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.

  • s0303

    i’m sure nbc is thrilled with chicago fire considering they started the night off with 1.1’s…

    hope arrow adjusts up…i agree the arrow/tvd feud is stupid…i’m rooting for both shows or the cw may not be around for much longer…

  • lisa

    Is Fox allowed to have the wednesday finish 11 oclock? It is the best timeslot to air new shows.

  • Tessa


    I’m not talking about numbers when I speak of the online community. I’m talking promotion. Yes there are only a handful of active online fans as opposed to millions of couch potatoes watching the show. But the ones who get the word out, win PCAs and TV Guide covers that present the show outside the online sphere, and advertize the show to the couch potatoes, are the online fans. That’s why they are 10 times more valuable than the masses and that’s why show runners try to keep them happy. It’s not illogical keeping your advertisers happy so they won’t stop promoting you.

  • Alejandro


    I’m confused I thought you said that you wanted Dean to get the heaven aspect of the mytharc and were afraid they’d give it to Castiel instead? That’s why I tried to reassure you by highlighting that the writers don’t really care about Castiel enough to bother giving him such a potentially interesting and character developing plot…

  • eridapo


    Remember there is rounding up to the nearest tenth on the prelims. Supernatural’s numbers could have been .951 and .943. If you round those two to the nearest tenth, you get 1.0 and 0.9. The average of the two is .947, so rounding to nearest tenth makes it 0.9.

  • CookyMonzta

    @Nick: Dropping X-Factor won’t do Idol any good, because hardly anyonw is watching X-Factor, either, by evidence of how hard it tanked this past fall.

  • Fred

    X FACTOR was more entertaining than IDOL.

    NBC is in freefall. They would be better off airing The Voice prematurely. Obviously not the live shows, but prerecorded audition shows. ANYTHING but their regular programing. NOTHING is doing well for them at this point.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    This week’s episodes of both Arrow and Supernatural were simply not compelling.

    Supernatural was just filler as was Arrow. Both plots had nothing to do with the overall season story arcs. Producers continue to fail to realize that you just can’t do this stuff without getting hurt in the ratings. Apparently it’s just too hard to conduct a season story arc in 22 episodes – the writers just can’t keep up.

    Next week’s Arrow brings back Kelly Hu trying to assassinate Merlyn – which promises plenty of action. That should improve the ratings by a tenth or so. The show is still a lock for renewal in any event.

    I also re-iterate that the show needs to kill off Thea. She’s absolutely worthless as a character. Her function is solely to flesh out Oliver’s relationship with his family – and that could easily be confined to his mother without damaging the show. ALL of Thea’s screen time is a waste that could be better put to use in action scenes.

  • Mark

    Nicki continues to outshine Mariah on American Idol. The judges are great this year, they aren’t afraid to say the truth and sound mean(except for Mariah). Mariah is the worst judge and the show would be better without her. Good talent so far this year! It’s looks like its gonna be the third great year in a row.

    Although I do think Isabelle should of been in the 5 going on instead of that girl with the bad weave.

  • Tessa


    It’s not about Sam vs. Dean. It’s about the same storyline repeating:

    Season 5: Sam falls into Lucifer’s cage
    Season 6: Sam is soulless
    Season 7: Sam is hallucinating Lucifer
    Season 8: Sam is doing the hell trials

    Even if there was no Dean and Sam was fronting the show by himself this storyline would get tiring.

  • Carl

    @KS the people who run SPN seem to have little interest in talking about anything that will happen with Cas (or Dean, for that matter), so at this point I’ll be surprised if either one of them have any storyline.

    I was disappointed at how quickly this story became round 500 of “what’s wrong with Sam?” I don’t think that will help ratings. Last week at least gave the impression the trials were about Dean and Sam working together. Now it’s back to the usual with Dean not trusting Sam, blah blah blah.

    As for the ratings with Cas, his return this November got a 1.1, I believe. Since he’s not mentioned on the show or in interviews, I don’t think his return later this season will make an impact on ratings, but that’s because the show seems to have mostly gone back to Sam being sick, with no room for anything else.

  • ukchris

    The CW needs to promote its shows more. Solid veteran SUPERNATURAL is still the best it has to offer. Arrow is becoming dull, and TVD is going round in circles never moving forward.

  • Chris

    They seem to have a history now writing these dumb epis and the fans don’t forget. I hope they don’t kill it next week for the show. But damn these writers we’re left with makes me want to cry. It’s time for Jeremy to dump atleast 2 of them and the one with the racist truck/bestiality needs to go.

    Last night was a plot from LJ kink section.

  • katiecsiny

    As far as cancelling csi ny please don’t. There are plenty of story lines for a new season. For instance,Mac and christine get married and are surprised that they are going to be late in life parents. I would give anything to see Mac change a “poopie” diaper. Lindsey and Danny find out they are having twins and have to move to a rundown fixerupper they can afford. And don’t forget Sid and his battle with lymphoma. Flack and Lovato could have much strife because her family does not like him. Adam could tell his father off and cause him to have heart attack – run with the guilt – and poor man starved Jo could remarry her ex, fight about the sameat problems and someone could end up having an affair. Ileave Hawkes to you, I can’t do all your work – Just throw in some murder and mayhem in each show and you will have a great season. Keep TGW – one of the best written and acted shows on TV and get rid of the Mentalist – I can watch back to back to back ad nauseam on TNT.

  • Geordiegirl1967

    posted an extensive list of TV sites (non Supernatural fan sites) that really liked the episode.”

    If you mean me (I assume so as I did post a long list of positive reviews for last weeks SPN ep) I am flattered.

    I didn’t mind this ep. Not a classic but lots to enjoy. A huge improvement for me on the truly dire first 10 eps of s8.

    Last weeks episode was fantastic and very well received by the mainstream (ie not the extreme ends of the) fandom and critics alike. The mass exodus of the SPN audience predicted by disgruntled extreme Dean fans has totally failed to materialise. These ratings, albeit slightly down on last week, are consistent with the higher level the show has maintained since it returned after Christmas and, IMO, got back to the real heart of SPN.

  • samurai99

    CSI didn’t go up very much. If Elementary holds steady, It will be tied for highest rated show of the week at 10.


    Chicago fire gets better ratings at 10pm than most of NBC’s other shows regardless of timeslot. Stop being an idiot.

  • jimmers

    Is it just me? Or do all these name calling pint pointing a series name redundant? Such as example CHICAGO FLOP, 9021-OH OH, THE NEW FLOP. Really?

    “Wow! You guys talk like grownups”

  • Tessa

    @Richard Steven Hack

    My guess is the producers have Thea there to appeal to the younger demographic and give them some sort of representation on the show. I absolutely agree that her character is pointless and takes up too much screen time.

  • HalCapone

    NBC is DOA. Comcast can’t get their sh-t together,either. Turn the whole network over to cable, charging carriage fees so subscribers can bankroll NBC’s crap (while watching some other shows they like). Cable is like insurance; you pay into to cover losses (or crappy shows that barely anyone watches)for everyone else while making the insurance company (or cable company)wealthy. Such a deal!

  • Anthony Parello (AP076)

    “The only thing they can possibly do at this point to revive ratings is can X-Factor”

    And how does that work exactly? Will fans of a cancelled X-Factor be held in a pen and released only upon promising to watch AI in the winter/spring?

    Season to season declines for a veteran show, year to year declines in network TV viewing and competition from The Voice (not The X-Factor) are most likely responsible for current AI ratings.

    How is canceling X-Factor any sort of sane business strategy whatsoever for Fox?

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