TV Ratings Wednesday: 'American Idol' Down From Last Year, But Still Dominates + 'Nashville', 'CSI' & 'Arrow' Rise (Updated)

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January 17th, 2013

Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 6.0/16 2.5/7 2.1/6 1.6/4 1.0/3 0.8/2
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 4.9/15 1.9/6 1.3/4 1.5/5 0.9/3 0.5/2
Total Viewers (million) 17.900 7.470 10.668 3.906 2.599 2.895

FOX was the number one network in adults 18-49 and with total viewers.

UPDATE: We’ve received time zone adjusted ratings (essentially, finals) and American Idol's total viewers last night went up to 17.9 million from 17.8. There was no change to the 6.0 adults 18-49 rating.

On FOX, the premiere of season 12 of American Idol earned a 6.0, down 19% from last year's 7.4 among adults 18-49. This is the lowest premiere rating since the first season (which aired in the summer). Your predictions were too optimistic.

On ABC, The Middle earned a 2.3, down a tenth from last week's 2.4 adults 18-49 rating. The Neighbors garnered a 1.9, down two tenths from last week's 2.1. Modern Family scored a 4.3, down four tenths from last week's 4.7 adults 18-49 rating. Suburgatory earned a 2.4, down two tenths from last week's 2.6 adults 18-49 rating.  Nashville notched a 2.2, up from last week's 2.1 adults 18-49 rating.

On CBS, Criminal Minds returned to a 2.8, down three tenths from its last original's 3.1. CSI earned a 2.3, up a tenth from its last original's 2.2.

On The CW, Arrow returned to a 1.1, up a tenth from its last original's 1.0 rating a month ago. Supernatural was even with its last original's 0.9.

Late-night results are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Wednesday, January 16, 2013:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
8:00PM FOX American Idol -P 6.0 16 17.90
ABC The Middle 2.3 7 8.201
CBS NCIS -R 1.1 3 8.375
CW Arrow 1.1 3 3.127
NBC Whitney -R 0.8 2 2.663
8:30PM ABC The Neighbors 1.9 5 6.166
NBC Guys With Kids -R 0.8 2 2.355
9:00 PM ABC Modern Family 4.3 11 11.019
CBS Criminal Minds 2.8 7 12.532
CW Supernatural 0.9 2 2.071
NBC Law & Order: SVU -R 0.6 2 2.73
9:30PM ABC Suburgatory 2.4 6 6.351
10:00PM CBS CSI 2.3 6 11.100
ABC Nashville 2.2 6 6.541
NBC Chicago Fire -R 1.0 3 3.447


via press note:

In Late-Night Metered Markets Wednesday night:


* In Nielsen's 56 metered markets, household results were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 2.5.7; CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," 2.7/7; and ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 2.3/6.


* In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 Wednesday results were: " The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, " 0.7/3; "Late Show," 0.6/3; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.8/4.


* From 12:35-1:05 a.m. ET Wednesday night, ABC's "Nightline" averaged a 1.5/5 in metered-market households and a 0.4/3 in 18-49 in the Local People Meters.


* From 12:35-1:35 a.m. ET, "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.3/5 in metered-market households) beat CBS's "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) tied "Late Late Show" (0.4/2).


* At 1:35 a.m., "Last Call with Carson Daly" averaged a 0.8/4 in metered-market households with an encore 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: ©2013 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

You can see TV ratings from other recent Overnight ratings reports here.

Definitions: 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.

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.

  • SS

    What a great result for Criminal Minds and Modern Family. They tackled AI head on with new episodes. Criminal Minds after their long hiatus and with a 1.1 lead in and against both MF and AI stayed strong as the only CBS new episode against AI this week.

  • rob60990

    Are we seriously comparing The Voice’s February ratings to these season premiere ratings for Idol? Talk about grasping at straws.

  • AAA

    “A very Supernatural Christmas “ was much more depressing episode then yesterdays. It was a “good by” episode, in contrast with yesterdays “welcome back”. I’ll go with yesterdays.
    And besides, when SPN was a happy show? I did miss it, I guess. Aside from standalone comedy episodes (which everyone hates as well) it was always very feeling-intense show. Sad. Heartbreaking. And yes, hardcore fans will never give up on show, and never stop watching it live. Personally, I am happy how SPN was able to hold on against AI rating wise. Hope it will be adjusted up, would be nice.

  • Bob

    The Voice has gone DOWN BIG TIME from their first season. Who is lying saying it is going up? The Voice started with a 16.3 and went to 5’s and 6’s. This year it barely got a 4.9. This The Voice is doing extremely better than American Idol needs to stop with the sauce seriously!

  • KS


    I am sorry for your mother’s death.

    And I completely agree with your post. Like I said earlier, there are going to be issues between the brothers, they are going to remain forever. But they still chose to be with each other. That is what defines Winchesters.

    I seriously, don’t understand how fans can actually expect their relationship to be issue-free.

  • 134sc

    I don’t watch Idol, but my whole family does. Looks like Idol still has it.

    If Arrow can maintain a 1.0 or over, it will be around for a long time.

  • thesnowleopard

    Most people in a show’s audience aren’t hardcore fans. Most are pretty casual and may watch for a variety of reasons that could be tied to a single character or trope. Beyond that character or trope, they lose interest. So, it can be difficult to say what will or won’t make them watch, anymore.

  • Tessa

    I still don’t understand why you’re implying that liking the characters on a TV show you watch is a bad thing. Or is it a bad thing only if you have a vagina? You don’t have to be a fangirl (whatever horrible meaning that word has to you,) to like the main characters on a show. If you don’t like Sam, Dean and Castiel, they why the hell are you watching this show? There are shows far more action packed with higher budgets, more critical acclaim and more famous actors you could watch if you’re only after monster hunting and killing bad guys. Also, as the Tumblr post I quoted said, no one’s expecting them not to have torture there. It’s just torture for the sake of torture, with no comfort at the end and no resolution, especially when it is done to one of the most innocent characters on the show that is depressing, fangirlism or not.

  • Katie

    I see Jimmy Kimmel’s ratings were down but there is probably a reason why. When you looked on the listing for who was on last night, it was showing the same guests that were on the night before (Rob Lowe). I think because another guest cancelled so they had Rob on the night before and didn’t change the listing so people didn’t watch because they thought the same guest was on again.

  • Reed Addison

    AI should be still strong this season but declining. I do like your guys ideas about either Idol or X Factor having a summer season I think it would help both shows out including FOX which is declining hard this season as a network. If The Following fails on them they’re in trouble.

    Modern Family is still strong but its eroded badly from last season where as Criminal Minds has been getting the same ratings against AI for years now. NBC’s comedies might not perform high in the ratings but ever since NBC placed them there I’ve noticed the ABC comedies haven’t performed as well as they had during 2009-11 so NBC has done some damage there.

    Chicago Fire repeated better than SVU that’s a good sign for NBC. I’m expecting it to perform stronger against CSI than it did before when it comes back.


    The Voice has not produced any stars. They have a record to go off of. And the first two winners have flopped. The X Factor has only have flops as well. IDOL is the only one who can produce stars.

  • SueP

    @Melanie – I’m with you. So glad that Sam finally chose to stay and hunt because it’s what he is supposed to be doing and that Dean decided to say goodbye to Benny because it was the best way to keep the peace with his brother. I like Benny, and I was sad to see him reach out for help and be shut down, but he seemed to get why and didn’t hold it against Dean. I’m also extremely happy to see the end of Amelia, never did buy into that soap opera. The boys chose to stick with each other and what they know is their responsibility. They may have been quiet about it, but they finally agreed to stop fighting and accepted their reality and that was not depressing at all. And I really wish people would stop using terms like ‘the majority of the fans’ or ‘most fans’ when trying to make their point. You have no way of knowing if your opinions are supported by the majority or just the vocal ones with keyboards on a few internet boards like this one. You’re making assumptions to make your point. Feel free to express your opinions, but try not to lump millions of others into it.

  • Tony ^_^

    So at the end of the season this is probably the ranks of the shows.

    TOTAL VIEWERSHIP:: Sunday Night Football (#1), NCIS (#2), The Big Bang Theory (#3), American Idol (#4)…

    ADULTS 18-49 DEMO: Sunday Night Football (#1), The Big Bang Theory (#2), American Idol (#3)…


  • Keith

    @ rob60990

    What crazy competition does Revenge have on Suns? Walking Dead isn’t airing, Dexter ended and it is up against Fox’s cartoons (doubt they share the same audience). I would imagine the only “competition” they have where they share a large majority of the same viewers is maybe The Good Wife, but then again, The Good Wife hasn’t been a ratings powerhouse and Revenge is supposed to be the “it” show.

    I will give you that the Golden Globes are probably a major reason why the ratings crashed this past Sunday (remember when Desperate Housewives monster ratings impacted all awards shows back in the day?). That’s why I said we’ll see if they continue to drop, but I bet ABC can’t be happy with those numbers for DH’s replacement. It wouldn’t be impossible for Scandal or Nashville to do better numbers in that slot than Revenge.

  • Tessa


    I’m sorry to hear about your mom. Yes, I see how the circumstances are similar. But that’s just it. As much as I’m sad for your loss and that you and your brother had to get together under such circumstances and due to family tragedy, I’m sad that Sam and Dean had to get together because of what their lives have become, not because they chose to care about each other. They can’t even keep one friend to sooth their pain without that person getting killed or going bad or being controlled by something evil. Hope you have friends around you to comfort you through hard times.

  • Melanie

    Good news for Nashville. I haven’t watched a whole season of American Idol since 2009 but was curious to see how the panel would be after all the news coverage of Nicki and Mariah’s feud. It was ok, I think there are just too many singing competitions on nowdays, that Idol isn’t the ratings powerhouse that it used to be. Still pretty good ratings for Fox though.

  • Michael


    Well there you go!
    FOX executives much be popping the champagne this morning.

    And, sorry for the weird “?” and for not being clear:
    I meant to say $100 million on talent (judges and hosts)

    Still the top-rated show on TV – absolutely. But trust me, the brain trust at FOX was hoping and praying for a slight Golden Globes-esque ratings increase. Trust me.

  • Tessa


    And I really wish people would stop using terms like ‘the majority of the fans’ or ‘most fans’ when trying to make their point. You have no way of knowing if your opinions are supported by the majority or just the vocal ones with keyboards on a few internet boards like this one. You’re making assumptions to make your point. Feel free to express your opinions, but try not to lump millions of others into it.

    If that was directed at me I need to remind you that I said “a number of hardcore fans” (quoting myself from page 10) and not “the majority.” You need to check your sources before going on a rant about something, if you were talking about me.

    Also the Tumblr quote I posted was a sample out of dozens of similar ones I saw since last night. It doesn’t mean that’s what everyone thinks, but it’s a random sample (a scientific concept) of an opinion that is repeating over and over and has credibility as such, no more, no less.

  • snoot

    Was suburgatory pulling better numbers at 8:30 last year?

  • Mark

    Season averages: 1.85 in the demo with 4.83 million.

    Season averages: 1.40 in the demo with 4.15 million.

    Season averages: 1.41 in the demo with 4.09 million.

    Are we still discussing which one will get renewed and which not?

    Zimbio is publishing today that “according to reports, NBC’s hit show” TNN is gearing up for a second season.

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