TV Ratings Wednesday: 'American Idol' Falls Further, Nashville' & 'CSI' Hit Lows + 'Arrow' & 'Survivor' Rise (Updated)

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February 28th, 2013

Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 3.8/11 2.4/6 2.2/6 1.7/5 1.6/4 0.9/3
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 3.0/10 1.4/4 1.7/5 1.6/5 1.1/4 0.7/2
Total Viewers (million) 13.148 9.764 6.875 3.993 5.157 2.748

Correction: an earlier version of this story incorrectly noted that last night was American Idol's lowest viewership since 2002. It wasn't, it was just the lowest viewership for a *Wednesday* telecast since 2002.

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

On FOX, American Idol scored a 3.8 down three tenths from last week's  4.1 adults 18-49 rating. This is the series' lowest adults 18-49 rating for a Wednesday  since July 3, 2003  and its smallest total viewership for a Wednesday telecast since August 14, 2002

On CBS, Survivor: Caramoan: Fans vs Favorites earned a 2.6, up two tenths from a 2.4 adults 18-49 for last week.. Criminal Minds was even with last week's series low 2.6 .CSI garnered a series low 1.8 from last week's 2.3 adults 18-49 rating.

On ABC, The Middle earned a 2.1, down two tenths from last week's 2.3 adults 18-49 rating.  The Neighbors scored a 1.7, down two tenths from last week's 1.9 adults 18-49 rating. Modern Family garnered a 3.9, down a tenth from last week's 4.0 adults 18-49 rating. Suburgatory notched a 2.3, up three tenths from last week's 2.0 adults 18-49 rating. Nashville  earned a series low 1.6 down two tenths  from its last original's 1.8 two weeks ago

On NBC, Whitney earned a 1.2, up a tenth from last week's 1.1 adults 18-49 rating. The Guys With Kids season (maybe, series) finale garnered a 1.1, up a tenth from last week's series low 1.0 adults 18-49 rating. Law & Order SVU was flat with last week's 1.6 adults 18-49. Chicago Fire was also even with last week's 1.9 adults 18-49 rating.

On the CW, Arrow garnered a 1.0, up a tenth from last week's 0.9 adults 18-49 rating. Supernatural was even with last week's 0.9 adults 18-49 rating.

Late-night results are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Wednesday, February 27, 2013:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
8:00PM FOX American Idol (8-10PM) 3.8 11 13.15
CBS Survivor: Caramoan 2.6 8 9.43
ABC The Middle 2.1 6 7.96
NBC Whitney 1.2 4 3.55
CW Arrow 1.0 3 3.26
8:30PM ABC The Neighbors 1.7 5 6.12
NBC Guys With Kids 1.1 3 3.15
9:00 PM ABC Modern Family 3.9 10 10.59
CBS Criminal Minds 2.6 7 10.58
NBC Law & Order: SVU 1.6 4 5.58
CW Supernatural 0.9 2 2.24
9:30PM ABC Suburgatory 2.3 6 6.30
10:00PM NBC Chicago Fire 1.9 5 6.54
CBS CSI 1.8 5 9.27
ABC Nashville 1.6 4 5.14


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," 2.0/5.  

*	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," 0.7/3; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.7/4.  

*	From 12:35-1:05 a.m. ET Wednesday night, ABC's "Nightline"
averaged a 1.2/4 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) trailed CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig
Ferguson" (1.4/5).  In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late
Night" (0.5/3 in 18-49) tied "Late Late Show" (0.5/3).

*	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.

  • alffan

    I am going to defend CM. The show is up against Idol and MF in the 9pm hour. Survivor only has to deal with Idol and The Middle/Neighbors. Plus SVU is a procedural with a 1.5 … when you consider all that, the Criminal Minds numbers are very strong.

  • BigBrotherFan

    Amen! @Chris

  • John

    On a percentage basis, Suburgatory and Happy Endings do roughly the same out of MF. And it’s an iffy proposition at best that a new show would have done better.

    Nashville’s problems are its own. It started too slow (mayoral races/no interaction betwen Rayna and Juliette). Avery is a drip as an antagonist, and Powers Boothe has been woefully underutilized. Hopefully, Chris Carmack can provide the “love to hate” character this show needs for the end of the season.

  • Carl

    That CSI drop is odd. I do wonder if those who say it’s down to the Grissom divorce may be right.

    Looks like SPN will be adjusted down? I think they’ve been somewhat lucky to maintain even the current ratings with some of the weird and uneven filler episodes of the last few weeks. I hope they will keep the .09 but won’t be shocked if they don’t. At least the last scene reminded me of what I love about the show.

    I still think Nashville is on the wrong network.

  • CookyMonzta

    Posted February 28, 2013 at 8:55 AM
    “Idol is definately showing some weakness now. I wonder if the other networks will step up and try to challenge it now.”

    Most definitely they will. If they didn’t smell blood after Season 9, they most certainly see them bleeding right now. They came out the gate looking like a #6 show, and it seems they will finish that way. One or two networks need only to put up a decent show during Idol’s time slot, not necessarily to beat them, but to siphon off enough viewers to finish them off. They’re headed for a season average of 16M to 16.5M viewers. If they sink back to 1st-season levels (12.7M, which I predict will happen in 2015), that will be the time for FOX and 19E to consider retiring the show.

  • gerry

    personally, i think john barrowman (pictured) is crazy hot, certainly hot for a brit in his mid 40s

  • CookyMonzta

    Me think it be gettin’ time for NBC to create a ‘Heroes’ spinoff.

  • BigBrotherFan


    No way! Happy Endings did have a better rentention and even on it’s own WED with half of it’s season being on it’s own, it’s still held it’s own. I bet SUBERGAFLOP hits mid 1’s.

    I agree that NASHVILLE did start a bit slow but it’s called CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT AND STORY why does everyone want people to rush into plots and skip the writing and fleshed out characters? This isn’t CBS (MINUS TGW AND VEGAS) we’re talking here. I also agree that POWERS BOOTHE is underutilized and MY GOD get RID OF GUNNAR! What a waste of a character and time. I REALLY like Avery, personally, and enjoy seeing him go through the motions of selling his soul for fame.

    What network would you suggest? I always thought FOX after AI.

  • Barbie

    @Brian J

    You realize Fridays are much better for genre shows for a reason, right? CF would never work on Fridays. It’s doing great on Wednesday. And it does light people on fire.


    Actually, for the first time last week, I saw something in Jeanne T’s character that made me think, “Hey, I like this woman.” Blake as a professor, that was pretty cool. I liked seeing that side of her. Despite that, I don’t miss Brewster a single bit. Her not being on the show is absolutely irrelevant.

  • rob60990

    Last year:
    Modern Family 4.8
    Happy Endings 2.7
    Retention: 56%

    Last night, Suburgatory had 59% retention from Modern Family.

    Oh yea, Happy Endings was doing wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy better.

  • Declan


    Try Person of Interest if you want character development. It won’t disappoint :)

  • BigBrotherFan


    Is that ALL the airings or just one..?
    ..and SUBERGATORY on it’s own will FLOP
    Where’s Ultima when you need Ultima? Ultima is typically great at these.4 if I’m wrong..I’m wrong..But I’m sure SEASON AVERAGE RETENTION is better for HAPPY ENDINGS.

    Thanks. I just did a GOOGLE SEARCH and he was one a show I used to love “Titans” he played the villian on that. Still think he’s kinda creepY looking but I guess it works for his brand.

  • rob60990

    “I guess this week it’s

    New Girl >> The Middle”

    LOL, yea barely. New Girl has lost more than half its premiere audience. The fact that FOX’s tentpole comedy needs a good lead-in is pathetic. If Ben & Kate were still in that 8:30 timeslot, New Girl would be consistently below a 2. :D

  • toadytoady

    SVU went from 1.5 to 1.8 in second half hour.
    Might go up to 1.7 in Finals?
    Anyway, at 1.6 its holding its own on a network where the average is now 1.2.
    Both of Wolfs shows are doing better than Smash or Deception,or most of the comedies.
    They need to put SVU back at its usual 10pm slot next year.

  • rob60990

    @BigBrotherFan, No clue but I’m sure the difference between both show’s retentions from Modern Family won’t be by much. Honestly, it’s a pointless argument because Happy Endings failed on its own.

  • Oliver

    I suspect CSI got hit by Duck Dynasty airing at 10pm.

  • Abraham

    I think NBC might have one less show to care about (TNN)… Ryan Murphy said at a prize ceremony today that he is working on a new series that will revolve around his own experience (and co-creator Ali Adler’s too) about the “fears” of raising kids as gay parents. This is basically the premise of The New Normal season two but with a drama twist. So, what do you think of this? It either means that he knows (or suspects) that TNN won’t be renewed, or that he will do a The New Normal alike series but as a drama (like Parenthood?), not as a comedy, even if TNN gets renewed. I would love it to be the latter, so TNN can finally be a true comedy (this years it seemed more of a drama…), but I assume it is the first option: TNN is done so I do a new show with what I would have shown in second season.

  • Ted Craig

    To the extent it matters, what counts with retention seems to be trend. Look at HE last year and the difference between its ratings and MF’s grew wider during February. That hasn’t been the case for Suburgatory, which was strong on its own last year.

  • r0ckmypants


    “Why can’t you guys put a picture of someone maybe….more attractive in your pictures? I don’t know who that guy is and he’s weird looking. You always pick the strangest pictures for your ratings report. lol

    May I suggest NIKKI MINAJ for tommorow picture? or Mariah?”

    I don’t even know where to start with this. First of all, that’s John Barrowman. The fact that you are a fan of TV and don’t know who he is baffles me… Jack Harkness from Doctor Who and Torchwood? He also recurred on Desperate Housewives. Secondly, what exactly makes him “weird looking?” He’s a guy in a tux… yet you suggest a picture of Nicki Minaj, who’s famous for wearing wigs that aren’t even the color of human hair.

    Not to mention: WHO CARES WHAT THE PICTURE IS OF? Or how attractive the person is based on YOUR personal criteria? Good Lord, you’re frustrating.

  • Ted Craig

    Also, a comment on The Middle. I don’t why some people are cheering its lower ratings this week. Do they think ABC is somehow going to cancel a fourth-year show it produces because of a one-week decline? Especially when that decline is easy to explain – the Georgetown-Connecticutt game was on at the same time.

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