Broadcast primetime live + same-day ratings for Thursday, September 12, 2019

Note: ABC’s live debate coverage and FOX’s live MLB broadcast may result in greater adjustments than usual for those networks in the finals later today.

The numbers for Thursday:

Time Show Adults 18-49 rating/share Viewers (millions)
8 p.m. Democratic Candidates Debate (ABC) (8-11 p.m.) – S 1.9/10 11.22
Young Sheldon (CBS) – R 0.6/4 4.50
MLB Baseball (FOX) (8-10 p.m.) – S 0.5/3 2.03
Superstore (NBC) – R 0.4/2 2.04
The Outpost (The CW) 0.2/1 0.73
8:30 p.m. Young Sheldon (CBS) – R 0.6/3 4.22
Superstore (NBC) – R 0.3/2 1.59
9 p.m. Big Brother (CBS) 1.1/6 4.58
The Good Place (NBC) – R 0.3/2 1.39
Two Sentence Horror Stories (The CW) 0.1/1 0.59
9:30 p.m. The Good Place (NBC) – R 0.2/1 1.16
Two Sentence Horror Stories (The CW) – R 0.1/1 0.47
10 p.m. FBI (CBS) – R 0.4/2 2.66
Law & Order: SVU (NBC) – R 0.4/2 1.88


Unsurprisingly, the live 2020 Democratic Candidates Debate carried ABC to an easy ratings victory Thursday night.

The network’s broadcast of the debate averaged a 1.9 rating in the adults 18-49 demo with 11.22 million viewers, easily topping the night in both measures. Pending updates, that means the debate performed on par with NBC’s broadcasts of the first 2020 Democratic Debates from back in June, which scored 2.2 and 1.8 ratings, respectively.

Elsewhere, it was a relatively quiet night for the rest of the broadcast networks. CBS’ “Big Brother” scored the same 1.1 that it did last Thursday, despite being sandwiched in between “FBI” and “Young Sheldon” reruns again.

A live, regional MLB Baseball broadcast raked in a 0.5 average rating and 2.03 million viewers for FOX. Meanwhile, the CW’s “The Outpost” grabbed a 0.2 at 8 p.m., up one-tenth from its 0.1 a week ago. “Two Sentence Horror Stories” followed it, and matched its last outing’s 0.1. The rest of the night’s broadcasts were all repeats.

Network averages:

Adults 18-49 rating/share 1.9/10 0.7/3 0.5/3 0.3/2 0.1/1
Total Viewers (millions) 11.22 3.87 2.03 1.66 0.63


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

11:35 p.m.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live”: 0.5/3, 2.0/6

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”: 0.3/3, 2.4/7

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”: 0.3/2, 1.2/4

12:35 a.m.

“Nightline”: 0.3/3, 1.3/5

“The Late Late Show with James Corden”: 0.2/2, 1.0/4

“Late Night with Seth Meyers”: 0.2/2, 0.9/3


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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