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.

  • CookyMonzta

    Just as I thought; 3.6/10 and 12.9 million for Idol. Pretty much par for the course today.

    Brace yourselves, because if a significant number of Wednesday’s viewers are not interested in watching Thursday’s results show, and would sooner get the information from their friends or from the Web, the 18-49 demo will be in the 2s and the show will be hard-pressed to avoid drawing fewer than 11 million viewers.

    This could be the first genuine nail-biter to avoid genuine futility. Simon Fuller (creator of the show) ought to clean house, from the front-office down to the host and judges, if he wants it to stabilize at 12 to 15 million. Otherwise next year we could see 8 and 9 million viewers and possibly a 1.x demo for one or two telecasts rather quickly.

  • Oliver

    CBS/Warner almost certainly lose money on The CW.

    It’s probable that the main reason it’s still going is because there are high penalties for withdrawing from the affiliation contracts, making it cheaper to keep going than to pull the plug.

    It’s very unlikely that the network will exist in its current form after 2016 when their affiliate contracts end.

  • Tessa


    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.

    Exactly. Nobody is claiming he brings ratings up. But a lot of delusional people – who confuse their personal hate for the character with general consensus of the fandom – claim it brings them down. One should rub the results for this episode in their faces to shut them up.

  • Jo B.


    Uh…it’s not mumbo jumbo. It is a fact that SVU ratings are going down. And they have been going down since Warren Leight took over. I’ve looked at the ratings from Season 12 vs. Season 13 and 14 and they have gone down significantly. They have only reached more than 8M viewers THREE times since Chris and Neal Baer left. Those are FACTS not opinion. So regardless of whether you agree or not those remain TRUE.

    Second of all – I am not one of those fans who stopped watching when Chris left. I gave it a chance. As a fan of the mothership, which remains in my opinion the GREATEST of the franchise, I am used to change. And it is why I KNOW that change doesn’t have to mean bad, only different. But unfortunately in the case of SVU, it’s not only different, it is also bad. What show about rapes hires a convicted rapist? LOL. And by the way that episode with Mike Tyson gave SVU it’s LOWEST ratings. Again, while what I think of Mike Tyson and the decision of NBC and Wolf Films to air that episode may be just OPINION, the LOW ratings of that episode remain FACT.

    So say what you want, FACT remains that SVU is now dead weight. It should be cancelled Barring that, it should be at the very least, moved to Fridays.

    Chicago Fire is FRESH. It is NEW. It is intriguing. It is character driven from the get go unlike SVU which is STORY driven. NBC should put all the support behind it and it should let SVU go.

  • CookyMonzta

    Posted March 21, 2013 at 9:38 PM
    “CBS/Warner almost certainly lose money on The CW.

    “It’s probable that the main reason it’s still going is because there are high penalties for withdrawing from the affiliation contracts, making it cheaper to keep going than to pull the plug.

    “It’s very unlikely that the network will exist in its current form after 2016 when their affiliate contracts end.”

    Can they simply starve the CW out of existence; that is, stop production on one show at a time until the network is down to televising one or two first-run shows, while the rest of its primetime schedule is full of repeats, after which, they can pull the plug on the whole network when they’re done televising the season/series finales of its remaining shows?

  • Jo B.


    Thank you! SVU is so focused now on the personal lives of the detectives that the premise of what it built it’s legacy on is all but gone. This is a CRIME drama. And while glimpsing and ONCE IN A WHILE focusing on the personal lives of the detectives make the stories and characters more human and more easy to relate to, we do NOT tune in to SVU for that. We tune in to SVU for the crime drama – we want to see Benson and Stabler (or the new team) go after perps and come down on them hard to get justice for the victims.

    Sadly, we do not get that now. Last night’s episode was called Undercover Blue and the title itself feels so inappropriate for a SVU episode. I mean it sounds like a RomCom movie title. And all the promos are now for “Who is Olivia’s mystery man” “Who is the hand?” It’s no longer “Who did it?” “Why did they do it?” It has become a 90210 for cops. Yeesh.

    Warren Leight had a golden opportunity to make SVU so much better than it already was. And he has wasted that opportunity. And just like before when he ran Criminal Intent to the ground, SVU is on the verge of ending up just like CI. So sad.

    Please Mr. Leight – go back to Broadway! Or head over to daytime drama.

  • CookyMonzta

    And if I must say so, the CW ought to consider going back to hard fantasy and hard sci-fi, which is what they did best when they were still the WB.

  • CoCo

    …and my stance remains. Switch SVU and CF (I know it won’t happen) and see where the ratings fall. I could care less about Chris Meloni, Warren Leight, Neal Baer and so on. Anybody with a brain can see the ratings have fallen. You don’t need to write a whole novel to explain the obvious. I’m talking about the ratings “NOW” comparing to that of CF. I don’t see much of a difference most of the time. CF is not doing that much better than SVU and would probably do worse in SVU’s slot.
    That is all…..

  • Mickey

    I just checked the NBC Cancel/Renew Index, and while I knew SVU was on track for renewal, it’s higher up on the leaderboard than I thought. I also checked to see how long it’s been on the air and was surprised to see it’s in its fourteenth season. You certainly have to respect its staying power.

    I have no problem if they keep SVU and CF where they are next year, but I don’t think they absolutely need to stay together either. I don’t think they’re interdependent.

  • Mickey


    Competition is definitely fiercer at 9 pm on Wednesdays, but don’t forget that 10pm has a smaller pool of viewers, and CSI, which also has a great deal of staying power and would be even more direct competition to a procedural like SVU. (CF, though created by Dick Wolf, is not a procedural.) If CF were moved to 9pm, it would face more competition, but it would also gain a bigger pool of viewers as more people are watching TV at 9pm. And although not rated a great deal higher than SVU, it still has a significant cushion (1.43 to 1.21 on the Renew/Cancel Index.)

    So I don’t think switching them would see CF do worse nor SVU do better.

  • thensnowleopard

    The thing is that both Padalecki and Ackles want more time off and both have families. And who can blame them? Plus, the “two brothers against the world” motif is all very well, but it’s been eight seasons and lots of counting, people. A long-lived show’s gotta branch out, even when it’s centered around Bo and Luke Winchester.

    So, it makes perfect sense that a character like Castiel, who has proven enduring popularity and is generally liked by the fandom (enough that large sections of the audience don’t turn off when he’s central in an episode), is going to be brought back as a regular. It’s a no-brainer. If Benny survives until season eight (not a given at the moment, I’m afraid), the same thing could happen with him, too. Because, again, his having his own big origin story episode didn’t hurt the ratings, either, even on a bad holiday night.

    The show needs to build its Team Free Will back up with characters who can take center stage for an episode and not hurt the ratings. And they are as rare as hen’s teeth. The show would be dumb to waste any they find.

  • thensnowleopard

    Sorry, I meant if Benny survives until season *nine*. We’re already in season eight.

  • Jon

    Why is ABC leading the night off with repeats of the middle. Then a new neighbors, then a repeat then a new sub. It’s throwing the whole night off, once again ABC’s whole slate of shows were listed as repeats, If one relies on that info which a lot of people do, they then assume the whole night is repeats, of course I always check online first, but not everyone does.

  • Jon

    @cooky……The Idol run is coming to a natural end. Nothing lasts forever, save for maybe 60 minutes, Saturday night live, and The Simpsons. Changing casts once again isn’t going to change the fact that the show is 12 seasons in, and the demographic of the show is shifting. One of the main reasons for bringing in someone like minaj was to try to hold on to the bottom end of the demographic. At this point I really don’t think it matters who is on the panel, you will still have the die hards who will hold out till the end, but it’s just so hard to bring in new and younger viewers to a show that’s 12 years old.

  • CoCo

    @ Mickey

    I’m not saying it would outright fail but I do have my doubts of it retaining it’s numbers. Yes, there is a larger viewing pool at 9:00 but the competition for those numbers is beyond stiff with some of those numbers already spoken for. Not to mention it would have little to no lead in. SVU’s lead in was 0.8.
    I’m not praying for CF to fail but it makes me wonder if it could hold it’s own against stiffer competition.

  • Bev

    Bill, sorry to see this SVU crazy fan lobby group has found its way here. They move round the sites where they think they will be visible but actually no one is listening to them. One of them comments on episodes she hasnt even watched!It seems to come with the territory. They have said they will lobby against current showrunner since the beginning of the season so they must be getting desperate at this stage.

    These people will not listen to reason so there is no point in even reading their posts.They will just cram the sites to make themselves look important.Its a form of bullying.

    In fact, its a warren leight episode that holds highest ratings for criminal Intent on USA.

    In fact,he has revived SVU and its production team.His show is holding steady at 1.6 demo while shows on NBC this season have collapsed since Christmas. Show average now is below 1.2 key demo.Shows have to be measured against the season they are in, not previous seasons.NBC have very little to work with.It will get a season 15 and Warren Leight will be running it because he makes it work,as he made Criminal Intent work.

    In fact,Law and Order original was cancelled because there werent enough viewers and it was waning in final season between 1.5 and 1.9 demo. Finale only brought in 1.9 which was disapppointing for the season it was in.

    In fact,Chicago Fire had key demo of 1.7 this week, not much higher than SVU and SVU lost its main character and is 14 years old. CF has less competitive slot and last night Nashville was in repeat yet it didnt pick up numbers, it lost numbers to CSI. SVU is in most competitive slot against AI and CM.Its also not in its usual time slot because its being used to prop up CF.

    In fact,Chicago Fire is more melodramatic and personal character stuff than any Law and Order because thats the direction Wolf knows he has to follow in the current TV climate.These people contradict themselves. The days of Law and Order original are over. CF is nothing like Law and Order. Even so, CF is not safe and has been volatile in ratings all season.

    I think management can sort out the facts from the fiction.

  • Trickster

    Anyone who thinks the CW will split up Arrow and Supernatural next season is crazy. Their pairing has worked out brilliantly for the network constituted an upwards trend in ratings, at least for wednesdays. That’s all the network wants, after all. Better ratings.

  • Oliver


    Can they simply starve the CW out of existence; that is, stop production on one show at a time until the network is down to televising one or two first-run shows, while the rest of its primetime schedule is full of repeats, after which, they can pull the plug on the whole network when they’re done televising the season/series finales of its remaining shows?

    I can only speculate, but I imagine their affiliate contracts preclude them from doing that, probably requiring a number of hours of original scripted programming or a minimum spend (or both).

    They have various options post-2016.

    One is a slimmed down The CW and airs both reruns and originals ala Ion, cutting the low-rated shows, and attempting to resigning affiliate agreements based on that.

    Another is to turn it into a cable network. They could leverage the popularity of The CW’s shows to ensure cable networks pick it up, something which is increasingly difficult.

    Alternatively, they could just cancel the network, selling whatever hits to the highest bidder and closing entirely.

    Of course, Pedowitz might turn The CW around, and it could be beating NBC by 2016…

  • Oliver

    Also, The CW should model itself on The WB, and not just the sci-fi/fantasy shows.

  • Jo B.

    @Bev / @CoCo

    It is also a Warren Leight episode that holds the lowest and it WAS in his season that Criminal Intent fell to it’s lowest and had to be moved to USA.

    Bill, I’m sorry you have warrenbots here who can’t do anything but follow Warren Leight blindly.

    Chicago Fire is safer than SVU – all sites are consistent in their prediction that it is a certain renewal. Not so for SVU. SVU ranks 3rd consistently in their timeslot even when Modern Family is a rerun.

    My last say in this – SVU – needs to be moved to Fridays. It is DEAD WEIGHT right now.

    And yes CF is more character driven. And Law & Order – the entire franchise HAS ALWAYS BEEN STORY DRIVEN. And this is where Warren Leight has gone wrong with SVU. He has made the show jump the shark by putting waaaaaaaaay to much emphasis on the personal. (Watch last week’s epi to see).

    If SVU continues in the path it is right now, I’d rather have it cancelled than have it cancelled with no dignity left. If however, it goes back to the way things were (and no I do not mean hiring Chris Meloni back – I’m way too excited to see him in a Fox comedy) – but what I mean is – go back to concentrating on the cases, the story and the victims – then please do renew it.

    As for Chicago Fire, I stand by my opinion, it is the stronger show right now. And even if it’s only a few tenths ahead of SVU in the ratings – it STILL rates HIGHER than SVU in DEMOS AND TOTAL VIEWERS.

    In my opinion SVU needs to be moved (if renewed) to Fridays and Chicago Fire to either Mondays or Tuesdays.

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