Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Thursday, August 16, 2018

Note: Local pre-emptions for NFL preseason games on ABC, CBS, and NBC will likely result in greater adjustments than usual in the final ratings.

The numbers for Thursday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. The Big Bang Theory (CBS) – R 1.2/6 6.51
Ellen’s Game of Games (NBC) – R 1.1/6 4.84
20/20 (ABC) 0.8/4 4.78
Nascar Racing (FOX) (8-10 p.m.) 0.4/2 1.37
Supernatural (The CW) – R 0.2/1 0.85
8:30 p.m. Young Sheldon (CBS) – R 1.1/6 6.02
9 p.m. Big Brother (CBS) 1.8/8 6.49
Trial & Error (NBC) 0.9/5 3.41
Match Game (ABC) 0.8/4 4.04
Black Lightning (The CW) – R 0.2/1 0.84
9:30 p.m. Trial & Error (NBC) 0.7/3 2.82
10 p.m. Law & Order: SVU (NBC) – R 0.7/3 3.38
SWAT (CBS) – R 0.7/3 3.36
Take Two (ABC) 0.6/3 3.50


Pending updates, “Big Brother” maintained its place at the top of the Thursday night primetime ratings in the adults 18-49 demo this week.

The CBS series posted a likely NFL-inflated 1.8 rating, up four-tenths from the 1.4 it had adjusted down to last Thursday. It currently ranks as the second most-watched broadcast of the night with 6.49 million viewers, just behind a “Big Bang Theory” encore (1.2, 6.51 million), but check back later today to see what it adjusts to in the final ratings.

ABC kicked off its night with a special edition of “20/20” honoring the late Aretha Franklin, which scored a 0.8 on the network. “Match Game” followed behind, steady with the 0.8 preliminary rating it had posted last week, but up two-tenths from the 0.6 it had adjusted down to in the finals.

“Take Two” is currently sitting at a 0.6, though, even with last week’s final, which means any possible downward adjustment in the finals this afternoon would result in a week-to-week ratings dip for the series.

On NBC, last night’s pair of “Trial & Error” episodes posted 0.9 and 0.7 ratings, but will also likely adjust down later today. FOX’s “NASCAR” coverage, meanwhile, raked in a 0.4 with 1.37 million viewers.

CBS is leading the network race once again in both measures with a 1.2 overall 18-49 rating and 5.59 million viewers. NBC came in second in the demo with a 0.9, followed by ABC (0.7), FOX (0.4), and the CW (0.2). While those actual averages could change with adjustments this afternoon, it’s unlikely that any of the actual rankings will.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.2/6 0.9/5 0.7/3 0.4/2 0.2/1
Total Viewers (millions) 5.59 3.61 4.11 1.37 0.85


Late-night metered market ratings (adults 18-49, households):

11:35 p.m.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.5/4, 1.8/5

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.5/3, 2.6/7

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.4/3, 1.6/5

12:35 a.m.

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.3/3, 1.0/4

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.3/2, 1.3/5

“Nightline”: 0.3/3, 1.2/4


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.
Fast Affiliate Ratings: These first national ratings are available at approximately 11 a.m. ET the day after telecast. 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. 
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. 
Time Shifted Viewing:
 Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data – Live, Live +Same-Day and Live +7 Day. Time-shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs. Live+SD includes viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3 a.m. local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live +7 ratings include  viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

Source: The Nielsen Company.

Posted by:Alex Welch

Alex Welch has been writing for TV by the Numbers since January 2016. In his off time he enjoys rewatching old episodes of Game of Thrones and unironically singing along to ABBA. Every now and then, he even does them at the same time. He lives in Los Angeles.

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