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.

  • Tessa


    A) That wasn’t what you were talking about in your rant. You were referring to the Sam and Dean bond as evident in your post.

    B) I was paraphrasing KS himself who was asking why the majority of fans cared so much about Castiel and not for example Anna.

    Yes, this time you got your sources right but the context wrong. :D

  • ToXiX

    The Big Bang theory’s 18-49 is higher than The Walking Dead could ever dream. Wtf you talking about @Ultima

  • Dan

    Hey you know what, The ratings may be down considerably but aside from Big Bang, Idol beats everything else. Thats good enough for FOX to keep it around for as long as possible.

  • Ultima

    The Big Bang theory’s 18-49 is higher than The Walking Dead could ever dream. Wtf you talking about @Ultima

    Both are currently at a 5.3 season average…

  • alvar

    You’re clearly dellusional if you think that a 6.0 for Idol is terrible. A show in its 12th season just makes this rating look even more amazing.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with Suburgatory. It might not be as popular as Modern Family but the numbers are still consistent and a safe bet for renewal. I don’t think the numbers are down significantly on last year. Its also not reliant on its Modern Family lead in – it held its own last year without it.

    Nashville and Chicago Fire seem to be gaining some traction, the latter should be switched with SVU.

  • KS


    I was referring to the online fans. After being 16 months online, I did not find a single post asking for redemption of Anna.

    For the Record, I liked Anna till the very end. I don’t really hate the writers, when they turn my favorite characters bad(provided that it is NOT out of character). Actually I liked her even more after she has taken such a step to kill Sam and their parents.

    And regarding your reply to me page 15, are you actually saying, Sam and Dean never cared about each other? But they were just forced to be with each other? I guess you are wrong again. Of course it is true that, they need to be with each other, but that doesn’t really mean, they hate each other.

    The culprit here is the hunting and taking care of each other is something good that comes out of this bad thing.

  • Josh

    Go NASVILLE:-)

  • Josh


  • Joseph

    I don’t know how many homes OWN reaches, but if they are in at least 85 million homes, I suspect it’s telecast of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Lance Armstrong tonight (January 17th) and especially tomorrow (January 18th) will likely be the most-watched program (cable or broadcast) in it’s time period, or at the very least, come close.

  • Tessa

    I don’t have a Tumblr account. I usually go on the site and look under the Supernatural tag. It’s a place for people to express their feelings about each episode after it airs. If you have a more reliable source that directly monitors fan reaction without the bad reputation of Tumblr or Twitter let me know.

    Fans always gush over episodes after they air. It’s a given in the overexcited, hyperactive Supernatural fandom. The reason I mentioned the gloom was because of the large number of “I am depressed” messages among the “OMG, what a great episode! xoxoxo” ones. When a group of people (again, not a random sample but we don’t have access to that now, do we?) who generally react in a certain way gets divided and a large number of them reacts in a different way, it’s not too farfetched to say, “Last night’s episode caused a number of hardcore fans to get upset.” I don’t see what your argument with that is?

  • CookyMonzta

    I’m absolutely amazed and amused at how so many people are trying to paint a happy face on a show that used to draw 15.0 in the 18-49 demo, and prided itself on being the #1 show; not #1 TALENT show or #1 show IN ITS TIME SLOT, but #1 show PERIOD! Now that it is no longer the case, people are just drawing straws or scraping at the bottom of the barrel to prop up its declining popularity any way they can. I am no longer impressed.

  • Tessa

    @CookyMonzta, or people are trying not to apply the Gunsmoke Rule to the show the way you just did.

  • POI


  • gerry

    i forget who said what, but certainly if scandal or nashville were in the sunday slot, they would have a harder time. especially nashville, which has barely established an audience.

    revenge is suffering a bit because their second season isn’t as strong as its first. i’ll give it that. but sunday night is a tough night because ALL OF CABLES MOST WATCHED SHOWS AIR IN THAT TIME PERIOD. (most, anyhow.)

    last week’s dip is likely very much tied to the globes. as someone who watches both revenge and good wife, i forewent both to watch the globes. everyone i know that watches revenge did the same. i’m sure we’re not in the minority. i’m actually surprised it did as well as it did and i’m even more surprised that abc scheduled it opposing the awards. that was a dumb move on their part.

  • Tessa


    Nobody cared about Anna’s redemption because she wasn’t there long enough for us to build a connection with her. When Castiel fell he’d been with the show for two seasons as an ally. He saved Sam and Dean’s lives multiple times and was one of the four beings (five if you count the Impala) who was involved in averting the Apocalypse. Of course people care more about him than a one off character who was introduced to advance one part of a season long plot.

    As for if I think Sam and Dean ever cared for each other, of course I do. I brought up “A very Supernatural Christmas” in one of my posts for a reason. What I said was that in the past, when they came together, (such as at the end of that episode) it was because they loved each other and you could feel it in the air. Last night however they came together because of obligation, and the only thing I felt in the air was sadness from both because they missed the people they had to leave behind.

  • Ultima

    I don’t know how many homes OWN reaches, but if they are in at least 85 million homes, I suspect it’s telecast of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Lance Armstrong tonight (January 17th) and especially tomorrow (January 18th) will likely be the most-watched program (cable or broadcast) in it’s time period, or at the very least, come close.

    Idol’s not doing that bad… :roll:

  • Fred

    I can’t be the only one who couldn’t care less about Lance Armstrong. My guess is he’ll cry and beg forgiveness. Seen it all before with other egotistical liars.

    Idol is still a huge hit for FOX. They need it so very badly.

    CW betters NBC. Rare feat.

  • CookyMonzta

    @Tessa: I’m comparing this show’s year-by-year progress to the progress of shows which debuted DURING THE EXACT SAME ERA, especially ‘NCIS’, which, in its 10 seasons, has GAINED viewers, and so has ‘The Big Bang Theory’, while ‘Idol’ has lost viewers, especially young viewers (median viewing age now 48; it started at 34 in 2002). The ‘Gunsmoke’ Rule does not apply here. QED.

  • Dan

    This is the first time i wont be watching IDOL mostly because i dont care for the judges but it’s far from done. It’s still going to be very successful.

    Oh and GO Nashville!!!

  • Vanessa S.

    All of the chatter and reactions I’ve seen about last night’s episode of SPN have been positive. And while I didn’t like last night’s ending as much as I did the one on A Very Supernatural Christmas, I thought it was quite fitting given what we’d seen so far this season. I didn’t think the boys were so much depressed as simply resigned to the facts. Also, I think that they are still hurting and smarting from all the cuts they’ve doled out to each other but I think time together will heal the wounds. Now that they’ve finally gotten past the initial bitterness and bickering, I’m hoping they’ll both remember that they love each other and can go forward together.

    Thank goodness the Amelia storyline has wrapped up for the time being. I just couldn’t stand her. Sadly, we’ll see her again though.

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