Even though it’s “February” sweeps, the competition seems bent on avoiding direct battle with American Idol. With the only meaningful competition from Biggest Loser, Idol and Fox had better demo ratings than all its English broadcast competition combined. NBC feasted on the demo leftovers for a second place finish, while ABC was beaten in the demos by Univision. CBS repeats, as is typical, were able to put the older viewers in the seats.

Dominating the night, American Idol was up 0.3 ratings points in the 18-49  demo and just a fraction in 18-34 from last Tuesday. I wrote that Reaper could be back if it held onto its premiere ratings, and considering that Daylight Savings Time kicked in since last week (which can depress early show ratings), it didn’t do too badly, losing just a tick in its 18-49 rating and holding steady in its 18-34 rating. Future weeks will determine whether it stays or goes at the end of the season. Biggest Loser was also up a few ticks in the demos from last week as well.

With no new scripted competition, and with seemingly the last drop of blood wrung from the Bachelor stone, NBC’s Law and Order: SVU was an easy demo winner at 10.

You can see past Tuesday overnight TV ratings reports here. Full details:

Time Net Show Viewers Live+SD (000) 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share 18-34 Rating 18-34 Share
8:00 FOX American Idol  23.625 8.6 24 7.0 22
  CBS NCIS (repeat)  13.332 2.7 7 1.7 6
  NBC Biggest Loser: Couples  8.501 3.4 9 2.6 8
  ABC Homeland Security USA  5.147 1.4 4 0.9 3
  UNI Cuidado con el Ángel  4.485 1.8 5 2.0 6
  CW Reaper  2.173 0.8 2 0.9 3
9:00 FOX American Idol  26.853 10.1 25 8.0 23
  CBS The Mentalist (repeat)  14.246 2.8 7 1.8 5
  NBC Biggest Loser: Couples  10.129 4.2 10 3.2 9
  UNI Mañana Es para Siempre  4.200 1.8 4 2.0 6
  ABC Scrubs (repeat)  2.944 1.1 3 1.0 3
  CW 90210 (repeat)  1.046 0.4 1 0.5 2
9:30 ABC Scrubs (repeat)  2.765 1.1 3 1.2 3
10:00 NBC Law & Order: SVU  11.039 3.7 10 3.0 9
  CBS Without a Trace (repeat)  10.186 2.1 6 1.3 4
  ABC Primetime: What Would You Do?  5.104 1.9 5 1.4 4
  UNI Aqui y Ahora  3.011 1.2 3 1.3 4

– Shows are sorted by viewers in each time slot.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2009 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. 


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 football 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 which are currently in approximately 24.4% of all U.S. TV households. 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.

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