TV Ratings Wednesday: 'American Idol' Hits a Low But Still Wins Night, 'Modern Family', 'Survivor' & 'CSI' Up, 'Arrow' Falls

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February 21st, 2013

Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 4.1/11 2.5/7 2.1/6 1.6/5 1.5/4 0.9/3
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 3.2/10 1.5/5 1.5/5 1.4/5 1.2/4 0.8/2
Total Viewers (million) 14.239 10.242 6.813 3.912 5.079 2.670


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

On FOX, American Idol scored a 4.1 down from 5 percent from last week's 4.3 adults 18-49 rating. This is the series' lowest adults 18-49 rating for a Wednesday since at least July 10, 2002. Your predictions were accurate.

On CBS, Survivor: Caramoan: Fans vs Favorites earned a 2.5 up 4 percent from a 2.4 adults 18-49 for last week’s premiere. Criminal Minds tied its series low with a 2.7 adults 18-49 rating down 4 percent from a 2.8 for  its last original on  February 6.CSI garnered a 2.3, up 21 percent from last week's series low 1.9 adults 18-49 rating.

On ABC, The Middle earned a 2.2 up 16 percent from last week's season low 1.9 among adults 18-49.  The Neighbors scored a 1.9, up 12 percent from last week’s 1.7 adults 18-49 rating. Modern Family garnered a 3.9, up 3 percent from last week’s 3.8 adults 18-49 rating. Suburgatory notched a 2.0, down 5 percent from last week’s 2.1 adults 18-49 rating. A special 202/20: Mad About Oscar earned a 1.3 adults 18-49 rating, down 28 percent from Nashville’s 1.8 in the time period last week.

On NBC, Whitney tied its series low with a 1.1 down 8 percent from last week's 1.2 adults 18-49 rating. Guys With Kids garnered a 1.1 up 10 percent from last week's series low 1.0 adults 18-49 rating. Law & Order SVU notched a 1.7 adults 18-49 rating up 13 percent from last week's 1.5. Chicago Fire earned a 1.9 adults 18-49 rating, even with last week.

On the CW, Arrow garnered a 0.9, down 18 percent from last week's 1.1 adults 18-49 rating. Supernatural earned a 0.9 down 10 percent from last week's 1.0 adults 18-49 rating.

Late-night results are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Wednesday, February 20, 2013:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (millions)
8:00 FOX American Idol (8-10PM) 4.1/11 14.24
CBS Survivor 2.5/7 9.45
ABC The Middle 2.2/7 8.17
NBC Whitney 1.1/3 3.26
CW Arrow 0.9/3 3.12
8:30 ABC The Neighbors 1.9/5 6.29
NBC Guys With Kids 1.1/3 2.96
9:00 ABC Modern Family 3.9/10 10.57
CBS Criminal Minds 2.7/8 10.74
NBC Law & Order; SVU 1.7/4 5.71
CW Supernatural 0.9/3 2.22
9:30 ABC Suburgatory 2.0/5 5.89
10:00 CBS CSI 2.3/7 10.54
NBC Chicago Fire 1.9/5 6.42
ABC 20/20: Mad About Oscar 1.3/4 4.98


via press note:

In Nielsen's 56 metered markets, household results were: "The
> Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 2.7/7; CBS's "Late Show with David
> Letterman," 2.6/7; and ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 2.1/6.
> * In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49
> Wednesday results were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 0.8/4; "Late
> Show," 0.7/4; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.8/4.
> * From 12:35-1:05 a.m. ET Wednesday night, ABC's "Nightline"
> averaged a 1.3/4 in metered-market households and a 0.5/3 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) tied CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig
> Ferguson" (1.3/4). In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late
> Night" (0.4/3 in 18-49) tied "Late Late Show" (0.4/3).
> * At 1:35 a.m., "Last Call with Carson Daly" averaged a 0.8/4 in
> metered-market households 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.

  • The Steve Sanders

    Whitney has gotten so bad my wife refuses to watch it…all the actors look and act like they want to be somewhere else,and when Cummings tries to act,it gets worse.If NBC does’nt flush this turd of a low rated show,then I’m guessing she has incriminating pictures of NBC execs in sexual congress with farm animals.

  • PurpleDrazi

    @KT – You’re not the only one. I actually came to Criminal Minds late when they started showing it in syndication but I managed to catch all the seasons on DVD.

    Honestly, I feel like the show has been going downhill ever since season 5. While they had a few great episodes in 6 & 7 I think they also had some of the absolute worst as well. I never watch it live anymore.

    Still, it is doing OK in the ratings and will be around for a little while longer as long as it doesn’t drop off drastically next year.

  • RyanCanada

    camparing demo’s to viewers with Arrow and Supernatural, it seem Arrow attracts a higher age group then supernatural, and that makes sense, as my 60 year old parents both watch Arrow

  • Tessa


    Sorry to hear all the bad news. That is why we escape into all these TV shows, to escape from the crap in real world.

    And did India seriously believe the Brits would give back the diamond? Heck, I visited the Acropolis museum in Athens two years ago and they have more items marked at “currently on display at the London Museum” than they had items. That’s what the British used to do in colonial days. Go around take other people’s stuff.

  • RyanCanada

    Actually Whitney has been really funny lately, im loving that the bar is there new social spot as friends.

  • Tessa


    But isn’t it curious that Supernatural, an 8 year old show with a 30+ y/o cast, attracts such a young audience? I’m really interested in finding out where the attraction for the 18-34 comes from.

  • Brian J

    @The Steve Sanders:

    Whitney Cummings is funny, but her show is pretty weak. How did that happen so easily? Is there no show runner that could made that work?

  • Sam

    I forgot to watch Arrow this week. It has gotten so repetitive, boring and also depressing to watch. It just isn’t fun …

  • Ashton Butcher

    Survivor bounced back after a disappointing premiere last week but I think CBS will still make a change here next season and shuffle Survivor off to either Sundays or Fridays and put a procedural here. Criminal Minds looks like its starting to officially age but CSI had a big episode last night and saw a boost. So overall CBS had some mixed results but still overall good.

    Idol is struggling a bit this year but if the performance shows are good some viewers may catch onto it but sometimes I wonder if the additions of Mariah and Nicki Minaj is a major reason for the further decline of Idol’s ratings. I think the show should contact Paula again or another judge with credibility to keep the show more stable for the future. I could see NBC possibly going against Idol during one of the audition weeks that will be hella interesting.

    ABC Wednesday’s block has aged pretty quickly since this block has only been around for 4 years not 8-10 years like CBS and FOX have. This block is pretty much going to go as Modern Family goes and since this show is declining they might only have 2-3 more years with this block left which is why I thought it was smart for ABC to start to build back up Fridays again. Sometimes I think Nashville would be doing a bit more better if the block didn’t age on them in front of them.

    Arrow and Supernatural are rock solid but The CW might have something special with Cult, a lot of the people who watched the show seemed to have liked it so the network should protect it by giving it a sampling out of Arrow one of these weeks during the spring.

    Chicago Fire continues to be the big bright spot on NBC these past couple of months since the network started falling off after The Voice concluded. Chicago Fire has done a very good job of holding its own against CSI, this is rather impressive for a new show on a struggling network to be doing this well against a veteran drama that had new momentum coming into this season. SVU is providing some stable lead-in support for it, its sad that people don’t give SVU enough credit for helping NBC not turn Chicago Fire into the next Prime Suspect or Do No Harm. My thing about CF is they should probably leave it where its at but a move up an hour or to a different night against a more vulnerable CBS procedural should be something that NBC experiments with but its extremely risky.

    The NBC comedy situation is starting to get tight there’s really no standouts ratings wise as P&R does very well in the demo but its viewership isn’t that high to separate it from the rest of the pact but its syndication deal guarantees it another season. My thought process right now is that all of these comedies are rating real low so at this point NBC will be making other decisions based on their financial situation with them. They will probably keep around 3-4 vets and use them as security blankets and the rest will be new. My thought is that NBC will cut back on their Thursday comedy block and program their single-cams to single hours and expand the multi-cams to a 2 hour block either on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Fridays.

    At this point Whitney will be renewed off of its status for Comcast to get a syndicated multi-cam by 2016 although ratings wise it should be cancelled. Guys with Kids might be renewed for the same reason or based off of potential but it also might depend on if NBC programs other family comedies to put around it, if that’s not the case it will not comeback. NBC owns these two comedies so they’ll be looking at a bunch of other numbers before making their final decision on them in May.

  • Mi

    Arrow is not repetitive at all, what exactly is repetitive about it? That the Hood stopped the villain? That’s no more repetitive than Sam and Dean stopping the monster of the week or catching the bad guy in CSI, CM, etc. etc.

  • Freddy Arrow

    @The Steve Sanders

    “Whitney has gotten so bad my wife refuses to watch it…all the actors look and act like they want to be somewhere else,and when Cummings tries to act,it gets worse.If NBC does’nt flush this turd of a low rated show,then I’m guessing she has incriminating pictures of NBC execs in sexual congress with farm animals.”

    The networks don’t care how good or bad a show is. If the show gets enough viewers, it stays on the air, if it doesn’t, then it’s cancelled. Personally I think Whitney and all the other low rated NBC sitcoms are better than 2 Broke Girls, but alas, it’s not up to me to decide their fates.

  • Colonel

    NBC to finish behind Univision in Sweeps…Aye Carumba.

  • opae

    The Middle is the most boring/stupid show ever. IT deserves to be cancelled, but probably won’t cause too many idiots watch it.

  • MOn

    Wow, lots of junk Supernatural fanatic posts. Should have been filtered out.

  • Bitter Ringer Fan

    @opae are you on drugs? it doesn’t deserve to be canceled and deep inside you know it, it’s not going anywhere so deal with it! The show doesn’t need a lead in to survive like other shows. what kind of idiotic shows do you watch anyway?

  • MichaelChickless

    @senor chang

    Not bad! But at 8:30 on ABC, the show is called the Floppors.

  • opae

    I used to watch Ringer :P

  • Colonel

    And now the NBC website is infected with malware. It just gets better and better. My web browser won’t let me go to the NBC website. Hilarious.

  • Holly

    Chicago Fire has done far better than I expected after the first few episodes. It’s not a hit by any stretch, but it definitely has the potential to become a steady utility player for the network. SVU will probably continue until Hargitay wants to leave, but it’s no longer a flagship show for them. The Wednesday comedies did better than the Tuesday ones, but that’s not saying much. For the net that used to be known for comedy, NBC really needs to turn things around in that department.

    Idol continues it’s expected drop. It will probably be averaging in the upper 3s, which is still better than the majority of TV shows.

    Arrow is a bit down, but really, it’s still a major hit for the CW so it doesn’t matter.

    ABC’s comedies continue to serve them well. Neighbors is the lowest of the bunch, but still doing OK. Suburgatory really isn’t taking advantage of its lead-in so I doubt it will keep its timeslot next season.

    CM dropped a bit but it’s not even remotely in danger. CSI’s bump helped though. I think predictions of CBS sending their highest rated 10pm show to Fridays are off the mark.

  • MichaelChickless

    @KT Re: Criminal Minds

    Are you watching The Following?

    And can someone here please tell me more about Sam and Dean and Bobby and Castiel and Crowley and John and Ruby and Lisa and Lucifer and Ellen and Samuel and Kevin and Jo and Zachariah and Amelia and Benny and Mary and Ruby and Bela and Dick and Anna and Chuck and Ben and Balthazar and Meg?

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