TV Ratings Tuesday: 'Splash' Premiere Strong, 'NCIS' Falls But Wins Night, 'New Girl' & 'Smash' Down, 'Golden Boy' Up

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March 20th, 2013

Splash Premiere

Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 2.6/7 2.0/6 2.0/6 1.4/4 0.9/3 0.3/1
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 1.6/5 1.8/6 1.3/4 1.3/4 0.6/2 0.3/1
Total Viewers (million) 14.980 4.267 8.878 3.519 2.942 0.802


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

On CBS, NCIS earned a 3.1 adults 18-49 rating down 9 percent from a 3.4 for its most recent new episode on March 5.  NCIS: Los Angeles garnered a 2.8 among adults 18-49 even with its performance on March 5. Golden Boy earned a 1.7 adults 18-49 rating up 13 percent from last week’s 1.5.

On ABC, the series premiere of Splash garnered a 2.6 adults 18-49 rating up 13 percent from a 2.3  for the seeries premiere of Celebrity Wife Swap on January 3, 2012. Your predictions were way too pessimistic. It was ABC’s biggest unscripted debut in more than two years and the network’s best performance in the time period since October 18, 2011. Dancing With The Stars: Exclusive First Look earned a 2.1 adults 18-49 rating, up 5 percent from a 2.0 for last spring’s DWTS: the Story So Far on March 27, 2012. Body of Proof scored a season high 1.5 adults 18-49 rating up 25 percent from last week’s 1.2.

On FOX, Hell’s Kitchen scored a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating down 5 percent from a 2.1 for last week’s premiere. New Girl scored a 2.2 among adults 18-49 down 4 percent from a 2.3 for its last original episode on February 26. The Mindy Project garnered a 1.7 adults 18-49 rating even with its last original episode on February 26.

On NBC, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers notched a 1.0 adults 18-49 rating down 23 percent from a 1.3 for its last original 8PM episode on February 26. A second episode at 8:30 garnered a 1.1 up 22 percent from last week’s 0.9. Go On earned a series low 1.0 adults 18-49 rating down 9 percent from two weeks ago. The New Normal scored a series low 0.7 adults 18-49 rating down 22 percent from March 5. Smash matched its series low with a 0.8 adults 18-49 rating down 11 percent from last week’s 0.9.

On the CW, the special The iHeartRadio Album Release Party With Justin Timberlake scored a 0.4 adults 18-49 rating versus Hart of Dixie’s 0.6 in the time period on February 26.


Broadcast primetime ratings for March 19, 2013

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 CBS NCIS 3.1/10 19.09
ABC Splash 2.6/8 8.80
FOX Hell's Kitchen 2.0/6 4.85
NBC Betty White's Off Their Rockers 1.0/3 3.71
CW iHeart Radio Album Release w/Justin Timberlake 0.4/1 1.08
8:30 NBC Betty White's Off Their Rockers 1.1/3 3.70
9:00 CBS NCIS: Los Angeles 2.8/8 16.59
FOX New Girl 2.2/6 4.20
ABC Dancing With the Stars 2.1/6 9.58
NBC Go On 1.0/3 2.86
CW Beauty and the Beast - R 0.2/0 0.53
9:30 FOX The Mindy Project 1.7/4 3.16
NBC The New Normal 0.7/2 2.10
10:00 CBS Golden Boy 1.7/5 9.26
ABC Body of Proof 1.5/4 8.25
NBC Smash 0.8/2 2.65

via press note:

In Late-Night Metered Markets Tuesday night:
In Late-Night Metered Markets Tuesday night:
  • In Nielsen's 56 metered markets, household results were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 2.2/6; CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," 2.7/7; and ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 2.3/6.
  • In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 Wednesday results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 0.6/3; "Late Show," 0.6/3; 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 0.4/3 in 18-49 in the Local People Meters.
  • From 12:35-1:35 a.m. ET, "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.1/4 in metered-market households) trailed CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (1.3/5). In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late Night" (0.4/3 in 18-49) tied "Late Late Show" (0.4/2).
  • At 1:35 a.m., "Last Call with Carson Daly" averaged a 0.7/3 in metered-market households and a 0.3/2 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters.

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 and Numbers 102.

  • Jarrod

    @Brian J: I have noticed that Parenthood doesn’t always feature every single cast member – mostly Jasmine and Jabbar (who are the wife and son of the youngest son) – no, not a race thing, but they do tend to keep out the husbands/wives and the (grand)children. I’d assume the children are kept out mostly based on contract orders to focus on studies and to refrain from too much pressure from acting. Either way, it’s just hard to actually factor out majority of the cast, because MOST episodes feature massive family get-togethers. Unrealistic to me, but then again, I ain’t no Braverman family member.

  • Petar Ivanov

    @Only 2.8 for ncis red pilot. not a good sign

    For cbs 10 pm on tuesday is. Yes will be down but if can be around 2.5 will be great for them. But again i doubt that. One more ncis with people already tired is too much in my opinion.

  • ddddddddddd

    I get a bit depress looking at NBC’s numbers. It’s so pathetic!

    I bet the network execs must be counting down the days until The Voice comes back…

  • HalCapone

    [“Say what you want, but all indications are that the NCIS shows are as popular as ever. People are not tiring of them. Sorry.”]

    NCIS shows are indeed very popular and people are not tiring of them–they are just dying off which explains why the total viewers and the 18-49 are shrinking each year. RIP NCIS viewers.

  • Petar Ivanov

    @Just curious – I really tried to watch the NCIS:LA episode last night but just didn’t like it. They will have to do much better than that to keep me as a viewer and I was surprised because I like NCIS and NCIS:LA. Haven’t heard a lot of thoughts about what people think of this new team.
    I usually don’t wish bad thoughts on tv shows but I really hope Golden Boy goes away. Tried to watch it several times and I find it totally unwatchable – realize that is just my opinion but I’d hate to see another show gone because of this one.

    ME – I get tired and stop watch NCIS after season 6 i think. Watch only 3-4 episodes from ncis la. But i lose interest in all my shows after 5 to 6 season MAX. Never watch one show more than 6 years.(can give a lot of examples how producers/networks kill shows from greed for more episodes and money. Look what happen with house md its perfect latest example) And get tired too. So i can’t tell the real picture here. Ask someone else.

  • RDavid


    I think it is funny how the success of those shows drives some people crazy. They just have a hard time accepting it.

  • Petar Ivanov

    ps when i mean show i mean drama. Sitcoms are other story. Mainly because friends which watch every single episode and rewatch it again and again and again and again. I can watch friens 100 tmes and still will be funny. When i feel bad i watch some friends episode(no matter season or what episode) and i am smiling and happy again. No other comedy as friends. Best of all time.

  • Craig

    So Americans would rather watch yet another reality show like Splash instead of a quirky drama like Smash……no accounting for taste

  • theCroup

    @Brian J: I think that kind of cast planning hinges on the individual contracts with the various actors. There are union rules about pay and status designations and the contracts for the actors specify episode commitments. Long story short, the producers can’t decide out of the blue to just not have certain regulars appear in certain episodes and then just not pay them for the episodes. They could always re-negotiate for fewer episodes or downgrade a character’s contract status–but this is a large cast with many established and well-respected actors, which actors are going to accept those revised terms? It’s one thing if the actors have other projects on the side they want to devote time to (which a long hiatus actually gives them), but they’re not at all likely to accept a longer shooting season giving them less time for side-projects only to get less steady work and pay.

  • Val

    woohoo BOP is up!!

  • Rollie Dethloff

    Until last week when all the schedule changes were announced, both Go On, and New Normal were reurns. That might explain something. Great for Splash!

  • Brian J


    I am way behind on the show, but I remember seeing one episode where we saw Bonnie Bedelia’s face and never heard her speak. I think it was a Halloween episode, and it made sense why we saw her, but it wouldn’t have been the end of the world to keep her out of the episode. I don’t know the specifics of that show or its contracts or anything, but there’s got to be a way to make everyone happy and pump out more episodes at the same time. Perhaps they could guarantee every actor at least 17-18 episodes out of a 22-episode season or something.

    @Petar Ivanov:

    Good point about ratings. As for the actor and time spent, your comments on POI make my point even more, as that show’s cast is pretty small compared to that on other shows.

  • kennya

    I knew it that body of proof would be up! I think last year the ratings rised too whe dancing returnd! If i were Abc j would renew it for 13 episodes a d air it i spring whe dancing returns not a few weeks before! ( i never watched an episode…so i don’t say it should be renewed because i like this show)

  • Skylar James

    Splash killed it! :D

  • Brian J


    I figured it was something with the union rules, but as I indicated elsewhere, we see this sort of dynamic on other shows, where not every cast member is in the show. I have no doubt, even absent union rules, producers wouldn’t change things randomly. But why not work on building into into the contracts of some shows–giving, say, as I suggested above, 17-18 episodes minimum for every actor out of a 22-episode season? My guess is, some shows already do something like this, however modified.

  • HalCapone

    Splash and Smash are in different time periods so I am not sure that is a fair assessment of viewer preferences. I am personally no fan of the majority of loosely scripted (so-called “reality”)programming. To your point about Smash being a “quirky” drama, I take exception to the use of “quirky”. Smash actually feels like a very traditional drama/soap to me, except with singing and dancing interludes. I have seen it but not a regular viewer or even a fan. I think the biggest obstacle for Smash is that the majority of Americans are just not that into theater and musicals. Smash, in hindsight, might have been better suited for a basic or premium cable station where the audience is more niche oriented (and cable carriage fees could support some of the production costs for smaller audiences).

  • RyanCanada

    Looks like Whitney is safe and maybe BOP?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “ME: Again unforgettable WAS better. And CBS change it for lower rated Vegas and Golden Boy. We make fun with nbc abc and fox decision making but cbs also has few of these. Not that many but they are in the game too.”

    YOU: Very confused.

    Forget the absolute ratings, focus on the ratings relative to other CBS scripted shows in the same season.

    Unforgettable averaged just 72% of the CBS scripted average last spring. With relative ratings at that level, rookie shows get canceled, as they should, otherwise the network *guarantees* a downward ratings trend.

    If you renew shows at 72% of your average, you guarantee that you clog your schedule with shows that will drag you down. With open spots, you at least have a chance to do better.

    The fact that new shows fail (75% of them do) does not invalidate the decision to cancel previous failed shows.

  • Steph


    They had their highest rated episode ever this season. It’s not dying off. Stop.

  • theCroup

    @Craig and @HalCapone

    Hal, I totally agree, Smash feels like just any drama/soap to me. I’m also a big fan of theater and musicals (and foreign dramas which often feature dancing and singing) and Smash comes across as overproduced tripe. It probably would have done better on cable, though I imagine I still wouldn’t have liked it.

    Taste wise, Smash’s first season ratings fell a lot but as I recall, they weren’t horrible like they are now. So however people feel about the American viewing public, fact is, a lot of people gave Smash a fair shake and still decided they didn’t want anymore. I don’t think it says anything bad that they refused to come back for reheated seconds.

    As for Splash…it’s a terrible terrible show. There’s no need to compare other genres; it’s bad on an absolute scale.

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