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.

  • LisaM

    SPN down. Doesn’t matter. Renewed for season 9!

    The episode was ok, predictable. But what is wrong with Sam?

  • Justin121

    Flop Idol :D

    nearly beat by Modern Flop :D

  • saísse

    Sorry!! Thanks @eridapo!!

  • Laura

    arrow will never achieve the results of Smallville! poor …

  • Alejandro


    I wouldn’t worry about that! Recent interviews by the writers makes it clear they don’t give a damn about Castiel and can’t be bothered to write him as a real character in his own right and only view him as a plot device when it suits them ugh. As a Castiel fan I am not happy to be saying this for the record…

  • rss

    I’m surprised that Arrow fell. Last week’s episode was so very good. Last night with James Callis was also very good.

  • Brock

    Someone please help me to understand that insane psychopath who comes on here and goes on about “Chicago Fire” being a flop and calling it “Flop Fire” etc. Can we get this person committed? The show is so clearly not a flop.

  • Jack

    NBC is screwed day after day… that’s too bad.

  • Melanie

    Damn it, Arrow! Why couldn’t you stay at 1.1 and tie a first run NBC show!!! Oh well, maybe next week.

    I thought the SPN episode was OK — parts were funny. A few serious brother moments.

    @Chris I didn’t even think about the actress being African American —

  • DonnaT

    @ Tessa

    The show’s decision to have Sam do the trials had nothing to do with the ratings drop this week – “MYBWB” was just an awful episode! Georgiegirl
    posted an extensive list of TV sites (non Supernatural fan sites) that really liked the episode.

    As for bringing Cas back to pull the ratings up, the much, much promoted “Cas return” in TBAI was the only 0.6 of the season that did not adjust up. Blaming The Hunger Games (or big movie premiered that Friday) was fan excuse bingo. Maybe when Cas returns the ratings will go up again but only if the episode is well regarded by the same TV sites.

  • KMack

    @Chris: that makes perfect sense. The person that gave us the horrific racist truck episode also gave us the pretty awful African-American female as a collared-dog episode. LOL I was already seeing posts last night of people ranting about it. Personally, I just thought it was a dumb plot device (I’ve thought nothing about the shape-shifters race or sex in other episodes), but with the addition to the loveliness of the bestiality aspect, it took some people over the edge. All in all, it was definitely was of my least favorite episodes of the season.

  • Nick

    I feel bad for American Idol. The judges are great this season, imo. A much better panel than Steven Tyler and J.Lo. The contestants are also good. But the show itself seems to be a shadow of what it once was. The entire set just seems more melancholy and subdued. They know ratings are down, they know they’re no longer #1, you can just feel it. The only thing they can possibly do at this point to revive ratings is can X-Factor imo.

  • HalCapone

    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”?

  • Carl

    That SPN episode was the type that almost seems designed to make people tune out (“wacky”, poorly plotted episode with some very dubious imagery), so they’re fortunate the ratings did not fall further. Next week looks better. I hope no viewers this week decide that was it for them.

    Arrow also did well, especially considering what a rough week the CW has had so far.

    Survivor barely went up. The premiere was boring so I’m not too surprised.

  • KS


    I am not a huge fan of Dean getting myth-arcs because I want Dean to remain human. I relate myself a lot to that character and I think, he becoming supernaturally abnormal would ruin his arc for me. I want Dean to have a arc where he remains purely human.

    In short I want him to remain Han Solo of Supernatural.

  • eridapo

    Did Arrow really drop this week or rise last week? Have you ever thought that the weekly differences of a tenth are nothing more than measurement error within the sample…

    If you look at the overall trends (which is what you should be looking at instead of the weekly ups and downs), Arrow has been very consistent… Its last 8 showings have been between .9 to 1.1 (or about 1.02 avg) and 3.12M viewers..

    When you look at the trend, you realize that Arrow’s numbers have not really change in 8 weeks (of new episodes)

    1.1 1 1.1 1.1 0.9 1 1.1 0.9 1.025 Avg
    3.348 3.11 3.058 3.136 2.97 2.956 3.292 3.12 3.123 Avg

  • CookyMonzta

    Posted February 21, 2013 at 9:06 AM
    “I have a feeling a female contestant is finally going to win this season of American Idol. It’s been several years, since that last happened.”

    I’ll believe it when it happens and not before. If another guy wins (which will be 6 straight), watch the show tank even harder next year.

  • Ron

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

  • Ram510

    Maybe next week Guys With Kids will beat Whitney!

    Too bad Arrow didn’t get at least a 1.1 it could’ve tied or been 4th place for the hour

  • a p garcia

    I expected better numbers from MF.

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