Against mostly broadcast repeats and misfits, American Idol’s “Idol Gives Back” special overwhelmed the competition, but was still down 16% from the comparable telecast last season (on 4/9/08), registering a 5.7 adults 18-49 rating.

CBS had just two original episodes on Wednesday, and both hit all time original episode lows. New Adventures of Old Christine fell 12% from last week to just a 1.5 adults 18-49 rating, and Accidentally On Purpose fell 16% from last week to a 1.6 rating.

NBC’s Mercy also joined the all time low rating party, dropping 8% from its last original (3/24) to register just a 1.2 adults 18-49 rating. With only repeat broadcast competition, Law & Order: SVU saw its ratings rise 8% from its last original (4/7) to a 2.7 adults 18-49 rating.

The CW’s America’s Top Model fared better, up 17% to a 1.4 adults 18-49 rating. In the CW target women 18-34 demo it was up 10% to a 2.2 rating. Sadly, both Fly Girls and High Society were again barely visible, each registering 0.4 adults 18-49 ratings, same as last week. They each has a slightly less microscopic 0.7 women 18-34 rating.

via NBC press note:

In Late-Night Metered Markets Wednesday night:

  • “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” (3.3/8 in metered-market households) out-delivered CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman” (2.5/6) and ABC’s combination of “Nightline (2.7/6) and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (1.3/4) in Nielsen’s 56 metered markets.
  • In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” (1.1/5) ranked #1 among the major networks in the time period over “Late Show” (0.7/3), “Nightline” (1.1/5) and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (0.6/3).
  • At 12:35 a.m., “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” (1.4/5 in metered-market households with an encore telecast) topped CBS’s first-run “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” (1.3/5). In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, “Late Night” (0.6/3 in 18-49 with an encore telecast) topped the first-run “Late Late Show” (0.4/2).
  • At 1:35 a.m., “Last Call with Carson Daly” averaged a 0.9/4 in metered-market households with an encore telecast and a 0.4/3 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters.
Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
8:00 FOX American Idol 5.0 16 15.726
CBS The New Adventures of Old Christine 1.5 5 5.289
ABC The Middle (repeat) 1.4 4 4.437
CW America’s Next Top Model 1.3 4 2.836
NBC Mercy 1.2 4 5.044
8:30 FOX American Idol 5.9 17 18.456
CBS Accidentally On Purpose 1.6 5 5.335
ABC The Middle (repeat) 1.6 5 4.836
CW America’s Next Top Model 1.4 4 3.086
NBC Mercy 1.2 3 4.976
9:00 FOX American Idol 6.1 17 19.585
ABC Modern Family (repeat) 2.2 6 5.492
CBS Criminal Minds (repeat) 1.7 5 7.788
NBC Law & Order: SVU (repeat) 1.2 3 4.858
CW Fly Girls 0.4 1 0.965
9:30 FOX American Idol 6.1 16 19.827
ABC Modern Family (repeat) 2.0 5 4.949
CBS Criminal Minds (repeat) 1.9 5 8.350
NBC Law & Order: SVU (repeat) 1.6 4 5.666
CW High Society 0.4 1 0.886
10:00 NBC Law & Order: SVU 2.5 7 8.239
CBS CSI: NY (repeat) 1.4 4 6.742
ABC Cougar Town (repeat) 1.3 4 3.170
10:30 NBC Law & Order: SVU 3.0 9 9.232
CBS CSI: NY (repeat) 1.4 4 7.034
ABC Cougar Town (repeat) 1.2 4 3.095

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2010 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 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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