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.

  • Laina


    FINALLY a voice of reason!! I agree with you completely regarding the equality of Sam and Dean over the course of the series!

    So I thought this week’s episode was just okay. I didn’t hate, didn’t love it. It was definitely one of my least faves of the season, but it did have a few funny moments and a good brothers moment at the end. Glad to see the ratings remained pretty strong.

  • Mi

    @Richard Steven Hack
    “You could be right, I didn’t think of that because of the show’s focus on her relationship with Oliver. Although Katie Cassidy is 26 and Willa Holland 21, so I don’t see the five years age difference being that great. I don’t even remember how old the character is supposed to be. I assume she’s supposed to be a “teenager” although we never see her in school.”
    Thea is supposed to be 18 and Laurel is supposed to be in Oliver’s age, which is 27/28, so in the show, there are almost 10 years between them.

    “Deathstroke is the one who brings ratings to Arrow lol.”
    Slade was in this episode.

    I personally think this week’s Arrow was one of the better episodes, not as good as last week, but still pretty good.

  • Geordiegirl1967

    “Oops, looks like I was late with my warning to tia. Geordiegirl1967 was already watching this board like a hawk waiting to swoop down on anyone who even implied the awesome Sam storyline was anything but awesome.”

    I said NOTHING about Sam’s storyline. I commented on the posters (incorrect) use of the RATINGS (this is a ratings site not a SPN fan board) as evidence that lots of the audience support his/her view that the last ep was terrible and were deserting the show in droves. You / they have every right to your negative opinion on the last ep, but the ratings simply don’t support your assertion that lots of people agree with you. I can see how that’d be disappointing but the ratings are what they are, and my post was about the ratings not the episode.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Just a note with regard to all the “Sam vs Dean vs Castiel” comments.

    I started with Supernatural around season 6 IIRC. I simply am oblivious to all these hardcore fan discussions about who gets more screen time, who gets more story arcs, who is loved more by the writers, etc. All that stuff just blows past me. I’m far more concerned over whether a given episode was well done, whether it contributed to the season arc, etc.

    I suspect that at some point the fans themselves are the show’s worst enemies. While it’s great from the producers’ standpoint that the fans are passionate about the show, when it becomes something close to a “cult” and fans begin obsessing about one small element of the show over all others and start fluctuating their viewing – and thus possibly the ratings – based on their obsessions, this isn’t a good thing.

    Not that I think any TV show’s ratings are necessarily determined solely by the hardcore fans, who are probably a small fraction of the show’s overall audience. But I can see some of that influencing a show in the case of some shows which are on the edge in ratings in any event (like most of the CW’s shows.)

    Chill out, folks. It’s only a TV show. It’s OK to suggest ways that the show could be improved, either by changing story lines, adjusting characters, improving direction by crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s so plot holes are minimized. I do that all the time.

    But there’s a limit to how much you can micro-manage a show’s audience perception. And remember that it’s likely the majority of the viewers of a show, even the fans of a show, are not “hardcore” and couldn’t care less about this sort of thing.

  • John A

    @RSH Revenge fans could be better and not answer Max but wait till tomorrow they will bash Scandal if it drops the very same as Max does then they claim to be the victims of Max.

  • 728huey

    Idol continues to fall, and while some of that may be because of the current lineup of judges, I think the bigger reason is that there is some reality TV fatigue for the long-running shows like Idol, Survivor, DWtS, TAR, The Bachelor, etc. Most of these shows have been on TV for 10 years or more, and we already know what to expect at this point, so unless you’re a huge fan of a particular show you’re eventually going to tune out at some point. I’m still a fan of Idol, but some of the shows do feel quite a bit repetitious, from the type of comments made by the judges to the songs selected by the contestants. I was a huge fan of Survivor in the first five years it was on the air, but I eventually got bored with it and don’t watch it at all these days.

    The one thing I’ll give credit to The Voice is that they gave a fresh, lively makeover to what would otherwise be a tired format by having the judges only hear the contestants sing, plus the judges themselves are quite interesting and spirited. Also, being performers themselves adds a huge bit of credibility to the show.

    One more thing: The Bachelor has been on the air for about ten years, yet there hasn’t been a person of color who has been selected to be the Bachelor or Bachelorette. Is America still that racist? Or is ABC too scared to shake up their format?

  • Justin121

    You apparently didn’t get the memo yesterday. There is a moratorium on the use/overuse of the word “flop” moving forward . How about American “Idle”?

    Nah, that’s too snobish for the cool TVBTN commentors :D

    Apprently Justin thinks shows are required to stay at their peak forever. Once they start to drop they are now considered flops

    Or, you know, going out with dignity…

  • Richard Steven Hack

    cros: “Deathstroke is the one who brings ratings to Arrow lol. Now I hope they know.”

    Ah, no. You do know the guy in the Deathstroke mask in the earlier episodes isn’t actually Deathstroke, right? Deathstroke is Slade Wilson, the guy who has been in the last two episodes helping Oliver. He has the mask, too, but hasn’t worn it yet.

    And the previous island portions of the episodes have been too confusing to help the show. Only in the last two episodes has the island situation been clarified somewhat.

    I’ll agree decent villains are what the show needs. We need more Merlyn in full costume, and other cool villains. Kelly Hu is back next week as China White and hopefully we’ll see more of her than we have in earlier episodes where she’s been a really peripheral character. Although I kind laugh at the white wig… :-) Kelly’s hot enough in her own hair.

    Mi: OK, so Thea is 18, Laurel is 26-28 and Oliver’s about the same age. We still don’t see Thea doing much “teenager” stuff. She’s either in the house or partying at some club. While the producers may think she’s attracting a teen audience, I think that notion pales besides the fact that it’s a COMIC BOOK SHOW which by definition is likely to be much more important at that.

    Which is why I mentioned “micro-managing.” The premise of the show is much more important than any given character.

    I still think she’s there solely to flesh out Oliver’s relationship with his family. I suppose it could be for both reasons. Net result is still a waste of space.

    Kill Thea! :-)

  • Richard Steven Hack

    John A: “@RSH Revenge fans could be better and not answer Max”

    I tried that. He’s too irritating and now he’s producing “copycats”.

    “but wait till tomorrow they will bash Scandal if it drops the very same as Max does then they claim to be the victims of Max.”

    And they are. Max started this crap. I don’t watch Scandal and couldn’t care less about it but if Max keeps this crap up I’ll start bashing Scandal for no rational reason either.

    I’d prefer to just bash Max, however! :-)

    None of which excuses YOUR cheap shot at Revenge fans.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    Mi: To clarify on Arrow, I do think this week’s episode was good – at least the island part. But the random “criminal of the week” wasn’t that compelling, just OK. They need to spend more time on Merlyn, Moira and the “Undertaking” and bring in more cool villains who can be connected to that story line.

  • John A

    @RSH I Watch Revenge too and i dont consider that a cheap shot. No one else called me out for it. Maybe your Super Sensitive.

  • Joe

    Thank god Survivor went up from last week, I was getting nervous!

  • Noel

    The next episode of Arrow promises to be very exciting so I think it will go up, maybe it will adjust up a bit later. Still it’s not something terribly low people.

  • Carl

    I guess I’ll do one last post after all…

    @Ramona, the promos this season that have had Cas have, aside from the nursing home episode, focused entirely on him (or almost entirely). The promo for 8×10 was terrible, because they thought showing a character stabbed in the eye and tortured was a great way to keep people watching, so they were fortunate to get the ratings for 8×10 that they did (it was also a bad episode in general).

    There’s no myth arc this season, just a lot of bouncing around. That’s why when people are gone and not mentioned, it’s jarring.

    @RSH, I think valid complaints about stories are sometimes filed under character bashing or talking about airtime. I think Sam’s stories have been terrible for the last 3-4 seasons. Someone would say that is being jealous because of Dean or Cas. It’s more like wanting a character who is one of the leads to actually have material beyond how sick he is and how he has to keep secrets/has secrets kept from him because he is so burdened. I can’t believe I’m seeing him cough up blood like he’s in a grindhouse La Boheme. There are many stories you can tell for Sam and instead you get “I want a normal life,” “I have a destiny,” and Samergency. I don’t want Sam to go, I want Sam to have better stories.

  • Ramona


    The marketing staff can choose what they like to highlight in the promos, but it doesn’t change the fact that there has been no sign that Cas being in an episode has any affect on the ratings. There is a core, loyal group of normal viewers who watch the show regardless, and they just don’t care what us crazies on the internet think :D

  • fx

    Does anyone still watch Idol?

  • Jason

    Arrow has been great lol. But wtf @ a 0.9. That doesn’t even make sense to me how that could happen to Arrow. Regardless it has a strong following and it’s sad to see delusional fans of other shows on the network hate on Arrow when the show has the highest viewers.

  • Carl

    @Ramona, to me, the biggest sign is the promotions, but I am happy to agree with you, especially if you aren’t someone who goes around blaming Cas when ratings fall.

    This season has had some rough as hell episodes. I have seen people blame everyone but Bobby’s exorcised ghost. The good stuff has been really good but it’s all so clunky. They were very lucky to hold up as well as they did after that mess last night with the dog. We’ll see next week, if some of those viewers don’t come back.

  • Hardline_Pro

    CBS Monday’s aren’t doing to well.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    John A: “No one else called me out for it. Maybe your Super Sensitive.”

    If by “Super Sensitive” you mean being aware of your posts on this issue over the last week or so, yes.

    I’m…watching…you! :-)

    You can thank Max for that, too. :-)

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