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.

  • HalCapone

    Yes, of course the Idol ratings are very good relative to competition but these 20-25% drops in the ratings are hugely significant. It’s certainly not dead but is slowly dying. It will be interesting to see how the newer Voice fares when it returns. My guess is that it will also be down but not as steep a drop as Idol. A decline of 15% for The Voice would not be unreasonable. The genre is no longer fresh, no matter how many eccentric pop star judge changes they make or whatever gimmicks like big red vinyl swivel chairs, etc. they incorporate. It can’t die fast enough for me.

  • slow start

    @ Oliver

    In a fantasy world its done after this season. As long as its getting strong ratings like it is it will stay on for a very long time. There’s a thing called making a show cheaper too. They’ll make it cheaper before they cut the chord. X Factor is going to be around a while just like Idol.

  • CookyMonzta

    CrimTV: The reason people (including myself, admittedly) are falling over themselves over Idol’s 2013 season debut numbers is quite simple: THIS IS IDOL WE’RE TALKING ABOUT! Any other show would kill for a 6.0 in the 18-49 demo or 17.8 million total viewers; but this is so unlike a show that used to start off with 12.0-16.0 in the 18-49 and 30-37 million total viewers.

    Do I think they will carry on for another 5 years? NO! It will be embarrassing for FOX and 19E to let the show continue as a pathetic shell of its former glory, if next year’s debut draws 5.0, and the year after that, 4.5 or worse. We are likely to see one of Idol’s telecasts this year draw in the 2s, and probably with as few as 12 million viewers overall. The sooner they draw fewer than 10 million viewers for ONE show, FOX will sharpen the axe ready to chop it down. The X-Factor is already in big trouble, given this past season’s big drop, and next season could be its last.

  • Blake

    When J.Lo/Steven Tyler panel premiered in 2011 they were actually up a notch from the previous season premiere.

    Minaj & The Gang are down 19% from last year. And that includes curious people tuning in just to check them out and tune out next week.

    I hope all of you “monster hit” people don’t expect that 6.0 rating to hold up. The show will be at Voice levels by the end of the season.

  • Petar Ivanov

    @The problem with X Factor is that it takes up so much of Fox’s schedule time that it severely limits how many new shows they can launch, which makes it harder for them to find hits. In other words, it gets okay ratings but has a huge opportunity cost.I think Factor is done after next season, and I also wouldn’t be surprised if they cut the Thursday hour to free up some schedule space.

    well the real problem for fox is that they don’t have good lead-in for their new shows. And new shows without good lead-in collapse these days. Even 2 BG was in lows. NG complitly collapse. Bones and Glee can’t give them leads that they need.


    Honestly I loved Nicki last night. She was heartful, kooky but not afraid to say no and she gave great comments. I loved Keith as well. The one that I found to be the surprising kind of dissapointment was Mariah Carey. I found her to be kind of dull and she looked and acted like she was too big for this show. Honestly I will say this I thought Jennifer Lopez was better then Mariah Carey. I can see why Mariah is not a Nicki fan she is the star waiting to emerge from the show. Plus this panel would be boring without her and after two years of soft judging I want someone with some edge.


    @ Johnnysbro

    Compared to Adele, Phillip Phillips is a failure

    In its 12th season, 60 Minutes had a 27.0 average

  • Kywie

    NBC is doing much better at scheduling this season. That was a good move keeping the NBC Wednesday shows which had been hot the past few weeks a break against Idol and CBS procedural returns.

  • Wright


    In what world did SPN suck last night? Sam chose his brother by the end like he should have. It was great.

  • Freyja

    Sad people still care about that crap called Idol ;) I didn’t even know or care it was returning.

    The music they churn out is crap, that’s played out, then again most of today all sounds the same. No thanks I’ll stick to heavy metal/real rock not those wanna be rock crap either.

    Glad to see SPN and Arrow tick up a bit :) SPN had a slow start and I hope we never ever see Amelia again…

    Male oriented shows will always do well against Idol =)

  • Oliver

    @slow start

    If it drops another 20% then Fox will (rightly) think they could do better with scripted shows in fall 2014.

    Moving it to summer to replace SYTYCD? might be a decent bet, though.


    Oh Old Man u are mentioning Adele, who compares to Adele? Adele sold 27 million worldwide. Ur going to laugh PP sold more albums then Madonna did this year.

    To be honest with you if Idol’s original panel returned Randy-Paula-Simon do u think numbers would go way back up? They haven’t been a panle together since 2008. Ill be honest with u I miss Paula Abdul. Jennifer Lopez was good, I am finding Mariah to be dull but IMO they both lacked the loopy fun quality of Paula Abdul. She was so loopy, fun and she loved the contestants. She lived and died by the contestants and could spot talent a mile away. She championed Daughtry as her fave from the beginning in season 5. Idol to me still hasn’t felt the same since Paula. I miss her she was fun to watch.

  • Petar Ivanov

    @NBC is doing much better at scheduling this season. That was a good move keeping the NBC Wednesday shows which had been hot the past few weeks a break against Idol and CBS procedural returns.

    They can’t hide them all the time. Idol will stay till may. The same with CM and CSI. Survivor is back soon.

  • Flame

    Ah, with the Idol premiere down a lot already I see fun times ahead for TBBT. Maybe later in the run I can see fun coming up for Modern Family, possibly beating it in the common half hour.

  • Kelly

    Really pleased Arrow went up, even if I would have liked it to have been by a little bit more. The CW must be pleased though, it’s firmly cemented itself as the number 2 show on the network, which is way better than any new show launched in the past 3 years has done. Wonder if they’ll move it to try and launch a new show in the fall, or if they’ll leave the Arrow/SPN pairing alone, as it seems to work well for them.

  • bigbrotherfan


    Agreed Nicki is great from the clips I have seen.
    But the only reasons PAULA gave that kinda loopy fun off is because she was out of her mind on Valuim and pain killers.

  • Matt

    It is so amuzing when people state that “AI” is “Dead.” The Voice didn’t come close to a 6.0 rating…and the Voice will definitely not come close at all after 12 seasons if it even makes it to Season 12. I have no idea why people are so against AI getting a 6.0 when every other network would kill for that 6.0.

    Another thing, people state the show is dead because it is loosing daily viewers….well look at 99% of ALL the TV SHOWS out there…they are almost ALL losing viewers because of DVRs and internet viewing. No one gets mad when another show loses 20% of its viewers, yet people do not take long ot mock AI with a 6.0 (yes, 6.0!!) rating after 12 years on the air….

    Some people just don’t understand….lol


    amazing, yesterday ncis has its biggest ratings ever! whos picture they the put up, betty white. yet today they have idol all ready to go. sure there is no bias


    @ bigbrotherfan

    I honestly respect Mariah’s 5-octave range, but Minaj, to be polite, never heard her “sing” (can she?)–Super Bass has a nice beatbox, but…


  • Michael

    Max – You’re completely missing the point. Show me another show spending $100 Million on production.

    With arrogant, egotistical, delusional Nigel Lythgoe at the helm, “Idol” is bleeding ratings and profitability at a pace that has FOX shaking.

    Everyone didn’t say “American Idol” would “die the minute Simon Cowell left” as Lythgoe ridiculously claims. Rather, most folks said it would dive in the ratings.? And it has. Big time.? 17.9 Million viewers last night. Down 20%!? Disaster!?

    Despite Fox/19 spending close to A HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS to prop up the show with overpaid “superstar” duds like J. Lo, Ellen, Tyler, Mariah, Urban and the indescribably annoying Minaj.? PLUS, opening the Fox “wallet” further to keep the disastrous “X Factor” from jumping to another network.?

    Expensive Expensive Expensive.?

    All because Lythgoe and Midget Mike forgot one thing…? IT’S ALL ABOUT CHEMISTRY.? They got lucky with Simon-Paula and FOX made a bundle. ?Now they’ve failed miserably with every single ridiculous “new” and UNimproved panel.? And Nigel has destroyed So You Think You Can Dance with his star-f@c%!ng guest judges. No chemistry = ratings crash. Duh.

    But you gotta give Nigel & Midget Mike credit, with faces-even-radio-would-reject, they’ve ridden “Idol” to lucrative, self-promoting careers – as they’ve destroyed a great format, slowly but surely.? Blaming everyone but themselves.

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