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.

  • Ultima

    @Brian J

    Well, the current deal is through the 2024 season, so we don’t have to worry about what happens for a long time! ;)

    On another note, is it my imagination, or are most of the regular NBA games and similar things never shown on the broadcast networks any more?

    I think it’s just your imagination.

    ABC still airs regular and postseason NBA games on the weekends (mostly during the daytime). Same with NBC and the NHL. FOX/ABC have NASCAR. FOX has MLB. CBS has college basketball. All four networks have college football. FOX/CBS/NBC have the NFL. CBS and NBC have golf and tennis. There’s a bunch of other less popular sports as well.

  • NBC Fan


    Where did you find those ratings from 10 years ago?

  • Michael1


    Wikipedia has ratings for every single episode of “Friends.”

  • Melanie P.

    Go Grey’s and Scandal!!

  • nika

    Go BEAUTY & THE BEAST!!!!! This show is getting more amazing with each episode! Those still not watching, tune in! You’re in for some great quality of televison colored with action, romance and fun!

  • beached

    How do pathetic networks like NBC and CW survive? Are they actually turning a profit? Just wondering because their shows are so awful as are their ratings.

  • CookyMonzta

    Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:00 AM
    “‘I thought it premiered with a 6.0 demo. last year it debuted at 7.4 and dropped to as low as 3.9.’

    “It premiered with a 6.0 on Wednesday. I said it has dropped nearly 3 points from its Thursday premiere, which did in fact notch a 5.6.”

    My bad. I didn’t catch that. I’m used to looking at this show as a SINGLE ENTITY, for which its Thursday shows are a continuation of its Wednesday shows.

  • coonio

    great job cbs ;) i think they would have had better ratings with the normal programming

  • Ultima

    @Brian J
    Survivor really only beat Friends the first time they went head to head.

    Right, Friends would beat Survivor. The problem, for NBC, is that they couldn’t get viewers to stay with the network for the rest of the comedy block. People would watch 32 minutes of Friends (or 35 or 40) and then switch to Survivor and CSI, then back to NBC for ER.

    In 2003, Friends had an 11.4 average, ER a 10.9, but the three comedies in between combined for an ~8.2 average.

    On CBS, Survivor had an 8.1, CSI 10.0, and Without a Trace fell to a 5.3. Survivor would have massive gains from the first half hour to the second.

    So perhaps we can say it co-owned the night.

    Indeed. ABC and FOX certainly weren’t doing anything! NBC’s complete dominance of the night ended in January 2001 though.

  • Anthony Parello (AP076)

    “and what bothers me is that last week people (like Tom) where saying how BATB was gonna drop to .4 and it actually rose to .7 and still talks negative stuff thats what I mean”

    Tom, predicting a show that sees a bump in the ratings like that may adjust down is exactly what this site is for which you seem not to understand.

    Frankly I can’t believe I even stepped into the debate about BatB and by association (the still dead) TSC. Don’t mind me while I go wipe my feet…….and take a shower.

  • Ice Mountain

    Community fans are so damn dumb they are making every excuse they can find to justify their flop ratings with no TBBT against it this week. The excuses are lame too, didn’t Community get like 5 million viewers and a 2.1 against the NCAA last year? Not much crossover there with basketball and this sitcom. NBC really doesn’t need to bring this show back they need to cut ties with it in May.

    Beauty and the Beast is a positive for CW right now its doing well overseas and now its ratings domestically are improving lately.

  • CookyMonzta

    Posted March 22, 2013 at 1:32 PM
    “How do pathetic networks like NBC and CW survive? Are they actually turning a profit? Just wondering because their shows are so awful as are their ratings.”

    Your gurss is as good as mine. NBC used to be the ‘go-to’ network for outstanding entertainment. Now, as it was before the 1980s, ‘Must-See TV’ is once again ‘Must-Flee TV’! :-(

    Too bad for them. They almost finished behind CW in the demo! :-P A lot of heads MUST roll from their studios in Rockefeller Center and Burbank!

  • elfuego36

    About NCAA Basketball, like others said, the first Thursday will be lower, but the deeper the tournament, the higher the ratings. And having games on Turner networks may have hurt a bit. BUT the ad revenue makes up for demos.

    For example, for the current tournamet a Broadcasting and cable article is stating that All ads, except for some for unscheduled breaks in the later rounds are sold out. As long as this happens, CBS does not care about the overall demo.

    On American Idol dropping. Could it be just the natural slide in viewers, and not because of hosts. Fox will NOT can the program over viewer drops. It still rates better than other shows.

    Michael 1, Because it was a preseason Local Broadcast, and not a national game. The 1984 LA Olympics and regular season Monday Night Football did not coexist.

    Ultima, true on the games airing until 2024,but the current contract calls for the Final Weekend to go to TBS at some point.

  • Cory

    Ultima, why won’t you tell us where did get that demo numbers?

  • Ultima

    By the way, where do you find the daily ratings from 10 years ago?


    The daily ratings are very sparse (lots of highlights and network averages, no actual show listings), but they do have the weekly top 25.

  • Anthony Parello (AP076)


    I think curling is covered by CTV. The penetration into the American market, on non-Olympic years is only a matter of time ;-)

  • Jason C.

    @ Ice Mountain

    The big reason they got a 2.1 last year was because the show was coming off of a 3 month hiatus, I don’t think it had much to do with the NCAA. That being said, there is no excuse for these awful numbers. I’ll be surprised if NBC doesn’t can all of the comedies except Parks and Rec. The numbers just aren’t where they should be, even though the ratings for NBC are garbage across the board.

  • Ultima

    Why can’t CBS just do that to the NCAA tournament for their Thursday Night Prime Time Schedule? I’m sure the CW would jump at the chance, if NBC doesn’t beat them to it. It seems like a win-win.

    They probably don’t think it’s worth potentially confusing people just to air a couple of additional repeats of The Big Bang Theory.

  • Richard Steven Hack

    I have to agree on BATB – a 40 percent rise is anomalous in ANY show, even at those low ratings. Wait for the finals. If it DOES hold that .7 week to week, it just got a much better shot at being renewed than it had before. But I don’t see it happening.

    The episode itself, while not bad compared to most of the season, still reminds me of Ringer with things happening for no known reason as if the writers really had no game plan or rationale for why things happen. I’ve been trying to put my finger on what I don’t like about the show – other than the flawed premise, relatively poor acting and bad dialog, that is – and that’s it: the randomness of events.

    I mean, really, they just stole a body from a research lab? People DO notice when dead bodies go missing, research or not. Cat explains she got the address from her contacts in Rikers? No one will ever question that? Just because there’s a team out to get Vincent, they decide the team WILL find their hideout, so they decide to blow it up? We know that isn’t going to work, so what do they do next time with the next hideout? That explosion would not cover up the fact that there were Muirfield bodies in that building, so the idea that Vincent is dead is merely going to spur more investigation.

    Plot holes, plot holes… Random behavior… Bad directing… All the hallmarks of Ringer which made it utter crap. :-)

    Nice to see TVD up a bit. The episode was mostly filler although it did move the Silas story along a bit. Caroline made a rather dumb mistake by killing the witch. I am looking forward to seeing Elena and Katherine trying to out-do each other as bad vampires, to the disgust of Damon and Stefan. :-) I’m kinda like Damon, I like Elena more as a bad beyatch than as the whiny teenager. :-) I hope she never gets the cure – or anyone else for that matter. But I kinda think she will because a show where everyone is a vampire except for Bonnie probably won’t work forever.

    I’m basically still irritated they decided to use the same actor for Silas that they did Shane. I mean, the concept is OK, but really it was a budget cutting move. :-) I was looking forward to some impressive actor playing the role given the the guy is supposed to be the first immortal with impressive powers. And they hand us the same guy. :-)

    There’s no real explanation as to why Silas should be able to either impersonate Shane’s body OR take over Shane’s actual body, whichever was done. The latter might make more sense, given he’s supposed to be able to raise the dead, but it’s not clear to me that’s what happened, especially since he needs blood like any vampire. I realize he needs Bonnie to do what he wants so taking on Shane’s body makes sense, but they could have achieved the same end some other way that wasn’t so lame.

    Even Klaus is starting to grow on me as a cool character. I know a lot of people don’t like the Originals story line and think Klaus has gotten old as the main villain, but he’s frequently cool, like when he just stomped on Caroline’s emotions after she realized she’d killed the witches. He also got a rare surprise when Silas beat him which ought to motivate him more.

  • Brian J


    When did they do the renewal? Within the last year?

    Also, maybe it’s my imagination, but I am an old man now at 28, and I seem to remember more night games when I was growing up, at least with the NBA. But then, I could easily be wrong.

    As for NBC, CBS, ABC, Survivor and Friends, and everything else in between, ABC’s inability or even refusal to use Millionaire to build its schedule for the long term is the epitome of short-sightedness and even idiocy, something also seen even to this day with DWTS, although Paul Lee seems to be at least trying harder. I get good shows are hard to come by, but there’s no reason, especially with Millionaire, that ABC couldn’t have found one successful scripted show to work behind those hugely successful unscripted shows.

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