TV Ratings Thursday: 'Grey's Anatomy', 'The Vampire Diaries' & 'Beauty and the Beast' Rise, 'Scandal' & 'Community' Flat, 'American Idol' Down Plus Preliminary NCAA Tournament Numbers

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March 22nd, 2013

Scandal Top of the Hour

Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 2.4/7 2.4/7 1.7/5 1.6/5 1.0/3 0.9/3
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 1.9/6 1.9/6 1.5/5 1.5/5 0.8/3 0.9/3
Total Viewers (million) 8.772 7.560 3.919 4.702 3.100 2.163

Due to the nature of live  programming the ratings for CBS (NCAA Basketball tournament) are approximate and subject to more than the typical adjustments in the final numbers. See below for more information on these Fast Affiliate Ratings.

FOX and ABC tied for number 1 in adults 18-49 awhile FOX won with Total Viewers.


On FOX,  American Idol scored a 2.8 adults 18-49 rating, down 10 percent from last week’s 3.1 Glee earned a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating even with last week.

On ABC, the season premiere of Wife Swap garnered a 1.7 adults 18-49 rating, down 29 percent from a 2.4 for the season premiere of Celebrity Wife Swap on Tuesday February 26, but  up 42 percent from a 1.2 for its previous season premiere way back on Friday, April 2, 1010.  Grey's Anatomy earned a 2.9 adults 18-49 rating up 12 percent from last week’s series low 2.6. Scandal returned with a 2.7 adults 18-49 even with its most recent new episode on February 22. Your predictions were too pessimistic.

On CBS, the NCAA Tournament earned a preliminary 1.6 adults 18-49 rating, down 6 percent from a 1.7 preliminary rating for the first night of last year’s tournament but as noted are likely to be adjusted in the final ratings, and only cover the primetime portion of the telecasts. We'll have the final ratings for the CBS games, as well as most (if not all) of the NCAA games on cable in our broadcast and cable final ratings posts due between 4-5pm Eastern today.

On NBC, Community tied its series low with a 1.1 adults 18-49 rating, even with last week. A special 8:30 episode of 1600 Penn earned a 0.9 adults 18-49 rating down 44 percent from Parks and Recreation’s 1.6 in the time period last week. At 9:30 1600 Penn scored a series low 0.8 adults 18-49 down 20 percent from last week's  1.0 among adults 18-49.

On The CW, The Vampire Diaries earned a 1.2 adults 18-49 rating up 9 percent from last week’s 1.1.  Beauty and the Beast scored a 0.7 adults 18-49 rating up 40 percent from last week’s 0.5.

Overnight ratings for Thursday, March 21, 2013:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 FOX American Idol 2.8/9 11.65
ABC Wife Swap - Season Premiere 1.7/5 5.00
CBS 2013 NCAA Basketball Tournament (8-11PM) - Live 1.6/5 4.70
CW The Vampire Diaries 1.2/4 2.55
NBC Community 1.1/4 3.02
8:30 NBC 1600 Penn 0.9/3 2.54
9:00 ABC Grey's Anatomy 2.9/8 9.11
FOX Glee 2.0/6 5.89
NBC The Office - R 0.9/2 2.31
CW Beauty and the Beast 0.7/2 1.77
9:30 NBC 1600 Penn 0.8/2 2.29
10:00 ABC Scandal 2.7/8 8.57
NBC Law & Order: SVU - R 1.1/3 4.22

via press note:

In Late-Night Metered Markets Thursday night:



  • In Nielsen's 56 metered markets, household results were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 2.8/7; CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," 1.2/4 with an encore delayed by basketball; and ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 2.7/7.
  • In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 Wednesday results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 0.7/4; "Late Show," 0.3/2 with an encore delayed by basketball; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 1.1/5.
  • From 12:35-1:05 a.m. ET Wednesday night, ABC's "Nightline" averaged a 1.6/5 in metered-market households and a 0.7/4 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) beat CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (0.7/3 with an encore delayed by basketball). In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late Night" (0.4/3 in 18-49) topped "Late Late Show" (0.2/2 with an encore delayed by basketball).
  • At 1:35 a.m., "Last Call with Carson Daly" averaged a 0.9/4 in metered-market households and a 0.3/2 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.


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 baseball 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.

  • erwanfromfrance

    A contestant of french’s survivor died during the filming, it’s horrible and then, the 16th season is obviously canceled….

  • Petar

    @Will NBC cancel all their sitcoms but Parks and Recreation?

    YES. they will stay only thursdays sitcoms – 1 hour multicam and one hour single cam. Wednesday will be reality TBL or ready for love and tuesday dramas.

  • Ultima

    Ratings from the year-ago Thursday (3/22/12)

    Ratings from ten years ago Thursday (20 March 2003)

    Friends (R) – 7.0
    Scrubs – 7.0
    Will & Grace (R) – 6.5
    Good Morning Miami – 6.0
    NBC News – ~5.6

    NCAA Tournament, First Round – ~3.0

    ABC News (8-11pm) – ~3.9

    FOX News (8-10pm) – ~2.2

    Boring night! ;)

  • Lauren

    @Anthony Parello


    Some BATB fans don’t understand why their show is hated by a lot of people. Maybe it wouldn’t be if some fans stopped being hysteric just because you say something.

    Yes, Secret Circle ratings were better last year,that’s a FACT!

  • Petar

    Why cbs air these games on cbs not on cbs sports or other channel….

    I mean thursday is their best day they win it even on reruns and lose only once from fox idol premiere i think. Better air these games on other day not thursday.

  • Ultima

    @Brian J
    Where did you hear that in regards to MM and ad revenue? Sounds believable, but still, I’d like a source.

    Wow, thanks for asking and making me look it up. I was just remembering from last year (which would be 2011 numbers), where it was #2.

    Based on a USA Today story from last week, for 2012, March Madness brought in over $1 billion and actually topped the NFL’s $976 million postseason! :)


  • ddddddddddd

    I have a feeling BATB will be canceled even though it improved this week.

    The only reason for the improvement is because TVD also rised in ratings. BATB is way too dependent of TVD’s lead in. If The CW were to renew the show and move it to another night, it’ll crash and burn.

    Love Kristin though. If the show gets cancelled, I hope she books a role in another show that’s NOT on The CW.

  • Melissa

    Preliminary ratings from the six years-ago Thursday (2/22/07)

    Ugly Betty – 3.2 A18-49, 10.47m
    Grey’s Anatomy – 8.7 A18-49, 21.89m
    October Road – 4.9 A18-49, 12.29m

    NCAA Basketball Tournament – 3.9 A18-49, 10.52m

    Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? – 3.6 A18-49, 10.45m
    Family Guy (R) – 2.2 A18-49, 5.42m
    American Dad (R) – 1.8 A18-49, 4.20m

    My Name Is Earl (R) – 2.5 A18-49, 6.73m
    Scrubs – 2.9 A18-49, 6.84m
    Andy Barker, P.I. – 2.2 A18-49, 5.40m
    Raines – 2.5 A18-49, 8.63m

    Smallville – 1.7 A18-49, 4.20m
    Supernatural 1.4 A18-49, 3.52m

  • Melissa

    Correction: Those ratings are from 3/22/07 not 2/22/07!

  • Angela

    We need BatB season 2, cause it’s so freaking awesome. *-* I love this show.

  • Melissa


    Ratings from ten years ago Thursday (20 March 2003)

    Ha! Remember when NBC used to rule Thursdays…

  • Petar

    CBS on reruns at thursday is better than these ncaa games.

  • Brian J


    Thanks for the link. Still, how much of that goes to CBS, and how much does the network pay for it?

    At the very least, there’s the benefit of getting the young men’s demo, which is hard to reach, to turn to the network, however temporarily.

  • firelo

    but up 42 percent from a 1.2 for its previous season premiere way back on Friday, April 2, 1010. “………….April 2, 1010? Is that what they were doing a thousand years ago? OK, this is an obvious typo. Normally, this would not be worthy of comment, but in a site that is all about numbers, getting one digit wrong makes me wonder how often other numbers might be wrong. What would be happening right now if American Idol showed a 1.8 instead of 2.8?

  • TV Addict

    Community is the highest rated NBC comedy this week!!
    It is no 1000000% likely to get #sixseasonsandamovie

  • Claudia


    TSC got canned, Just saying! :)

  • PurpleDrazi

    @Glue –

    “I have a question, So For example 100M people watch Community, but only 1M watch the Ads. They put the 1M in the ratings?”

    Well, that’s a simplified way of looking at it but yes.

    As Bill and others have said many times, the purpose of ratings is not to measure a show’s popularity but to measure who watches the commercials. Ratings are used to set ad prices. If you are not watching the commercials then advertisers don’t want to “pay” for you. They are only interested in people who watch live. (and thus are more likely to see the commercials.)

    There is a bit more to it than that and I’m not even going to get into the whole 18-49 demo argument…but the gist of it is: If you don’t watch commercials you are not counted.

  • Ultima

    Why cbs air these games on cbs not on cbs sports or other channel….

    Because the only other option for CBS is the CBS Sports Network, which is not included on most basic cable packages, so it would not be good for ratings (and subsequently advertising revenue).

    CBS really only takes a hit during the 8pm hour. It’s a very small price to pay compared to the massive ratings boost they get from the rest of the tournament (daytime, Fridays, weekends, Final Four/Championship).

    Way back in the day, when CBS was the go to place for primetime soap operas on Thursdays and Fridays, the first week would be on ESPN during primetime and the second week would have silly timeslots like 10pm-3am so that Dallas wouldn’t be interrupted. They eventually stopped that nonsense by the late 80s though and soon after got the exclusive rights to the tournament and expanded to the full two weeks.

  • Petar

    @“How does Fox renew a show like Bones and not Glee yet? Bones ratings aren’t that good. Glee is pretty steady. What’s the holdup on Glee?”

    People should stop thinking that renewal announcement timing is somehow directly related to ratings.

    Announcement timing is tied to two things: Negotiations and maximum PR value. In Glee’s case, because all the other show renewals have been announced, it’s certainly some delay in the negotiations.

    OR fox fear that glee will take smash way. These are expensive shows to made and one more season without idol lead in will be interesting to see.

  • Holly


    Don’t pretend TSC fans have been any less obnoxious than BatB fans.

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