As usual, an hour of  American Idol led FOX to an across-the-board win for the night (18-49, 18-34 and viewers).  CBS was second with adults 18-49 and viewers and ABC and CW tied for second with adults 18-34.

NBC’s Minute to Win It took the 8pm hour.  Idol dominated the 9pm hour, but Modern Family tied its series highs with adults 18-49 with a 4.2 rating and was up 8% versus last week.   It was Modern Family’s best-ever performance against Idol with both adults 18-49 and total viewers.

Cougar Town was up slightly from last week as well to  a 2.6 rating with adults 18-49.  Mercy hardly registered on the radar.

At 10pm Law & Order: SVU again defeated CSI: NY with adults 18-49, though both shows were up more than 5% versus last week.  CSI: NY again won with total viewers.     Happy Town was flat with a 1.2 rating with adults 18-49 and it now goes on the bench for the remainder of May Sweeps before returning on June 2 to burn off its remaining episodes.

CW had the two hour finale of America’s Next Top Model which averaged a 1.7 rating with adults 18-49 between 8p-10pm.  With CW’s target of women 18-34, it averaged a 2.7 rating for those two hours, tying with ABC between 8p-10p in that demo.  It was the CW’s best Wednesday with women 18-34  in over a year and a half — since the September 2009 premiere of ANTM.

Nielsen overnight ratings for Wednesday, May 12, 2010:

Late night results are below the primetime table

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 NBC Minute to Win It 2.2/7 6.72
CBS New Adventures of Old Christine 1.9/6 7.19
CW America’s Next Top Model 1.7/6 3.93
ABC The Middle  (R) 1.6/5 5.69
FOX Lie To Me (R) 1.4/5 5.14
8:30 ABC The Middle 2.4/7 7.51
CBS The Big Bang Theory (R) 2.0/6 6.65
9:00 FOX American Idol 6.4/17 19.10
ABC Modern Family 4.2/11 10.10
CBS Criminal Minds 3.4/9 12.88
CW America’s Next Top Model 1.6/4 3.57
NBC Mercy 1.1/3 4.11
9:30 ABC Cougar Town 2.6/7 6.13
10:00 NBC Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 2.8/8 8.51
CBS CSI: NY 2.5/7 11.36
ABC Happy Town 1.2/3 3.21

Late night results via NBC press blurb:

  • In Nielsen’s 56 metered markets, household results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 3.8/10; CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman,” 2.7/7; and ABC’s “Nightline,” 2.8/7; and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” 1.4/4.
  • In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 1.2/5; “Late Show,” 0.7/3; “Nightline,” 1.2/5; and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” 0.6/3.
  • At 12:35 a.m., “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” (1.6/6 in metered-market households) beat CBS’s “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” (1.4/5).  In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, “Late Night” (0.7/4 in 18-49) topped “Late Late Show” (0.5/3).
  • At 1:35 a.m., “Last Call with Carson Daly” averaged a 1.0/4 in metered-market households and a 0.4/3 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters.

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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