TV Ratings Thursday: 'The Big Bang Theory' Wins Night of Repeats, 'Happy New Year Charlie Brown' Up

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December 28th, 2012


Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 2.1/6 1.7/5 0.9/3 0.8/2 0.7/2 0.4/1
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 1.1/4 1.5/5 0.5/2 0.6/2 0.5/2 0.3/1
Total Viewers (million) 9.557 4.111 3.581 2.612 1.769 0.994


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

On CBS, repeats of its typical Thursday line-up outperformed the competition by a large margin, with a repeat of The Big Bang Theory garnering a 3.3 adults 18-49 rating, which which would be a good number for an original episode of most broadcast programs.

On ABC, Happy New Year, Charlie Brown earned a 1.2 adults 18-49 rating up 9% from a 1.1  on December 29, 2011.



Late-night ratings are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Thursday, December 27, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 CBS The Big Bang Theory - R 3.3/10 11.98
ABC Happy New Year, Charlie Brown - R 1.2/4 4.65
NBC 30 Rock - R 0.7/2 2.55
FOX The Mindy Project - R 0.7/2 2.06
CW The Vampire Diaries - R 0.4/1 1.05
8:30 CBS Two and a Half Men - R 2.3/7 8.74
NBC Up All Night - R 0.8/2 2.23
FOX The Mindy Project - R 0.7/2 1.74
9:00 CBS Person of Interest - R 1.9/5 10.33
ABC Grey's Anatomy - R 0.8/2 3.20
NBC The Office - R 0.8/2 2.14
FOX The Mindy Project - R 0.6/2 1.62
CW Beauty and the Beast - R 0.4/1 0.94
9:30 NBC Parks and Recreation - R 0.7/2 1.92
FOX The Mindy Project - R 0.7/2 1.66
10:00 CBS Elementary - R 1.5/5 7.98
NBC Rock Center - R 0.9/3 3.41
ABC Scandal - R 0.7/2 2.90


Late night ratings:

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.

  • Cj morton

    It’s so funny that a christmastime repeat gets a batter rating than what MOST shows can only dream of. I mean a sadly small number of shows can pull out a 3.3 with a new episode!

  • Oliver

    ABC, Fox and NBC tried to launch multi-camera comedies for years. Better With You, Hank, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, Twenty Good Years, ‘Til Death, Back to You, Coupling, Teachers, Do Not Disturb and many, many others. The networks started favouring single-camera shows because they bombed with much less frequency than multi-camera and multi-camera is a much more limiting format than single-camera (which is why multi-camera dramas don’t exist anymore).

    Multicamera works for CBS, but that doesn’t mean everybody should follow their lead, any more than the huge success of Animation Domination means all the networks should be developing animated comedy blocks. There’s diminishing returns in everybody appealing to the same people (particularly at the same time, as the Tuesday comedy ratings will attest), especially as the networks aren’t targetted at the same audiences.

    CBS is in the perfect position for multi-camera to succeed. Not only do they have existing multi-camera hits, both the network and the format skew old and down-market. Both have been helped by the changing demographics of broadcast television, which has become increasingly old and working-class.

    The side-effect is that this creates a looming demographic timebomb as the audience begins to get too old. CBS can see this coming, which is why they are so desperate to keep HIMYM around, as the only show on the entire network that has a median age under 50, and they have been doubling down on the development of their single-camera comedies.

    Personally, I think TBBT is a vile show and I think negatively towards anyone who likes it. The fundamental premise of the show is based around bullying and laughing at, rather than with, the characters and all the dialogue is the characters hurling insults at each other. I find it deeply, deeply unpleasant. Even if I liked the tone, it’s tiringly formulaic, which makes me wonder whether people can tell the difference between repeats and originals, and its pacing is tediously slow, thanks to the over-the-top audience laugh track, making the show completely boring to watch. Still better than TaaHM, though.

  • Oliver

    For what it’s worth, I would happily watch a multi-camera comedy if any of them were good, but all the clever, original and interesting shows are single-camera while multi-camera is dominated by Chuck Lorre-esque dreck.

    The last multi-camera show I found watchable was the first few seasons of HIMYM, and that was half-a-decade ago, and even that isn’t a pure multi-camera sitcom.

    Meanwhile, some recent multi-camera shows have been among the worst shows ever. Work It, Rob and I Hate My Teenage Daughter are infinitely worse than even the worst single-camera shows to make it to air (Up All Night? The New Normal?).

  • Jon

    TBBT is the best sitcom on tv hands down. There is only one other show that comes close in my book…..Modern Family

  • Jon

    This might be a stupid question but what’s all the hype about multi camera vs single camera shows, and what is the difference? Would I even be able to tell the difference?


    HELL YEAH!!for Person Of Interest,one of the best and most kick-ass shows on television.I hope it’s massive sucess continues and that someday POI is made into a major motion picture for theaters. :)

  • Oliver

    Multi-camera comedies are performed on a stage, like a play, with multiple cameras recording different angles at once, and feature a laugh track, often provided by a live studio audience.

    Single-camera comedies are shot like a movie or drama, usually on a sound stage.

    CBS comedies are all multi-camera while ABC’s Wednesday comedies are single-camera.

  • Oliver

    I guess I should include the consequences.

    The limitations of multicamera strongly influences look and writing of multicamera shows. Limited sets, limited camera angles, and usually longer scenes containing multiple cast members. It’s much cheaper and quicker to shoot, and fans contend the limitations can be beneficial and a live audience gives shows more energy and ensures funny writing.

    Single-camera shows can look very different. They can include documentary-style pieces-to-camera, cut-aways, voiceovers, outside shots, different camera angles, special effects etc.

    Some shows like HIMYM are hybrid multicam. They are shot with multiple cameras, so they look like multi-camera shows, but have no live audience, instead using canned laughter. The lack of audience lets them overcome the normal limitations of multicam shows and include features that are associated with single-camera shows, like voice-overs, cutaways, outside shots etc.

  • JulieDawn


    Re: “Um, you just described every female character on tv”

    LOL – yep, on sitcoms especially. Even as a female myself I am more often than not yelling “shut up” at the screen or turning the volume down whenever particular characters on various shows are on.

  • Melissa


    Aww, poor poor melissa, if all of what you say is true, then why do you worry so much about a show such as POI? It isn’t a threat to you, is it????

    What do you mean “if all of what [I] say is true”? It is fact that original airings are more important than reruns, it is fact that old Grey’s Anatomy is pulling better numbers than fresh Person of Interest, it is fact that Person of Interest‘s 2.9 average does not make it a hit, it is fact that Grey’s Anatomy pulled a 4.4 in September, and it is fact that Grey’s Anatomy peaked with an average of 9.4 for two seasons. You’re obviously delusional if you try to contest any of that information. I don’t think Person of Interest is a threat – both shows are similarly rated at this point – it’s just annoying when Person of Interest fans try to act like their show is some big hit, and act like Grey’s Anatomy is a flop.

  • Dahne


    Wow. You must be really bored with your holidays and have absolutely nothing to do if you have to pick a fight by baiting Melissa. For the record, I rarely read the Thursday comments so I don’t know how long this feud has gone on and I like Point of Interest and don’t care one iota about Grey’s. All I know is that you have come off as being incredibly childish in these posts.

  • Networkman

    @Oliver, have you even watched The Big Bang Theory lately? You will probably say yes. But if you have, you will know, that the characters are not being bullied. They are not being attacked, berated or made to feel less than as we have seen on the show Glee. Audiences are simply watching a group of friends and their normal daily activities. Similar to the sitcom Friends. We are able to witness how they deal with work, relationships, etc. The main characters happen to be very intellectual. But they all have their own personality and respect one another. There is nothing negative or mean spirited with the show. For you to say that you view those watching in a negative manner is ridiculous. The Big Bang Theory does not promote bullying.

  • Networkman

    @alffan, I totally agree with you. Chuck Lorre is probably turning into the Norman Lear of our times. He is making relatable situation comedies for today’s audiences. But Norman Lear really broke ground with All in the Family. Viewers were excited to watch a show that tackled issues that real people were actually facing. I also respected the diversity within the show. And eventually all Americans were able to enjoy a show such as Good Times. That is missing in today’s tv landscape, where people of all races can enjoy watching a predominate cast of “minorities”. There is a real disconnect amongst the majority of entertainment on TV and what regular are going thru in today’s tough economy and political landscape.

    As you said the producers on NBC are out of touch. And they may get off knowing that the Hollywood critics very much adore their narcisstic, quirky shows but viewers are tuning out in droves. Now the network is trying to promote that all their new “family” comedies such as The New Normal and 1600 Penn are the next Modern Family. They are ridiculous.

  • Networkman

    NBC should cut all of its single cams at the end of the season except for Go On. Then next season simply pair Go On with the new UNTITLED MICHAEL J FOX PROJECT. I would place both on Wednesday night. And then NBC should keep Guys with Kids, placing it after The Voice and pair it will a new multi-cam comedy with more broad mass appeal. I would have it be something more family oriented that would lead into Parenthood.

  • Oliver


    Then next season simply pair Go On with the new UNTITLED MICHAEL J FOX PROJECT.

    Let me get this straight.

    You want NBC to put their new high-profile single-camera family comedy opposite ABC’s hugely successful single-camera family comedy block? And pair it with a show that’s absolutely nothing like it?

    And take a show which is currently getting 1.3 in 18-49 and put it in the best timeslot on the network and their only real launchpad for new comedies?

    That doesn’t strike you as crazy?

    The obvious solution is to put Michael J. Fox on Thursday 9pm, follow it with another new show. Put your best new comedy at 9pm Tuesday. Schedule the rest of your comedies around that.

  • Oliver

    The sites spam filter keeps eating my posts, so lets try this again:


    I haven’t seen any of the episodes from this season, but I’ve seen at least half of the episodes in total (because I’m a masochist with an overly keen interest in comedy). A majority of the “jokes” involve laughing at Sheldon, laughing at someone being nasty to Sheldon or Raj acting feminine.

    Penny is one of the most unpleasant characters I’ve ever seen on a sitcom. Her entire character revolves around her berating her male ‘friends’ and stealing food from them. What’s her redeeming feature supposed to be, exactly? That’s she’s an attractive woman? Ugh. I guess they noticed the show’s implied misogynistic values, which is why they introduced Bernadette (who pretty much has no character whatsoever) and Amy (who is the only person on the show with an actual character and motivations, which they decide to waste by making cheap l*sbian jokes).

    TBBT is certainly not Friends. Friends was a warm show centred about relationships, while The Big Bang Theory is pretty fundamentally about the characters being a d*ck to one another and laughing at the stereotypical nerds.

  • Sitcoms Rule

    TBBT is the new “Friends” of its generation. Its great for what it represents- geeks/nerds!!! Nerds have finally been recognized in the media as cool/interesting people. TBBT is definately the most original sitcom out there as there has been no other hit sitcome ever centered around a bunch of intellectual geeks! There have been too many shows about work( office, 30 rock, parks&rec, community- any NBC sitcom), about families( middle, modern family, Raymond, Cosby,etc), and about friends( Seinfeld, Cheers, Friends,etc). Its nice to have a unique show on TV!!! TBBT will definately get 10 seasons- it does so well in syndication, especially on TBS. It scores 3.5 million total vieweres and 1.6 in 18-49 demo- which is better than most NBC sitcoms that air new episodes. Go Big Bang!!!!!!!!!! Jim & Kaley make the show!!!!!!!!

  • Sitcoms Rule

    NBC needs to start putting some heart and values into their shows- most of them are cold and heartless/depressing sitcoms that have a “sick/odd” humor that only a certain age group can appreciate! Guys with Kids has potential as it is the only family NBC sitcom I have seen in years.

  • Sitcoms Rule

    Personally I would love to see Nickelodeon’s Drake & Josh come back with new episodes but instead in primetime tv- the show was a hit with kids and teens from 2004-2007 and is still on Nickelodeon(cable) averaging 2.6 million viewers daily at 7pm with repeates that are 5 yrs old or older!!!! It even gets a 0.7 in 18-49 demo which is huge in reruns that are 5 yrs old and on basic cable childrens network!!! Drake & Josh are now in their mid to late 20’s and should bring the show back with adult humor. Dan Schneider and Steven Moloraro should consider it. Perhaps the next chuck lorre sitcom??? If you never saw Drake & Josh you should watch it- classic

  • askmelast79

    ” I don’t think Person of Interest is a threat – both shows are similarly rated at this point – it’s just annoying when Person of Interest fans try to act like their show is some big hit, and act like Grey’s Anatomy is a flop.”

    LOL…right! If it isn’t a threat to you, then just let the fans posting go and ignore them. I’m betting you won’t! :) :) :)

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