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.

  • bigbrotherfan

    I didn’t watch IDOL but I may tonight. I like both Nicki and Carey and from the clips of the show on YOUTUBE it looks like there is more to come!

  • Ultima

    The Voice really killed AI because it makes AI auditions seem boring.

    To their credit, FOX and Idol are not blind to that fact. They’ve cut the auditions down to only three weeks this season.

  • Petar Ivanov

    @ I wish these reality TV shows would stop focusing so heavily on the judges, I want more emphasis on the actual talent.

    That rule is for factor/Idol. The voice is BETTER format. ANd more entertaining. TRULY entertaining. But you know they pay these judges millions of $. I guess that is why focus is on them.

  • Danimals

    I hope Nashville gets adjusted down.

  • Harry

    Wow, Arrow did amazing!

  • omabin

    I agree with Ultima. FOX definitely has a problem of a very unbalanced schedule which X-Factor solves. Not to mention it still gives them way higher ratings than anything else they had on during fall. Maybe they could cut it down in the number of hours or something, and for sure they should cut it down in terms of costs, but I don’t see it going anywhere, it is better than the alternative.

  • TVDude

    I’m not a fan of Idol, but a 6.0 is great. It might be down from last year, but Idol’s always been a monster and is still WAY above Fox’s average. That’s not to take anything away from The Voice either, because it also did really well in the fall. Would NBC and Fox like their shows to be a 10.0? Of course, but they also won’t cry about a 6.0, or even a 4.0. Those are all great ratings by today’s standards.

  • Steph

    I will definitely not be watching Idol especially after last night. They’re putting so much focus on Mariah/Nicki’s problems. I can’t deal with it.

  • Xma

    great for arrow and SPN.
    AI: well, not suprised. current rating for most of tv shows are decreased. so to get 6.0 now is great!

    if you compared like that then all tv show should be cancelled!
    eg: all tv show lower than TBBT in CBS should be cancelled, right?

  • RyanCanada

    Why is everyone saying these ratings are bad? cuz there really not.

  • Blake

    IDOL averages for Tuesday (or Wednesday) night shows:

    2006 – 12.86
    2007 – 11.80
    2008 – 10.45
    2009 – 9.11
    2010 – 8.35
    2011 – 7.82
    2012 – 5.33

    Following the lowest rated in-season premiere ever, I guess we can expect Idol ratings declines to continue and this season average to be in the low to mid 4s, with the lowest rated episodes in the low to mid 3s.

  • bigbrotherfan


    Thats funny you say that because as an ex IDOL viewer (stopped in 2006) I will be tuning in again all for the fights between Carey and Nicki.

  • DeanW

    @ DougF

    Im just saying Arrow was alone for its midseason finale and got its series low 1.0.

  • Leondre

    Idol still bigger than most shows, but it looks like it no longer has a major effect on competition from other networks.

  • Dan S

    @Danimals, why do you hope Nashville adjusts down ? Are you hoping by some miracle it’ll get cancelled ? This show isn’t going away just because you don’t like it.

  • Brian J


    It’s a long-term and a short-term question, and it reminds me of the point I used to make with “The Voice” and NBC sitcoms. NBC really needs a scripted show that can eventually stand on its own again, even if it gets that by propping it up with an unscripted show at first. It would make sense, then, to cut down on “The Voice,” even by just a half hour, and see what happens with a scripted show. But then it wouldn’t make as much money, right?

    Fox is in a similar position. If it were more serious about planning for its post “Idol” life, it’d do something similar now, perhaps on Wednesdays or shuffling its Thursday and Tuesday schedules.

    I mention this because it would help them with the scheduling if they succeeded with something like I suggest.

  • Petar Ivanov

    @Part of the problem for FOX is that creates such an unbalanced schedule. You have to find three hours of programming you only need for the fall. It wasn’t a big deal during the earlier seasons because Idol was only on for 90 minutes a week, but now it’s a huge scheduling headache.

    What you mean with that? I don’t get it. Can you explain it onceagain please. Thanks.

  • sally

    i hate singing shows i prefer CSI and CRIMNAL MINDS

  • NGH

    Umm…. please quit comparing The Voice and American Idol. Idol just premiered with a 6.0 in their 12th season, The Voice premiered with a 4.2 in their THIRD season. So, for clarification sake… The Voice… in it’s THIRD season, being FRESH and NEW and EXCITING, still finished 1.8 points lower in the demo than a show that will be a teenager next year. -eyeroll- Perspective, please.

  • Michael

    @Simonsays…in what world is a 6.0(18-49) not a mega-rating?

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