Wednesday Final Ratings: 'Arrow', 'Supernatural', 'American Idol', 'Survivor' & 'Law & Order:SVU' Adjusted Up; 'Whitney' Adjusted Down

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March 21st, 2013

American Idol March 20

American Idol, Survivor, Law & Order: SVU, Arrow and Supernatural were each adjusted up a tenth while Whitney was adjusted down a tenth among adults 18-49 versus the preliminary Wednesday broadcast ratings.

Want to know why adjustments occur to the preliminary ratings? Read this.

Final broadcast primetime ratings for Wednesday, March 20, 2013:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (millions)
8:00 FOX American Idol (8-10PM) 3.6/10 12.94
CBS Survivor 2.6/8 9.79
ABC The Middle -R 1.2/4 4.78
NBC Whitney 1.0/3 3.13
CW Arrow 1.0/3 3.02
8:30 ABC The Neighbors 1.4/4 4.76
NBC Whitney - R 0.8/2 2.52
9:00 CBS Criminal Minds 3.0/8 11.58
ABC Modern Family - R (9-9:31PM) 1.8/5 5.42
NBC Law & Order: SVU 1.6/4 5.51
CW Supernatural 1.0/3 2.16
9:30 ABC Suburgatory  (9:31-10PM) 1.5/4 4.19
10:00 CBS CSI 2.3/6 10.53
NBC Chicago Fire 1.7/5 6.39
ABC Nashville - R 0.6/2 2.47

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2013 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

  • Sandy

    @Bill Gorman

    “You don’t know me, so I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt.”

    Not an anti-fan, I’m the opposite, but I’m not going to glorify crappy ratings. SVU’s ratings are better than some NBC clunkers, but they are still pretty poor. Chicago Fire kicked ass on NBC this season (they still are). Someone said it above and I agree: move Chicago Fire to Tuesday under The Voice and move SVU to Thursday or Friday @ 10PM. This “Wednesday night, Dick Wolf/Law & Order night” thing has played out now that mothership L&O is gone (one of NBC’s recent biggest mistakes).

    Why do people think Chicago Fire is vulnerable? I think it’d do fine with a new lead-in next year… people said the show would be canceled after 3 episodes, now look at it… it’s one of NBC’s top scripted performers now (plus it has mass critical acclaim).

    Some people need to stop acting like Chicago Fire is Smash.

  • thensnowleopard


    There’s never been any indication that Castiel’s presence depresses ratings for SPN episodes. Guest stars generally don’t for this show (though they don’t necessarily set its ratings on fire, either). But, you know, hope springs eternal for those who hate him.

  • Tessa

    For those who in the last article claimed Castiel isn’t important to the show and recited the tired old “it’s the Sam and Dean show” lament, you should get with the times. Writers are upping Castiel’s role on the show and yes, it’s because of fan feedback from social media sites which they pay attention to. You think that’s bad? Well sorry, you’re not charged with keeping the show on air, they are, and what they see is that the youngest audience members on Tumblr and Twitter want the show to be a three’s company. If they decide to increase the presence of a character for fan support and higher viewership it won’t matter what Kripke, Gamble, Carver or Metatron have decreed. They will do it. Like they actually did.

  • Tessa


    I know. I actually had a good laugh the other day when I saw one of the haters on twitter tell a writer to “stop forcing Castiel into the story or watch the ratings drop.” I wished I could ask that person if he/she had somehow access to a ratings dial and could turn it down if their threat wasn’t taken seriously. :mrgreen:

  • CoCo

    I wonder what numbers CF would pull if it were to switch positions with SVU. I have a feeling not the same. CF is feeding off of SVU and less competition at 10:00.

  • Diane

    Since I and the hubby usually watch Chicago Fire , I only follow Nashville on tvbythenumbers. It just seems that Nashville is always a rerun. How can it sustain any kind of following? Is it just being broadcast for the sake of its I-tunes sales??

  • RS

    Still hate Castiel. But I’m resigned to his existence in Season 9. So I’ll have a few angel-less episodes I can love. If I’m really lucky, he will get a full, rich story arc that is separate from the brother, that I can skip. If not, let’s bring it on. Come on writers, give us brother stories, and Dean and his angel stories and see which version of SPN the Nielson holders like. If I’m wrong, and the dreadful angel wins, I’ll bow out gracefully. I agree that none of the fan wank affects the ratings. The fact that Sam got the trials and the Dean-fans’ heads exploded did not affect the ratings any more than the lack of Castiel in the last five (wonderful, joyous, angel-free episodes) episodes did.

  • Jo B.

    Chicago Fire needs to be MOVED. CSI is still CSI and it needs a slot where it can shine. It also doesn’t need SVU.

    SVU is a dying show – if by some miracle it gets renewed next season, it SHOULD be the last and it SHOULD be moved to Fridays. They also need to change showrunners. Warren Leight has made SVU unrecognizable and unbearable to it’s fans thus the dismal ratings. And while yes, Chris Meloni leaving is a huge blow, it didn’t have to lead to its demise. Change doesn’t mean bad, only different. And Warren Leight had the opportunity to make this show shine again. He DIDN’T. He only assassinated its credibility and integrity. He has made SVU once a thought provoking crime drama into a b-rated primetime soap. The downslide of the ratings is really obvious and sad.

    I digress though. Chicago Fire is the show that NBC should take care of. It started slow but it’s getting better and better with each episode. This show is something they should nurture and put the full support of NBC behind. It is fresh. It is new. It is on it’s way up.

  • Mark Wood

    Ben Thompson

    Arrow certainly didn’t hurt SPN, but consider this Arrow has gone from a 1.3 to 1.0. If Arrow was the primary reason for SPN ratings, why doesn’t SPN ratings reflect the downward trend of Arrow?

    Why when paired with VD, did its ratings stabilize, while VD had the typical first season decline, that is so common.

    Why before that when initially paired with Smallville did Smallville typically outscore SPN by over 2 to 3 million in viewers and .5 in the demo, yet after 4 years SPN was getting better adults 18-34 numbers, and scoring near identical adults 18-49? In other words, if the lead in was the factor for SPN ratings it should have dropped at equal rates as Smallville. It didn’t. In fact SPN is the most stable show the CW has aired.

    Why did SPN without Arrow, and with a lead in that had .3 adults 18-49 still manage a point .8 this year.

    Oh while it did have one episode, this week of last year it a .6, that wasn’t the norm, in fact it was the only .6 SPN hit, the spring average was .725

    And if you honestly think the growth is due to Arrow how do you explain SPN 50 plus demo, its 25-54 demo, neither of which showed much growth when paired with Arrow (Arrow largest age demo group is its 25-54, and its 50 plus demo is even more lopsided)?

    Based on the breakdown of the typically weekly audience, the lack of declines so far this year, the biggest influence was getting away from Friday and getting a much higher HUT level.

  • CoCo

    @JO B
    Like I said….when CF switches position with SVU and still pull in the same numbers I will give it it’s due respect. Till then it’s still feeding off of SVU…. Forget all your mumbo jumbo about Warren Leight and Chris Meloni. You’re probably one of those “fans” who threw crap at Warren and when he threw it back you couldn’t deal.

  • Jordan


    Exactly! A solid night would be Parenthood at 8, SVU at 9, and Chicago Fire at 10. Or even swap SVU and CF.

  • Dahne

    @Ben Thompson – The ratings for the entire CW network have been steadily falling. Quite frankly I am surprised the CW stays on air at all with its ratings free fall. Comparing ratings 4 years ago to now makes less sense on the CW than it does for most networks.

    @Tessa – One, Castiel does not make ratings go up or down. Constantly bringing up the fact that Cas doesn’t make the ratings go down is one-sided. He doesn’t effect ratings at all. Two, your one woman vendetta against SPN fans who are not enthralled with your precious Cas feels like you are trying to pick a fight. It’s getting old and likely to backfire on you. Everyone’s opinion is valid. Insulting people with contrary opinions and basically telling them to shut up or stuff it is middle school behavior.

  • Lance B.

    where do people get their stats from sometimes..

    “Whitney is renewed for sure.. cancelled will be the new normal, go on, and community”

    – its pulling the same #’s as Go On, and worse than Community overall, how do people act like its renewal is for-sure, while its competition which is pulling identical #s is a cancellation??”

    “Chicago Fire is the best, SVU is dying, Chicago Fire needs to be moved to Tuesday, SVU cancelled or moved to Fridays”

    – of course CF fans want to be moved to Tuesday which show wouldnt want to go on after the Voice.. but why all the hate towards SVU??? the show is pulling the same #s as CF pretty much in a way more difficult competition. Quit blaming the 1.7 on SVU and acting like it would be so much better without it..

  • Sandy


    Well @Jo B. might be spewing “Chris Meloni-Warren Leight” mumbo jumbo, but it’s true and I happen to agree with him. Warren Leight belongs on Days of Our Lives, period point blank. Ratings wise, SVU needs to uproot from Wednesday night next season, I don’t care who’s running it next season, if renewed.

    @Bill Gorman

    Your index suggests renewal, but other factors are involved Bill. Especially SVU’s age and it’s expensive! I would not be surprised if season 15 was SVU’s last because of $$$$ and it’s recent dismal ratings; just like LOCI’s 10th/final season on USA Network.

  • Sandy

    @Lance B.

    of course CF fans want to be moved to Tuesday which show wouldnt want to go on after the Voice.. but why all the hate towards SVU??? the show is pulling the same #s as CF pretty much in a way more difficult competition. Quit blaming the 1.7 on SVU and acting like it would be so much better without it.

    PUH-LEASE!, SVU is in a s**t hole now and it is pulling Chicago Fire down with it. I honestly don’t care what NBC does with SVU (and I don’t hate it), but Chicago Fire better get a better deal next season that what it’s got now. The Voice and Grimm (Friday) are obviously the staples on NBC – and people thought season 2 of Smash would be after all it’s changes – and they really should built around them, versus clunkers like SVU or Parenthood.

    Monday 8/9PM – The Voice/Biggest Loser
    10PM – New Drama

    Tuesday 8/9PM – The Voice/Biggest Loser
    10PM – Chicago Fire

    Wed 8/9PM – Comedies
    10PM – New Drama or Revolution (or Parenthood)

    Thursdays 8/9PM – Comedies
    10PM – Revolution (or Parenthood)

    Friday 8PM – Rock Center
    9PM – Grimm
    10PM – SVU (final season)

  • CoCo

    It’s Mumbo Jumbo when it comes to the difference between the ratings of CF vs SVU. I don’t think CF’s ratings are that much better and if put in the 9 pm slot of SVU I doubt it would hold up as well. You agreeing with him does not change my stance.
    Will SVU be renewed…I don’t know but stop acting like CF is some runaway hit. I do agree that if renewed SVU needs to be out of the Wed 9 pm slot. Shows like MF,CM,AI have already established themselves in that spot.

    @Lance B

    The SVU hate is ridiculous. Who the hell sits around for two years griping about a show they don’t like anymore?

  • JeffT

    NoBodyCares Network keeps rolling along…

  • Sil

    Do you even watch SVU? Last night’s episode was awesome, and full of intrigue from beginning to end.

  • DougF


    It stays on the air because Warner Brothers & CBS like the money it brings in. Especially the billion dollars over 4 years the it is gonna get from Netflix.

  • thensnowleopard

    That amuses me, too. For the most part, SPN’s ratings are remarkably stable. There are cases where a bad (i.e. very unpopular) episode appears to depress ratings (like 8.15 with the familiar, which had lower Live+7 ratings than the episodes before and after it, or “Bitten,” which had a bad demo compared to other season 8 episodes. I think it might have been the worst of the season). But, for the most part, the ratings are pretty level.

    That trait is probably what got the show to an eighth season in such great shape and very likely is why it’s the only CW show in recent history to do at all well in the Friday 9pm death slot. Everybody shows up every week. They may complain and moan quite loudly about it, but they show up. If anything, the exuberant kvetching both demonstrates the loyalty of the fandom and probably acts as a safety valve to blow off ill feeling about the storylines that could fester and cause viewers to leave.

    It’s also probably why guest stars don’t really hurt or help the ratings, unless they actually push the leads off the screen for a significant amount of the episode (as in “Bitten” and probably “Man’s Best Friend with Benefits,” both of which gave a lot of screentime to squicky characters fans didn’t much like, at the expense of the leads). Even so, having lots of *Castiel* onscreen doesn’t seem to bother the general fandom nearly as much as some claim, if the ratings are any indication, which is only one reason Misha Collins will be a regular next season.

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