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.

  • Jane

    Even if Idol is down, why in the world would Fox take it off the air? It’s still a top rated show. Someone said Idol is dead, five more seasons max. There are show hoping for a full season talk less of five. I haven’t watch the show since Kelly Clarkson won but some of the comments still baffle me. How many other shows on TV have these kind of ratings?

  • DougF


    What are you talking about?

    1. Supernatural is not the lead in to Arrow
    2. Supernatural was a few thousand viewers from hitting 1.0 in the demo. Which would have been a tenth of a point less than Arrow.

  • CrimTV

    Guys, I understand Idol is down but a 6.0 for it’s 12th season, well a 6.0 for ANYTHING is amazing nowadays! Stop hating!

  • Petar Ivanov

    @Remember when a show hitting a 6.0 was a huge thing and everyone was saying how awesome it was?

    I miss last week…

    Yea but BBT is UP and trand is growing. Idol is drop dast full point and 3 tenths. That’s a lot. Will go in 4s may be 3s in April-May. And now The voice look even bigger hit.

  • Jeff (Canada)

    @Nathaniel M.

    I meant on all of TV. Big Bang Theory is #1, Modern Family #2 and 2.5 Men #3.

  • Ateofi

    American Idol premiered with huge ratings.. Glad to see Arrow go up after midseason decline.

  • CookyMonzta

    Let’s see here: 7.4 in the 18-49 demo and 21.9 million overall last year, and it ended the season averaging 19.2 million. And yesterday’s initial report was 6.0 with 17.8 million overall viewers…

    …I’d say it will be adjusted up to 6.3 and 18.3 million. Which means that, if there is another 2.7-milllion-viewer drift, from debut to average, this season could very well end with an average viewership of 15.6 million, maybe 15.9 million max.

    Based upon last year’s ratings, Idol could end up finishing as bad as NUMBER 8 OR 9! I’ve been saying all along that it will finish at number 6. They’re at a nasty deficit right now, proving that high drama between the judges is NOT what the people want to see anymore.

    Fasten your #%$&@* seatbelts! We are probably going to see one of these Idol shows draw in the TWOS in the 18-49! A low of 12 million viewers is NOT out of the question!

  • Billy

    I couldn’t be happier to see American Idol drop. It will drop even more as the season goes on.

  • networkman

    I would hate to see the results for Suburgatory if it aired after The Middle. It is really underperforming. I don’t feel it should be cancelled. But if ABC is serious about a 2 hour comedy block on Friday it should be moved to that night. I can understand a comedy following Modern Family dropping 2-3 million viewers but anything more than that is ridiculous. Suburgatory should have 3.0 demo with at least 8 million viewers.

  • DW

    i love the logic on this site. AI gets a 6.0 rating when hardly anything gets a 6.0 this season and its a failure but arrow did a 1.1 and SPN did a 0.9 and its a happy day. lol

  • Ultima

    And now The voice look even bigger hit.

    Which is my point exactly. People ignore how well Idol does because it’s not pulling the monster ratings that it was a few years ago. You think The Voice looks like a big hit, yet it will almost certainly finish the season behind Idol.

  • BH

    LOL AI is down sure but aint going anywhere!

  • Jack


    It’s the CW anything over a 0.9 is good.

  • Dan

    Not bad Nashville, but terrible retention Suburgatory and The Neighbors, I expect Neighbors to be axed in May. I’m surprised that the NCIS repeat didn’t do better but for the most part, the ABC comedies held up well against idol.

  • AcE

    Arrow still the most watched show on The CW by almost a million viewers. Holla!

  • gerry

    @ max – if you’re saying something that hasn’t been proven yet (ie those other singing shows will never get there) you’re stating an opinion. not fact.

    american idol can fade away as quickly as it likes and take voicefactorwhatever right along with it.

    arrow is stable after the break. awesomesauce!

    nice for nashville!

  • ryan

    Glad to see CW Arrow and SPN not effected by winter break.

    Fox still performing great with American Idol. But I contemplate if they regret paying so high for mariah and Nikki ? i would think so considering this show used to pull over 10s in demo, however atleast this is no xfactor.

    Good For Nashville rising in demos. I’m not sure if this gradual rise is due to chicago fire repeats but nice to see another 10 PM show besides Scandal trying to grow. On another topic, ABC should ship revenge back to 10 PM slot and demand this show be retooled and try to save the show before it is too late. I honestly don’t know why ABC put it at 9, I thought 10 was good enough.

  • Sarah

    Arrow? Much ado about nothing, I do not understand all this enthusiasm, with all the publicity can not exceed TVD. If I was sent to another network would be canceled.


    Hit it right on the snout w/ 6.0 Idol–let’s hope for a speedy downward spiral

    ABC not too bad, though MF keeps going down, glad Nashville is ticking up

    All (R) sked for NBC did absolutely no good

    CW kickin it w/ Arrow & SPN

    CBS not bad considering, CM should bounce back next week & CSI takes 10:00–WTG

  • Petar Ivanov

    @Criminal Minds is awful.. writing is just inane. Miss when it had actual plots about serial killers we couldn’t figure out in 5 minutes.

    For me CM was always worst cbs drama. Boring, not entertaining etc. But last few weeks this show take a lot of bad heat and neggaive PR from everywhere after all these mass killings.

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