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.

  • Melissa


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

    Wikipedia has total viewership numbers for every episode, not A18-49 ratings.


    Thanks for the link. For individual demo points, I usually check Spotted Ratings, which has a great archive of current and historical A18-49 ratings.

  • Ultima

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

    Nonstop coverage of curling and hockey on NBC’s cable networks made my very happy in 2010! ;)

  • Ultima

    @Brian J
    When did they do the renewal?

    After the 2010 tournament; contract was for 2011 through 2024.

    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.

    Probably cable? NBC would have Sunday games run into primetime, but that was mostly because they couldn’t get anything to work in those timeslots in the first place.

  • Anthony Parello (AP076)


    I’m not sure if I should thank you or be angry for the Media Life Magazine link. It is a new bookmark and is likely to take up another hour or so, a week, of my time.

    Just ran across an informative article about time shifted viewing there. Which might make a nice post Bill Gorman.

    For the record these daily ratings posts are never very interesting until you and Holly come along (or “the boys in blue”) with all that correct information and facty stuff :-)

  • Anthony Parello (AP076)


    Great Spotted Ratings too!!!! There goes more of my time. Somethings gotta give. The little ones don’t really need to eat and wear clean clothes, EVERYDAY, I guess ;-)

  • Tom

    @ Claudia

    I shouldn’t have to explain this, but consider the following:

    First of all, you need to work on your case of ADHD: I never said anything about B&B dropping to a 0.4. Aside from my latest comment, I’ve largely focussed my recent remarks on the relationship between CBS/WB/CW and the CW network’s affiliates. B&B is integral to that topic because its the highest rated show on the CW that hasn’t been renewed. You can find those posts on other threads. So, if you’re going to insult someone, at least find the right reason.

    Secondly, the problem (or at least the biggest ones) with Beastlings is that most you completely lack any sense of humor. You should change your name to Wily Coyote because you take the bait every time someone throws a barb at B&B. A few of the B&B fans who regularly contribute to this site do a pretty good job of sticking to the ratings format. You’re not one of them. Notwithstanding you denials, your place is precisely with that bunch Beastlings who are so infatuated with the romantic overtones of the show that they won’t tolerate any criticism of it. So, since you admit the show has flaws, stop contradicting yourself and start respecting the views of others.

    Finally, the fact that B&B moved up in the ratings this week isn’t grounds for criticizing those who believed otherwise. As I pointed out in my last post (i.e. the one you threw you fit over), it looks like a combination of factor influenced this outcome. Even though it triggered your outburst, that post was not a criticism of B&B. If you weren’t so clueless, you’d know that B&B has previously risen twice in the ratings only to fall back again. So, the pertinent inquiry is whether a potential rise in next Thursday’s NCAA basketball audience and the new episode of the Office will negatively affect B&B’s ratings. Got that?

    Anyway, please accept the aforementioned remarks as constructive criticism. If you don’t interpret them in that vein, try sticking to Facebook.

  • Brian J


    I’m fairly certain some of those episode totals are off, but I could be wrong.


    I remember when 3rd Rock worked for the network on Sundays. A very underrated show…

  • Jay Raskin

    This was the lowest demo rating ever for American Idol. This is the 12th season and we’re around show number 440. This is the first time it has gotten under a 3 ratings. It is doomed and the Fox Network along with it.

  • Brandy

    @beached they make money through syndication,ad revunue,itunes,hulu,netflix,dvd/merchandise sales, international sales.
    Why does it matter to you?Is thier exsistance with low ratings causing you suffering and mental anguish?

  • Melissa

    @Brian J

    I’m fairly certain some of those episode totals are off, but I could be wrong.

    Which post of mine are you referring to?

    @Anthony Parello (AP076)

    Great Spotted Ratings too!!!! There goes more of my time. Somethings gotta give. The little ones don’t really need to eat and wear clean clothes, EVERYDAY, I guess ;-)

    Spotted Ratings is great because the guy who runs it does something called the “War of 18-49″, in which he writes interesting analyses about a certain show, and then usually provides you with all of the ratings for that show. The link to the War of 18-49 index is: spottedratings.com/2010/08/war-of-18-49-index.html

  • Anthony Parello (AP076)


    Thanks I added that to my bookmarks. Really who needs sunlight. I think I can just go with vitamin D supplementation ;-)

  • Mia

    B&B has improved a los since the pilot. Yesterday was the best episode so far.

  • Brian J


    The numbers being off refers to the post that mentioned Wikipedia.

    Spotted is great because it also provides a very handy reference for season-to-season comparisons.

    In general, this information is hard to come by the further back you go, and even harder to compare easily, even for the same show. It’s also reported very sloppily by the mainstream press.

  • jane

    Brian J, I was asking whether the show average was 1.1 for NBC this week, not stating it…because last week it was stated in the write up here that the NBC show average was 1.2 and i wondered if it dropped even further this week.

  • Brian J


    Oh, my bad.

  • Fakeem

    Really, CBS 2013 NCAA Basketball Tournament (8-11PM) – Live 1.6/5 4.70

    Why not move March Madness to Cable and run burn-off of Partners. I can’t beleive how low CBS dropped.

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