allow for the conclusion of a story line that was never going to be absolutely necessary.

    Season four was going to happen no matter what; Fringe was expensive to produce and it needed a continuing revenue stream after it was off the air. This is true of most fourth-season shows. So, why did Fox keep it for another shorter season? The answer has to do with money and “the devil you know.” WB had to cut a generous deal with Fox, but Fox was going to be better of with Fringe on its schedule than without it, if their across-the-board ratings for this year are any indication.

    Everything on Fox’s schedule has dropped and all of the new shows have flopped. Fringe has stayed relatively even (in fact, each of these ten episodes that have aired so far have done better than its ten poorest showings from all of last season… and I expect the final three airings to continue this trend, if not improve upon it).

    Finally, this is a fifth-year genre show airing on a Friday night in an age when network ratings are dropping >10%/season. Fringe is outperforming any expectations anybody could have had of it. If Fox didn’t want it on the air, they needed to cancel it before episode 13 of season three was completed. Once they passed that threshold, they had to commit themselves to keeping it on at least through the fourth season. So, that is around when it moved to Fridays.

    At this point, Fringe is a relatively stable Friday night show. It was never going to be for everybody (and I’m glad about that; I like the scientific discussions it raises and, if its function was to appeal to everybody, none of that would have existed). The problem Fox has now is going to be the same… even after Fringe is off the air. Fringe hasn’t been a great performer, but it hasn’t been the money loser people think it has been. And the ads that air during it are clearly meant for the audience that watched Fringe, so the rates Fox can get are probably higher than we understand or might even believe.

    The devil the folks at Fox don’t know concerns itself with how well any other show will do in its place. Since Fox is moving it’s single drama “hit” from last season into the same slot only 13 episodes into its run, we have to assume that they have plans to keep that alive as long as possible (or at least until it reaches syndication levels) because nobody watches TV on Fridays. If this season’s 13 episodes of Touch do as well as Fringe (averaging somewhere between a 1.0 and a 1.1), I suspect they’ll keep it going for a while… even if it starts to dip down into CW-level ratings (like .5 or so). Because that will be enough for them to start a new business model. This will be particularly true if the producers have a real idea as to whether or not syndication is likely and, with a show like that, I do believe it is.

    Back to your issue above, nobody knows what is really good or bad but what is effective is all that matters to the networks. For the most part, Fringe HAS been effective. That many critics agree shouldn’t matter, but I will submit that it does, since you are issuing a critique of your own without explaining or backing up what “terrible” really means when discussing acting and writing.

    I’m sure you are happy with the television you watch. I do hope that you do not watch Fringe, though, if only because you clearly have problems with it. If you do watch it, I don’t know what that says about you. But if you based your criticisms on episodes from 2008 (and some of 2009), you missed some of the best storytelling and acting I, personally, have ever seen on television.

  • curtisfiles

    ^^WHAT HE SAID^^
    I just gave my opinion, then AnnoyingToYou express his or her opinion which is great. All tastes in Television are not equal.

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