With 12 broadcast show season finales on Thursday, ABC lead by Grey’s Anatomy swept the night averaging a 4.6 rating in the 18-49 demo. However, the series and season lows for many shows continued, and NBC’s Thursday woes intensified.

Fox was the only network up Thursday on a year to year basis, increasing its demo rating 22% vs. last season. The season finales of both Bones and Hell’s Kitchen were up from last week.

With it rumored to be renewing several low rated comedies, ABC seems to be pursuing a ratings suicidal strategy just to try and keep comedies in its line up. Ugly Betty’s coming back, but do you really want shows that can only pull a 2.0 demo rating? While the Grey’s Anatomy final was up from last week, and at its season average, it was the lowest rated season finale episode ever, down 18% from last season.

More season finale declines at CBS where CSI posted its lowest original show rating ever, in a season finale. That’s got to hurt. A lot.

NBC’s Thursday pain continues to get worse. Even with 4 season finales out of 5 shows they were down 4% in the demo from last week. The Office had its lowest original rating in two years, and that for a season finale. Their new, and newly renewed shows, continued to be problems. Parks & Recreation stabilized (at least for a second week) at a pitiful 2.0 rating, while Southland continued to fall, hitting a series low 1.7 rating last night.

For reference you can check out past Thursday night fast affiliate ratings reports here.

Full details:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share 18-34 Rating 18-34 Share Viewers Live+SD (Millons)
8:00 CBS Survivor: Tocantins 3.8 11 2.1 8 12.033
FOX Bones (finale) 2.5 8 2.2 8 8.704
ABC Ugly Betty 2.0 6 1.7 6 6.833
NBC My Name is Earl (finale) 2.0 6 1.3 5 4.795
CW Smallville (finale) 1.4 4 1.4 5 3.156
UNI Cuidado con el Angel 1.1 3 1.3 5 3.198
8:30 NBC Parks And Recreation (finale) 2.0 6 1.9 7 4.249
9:00 ABC Grey’s Anatomy (finale) 5.5 15 5.1 15 15.581
NBC The Office (finale) 3.5 9 3.9 12 6.722
CBS CSI (finale) 3.4 9 1.9 5 14.425
FOX Hell’s Kitchen (finale) 3.2 8 2.5 7 7.419
UNI Mañana Es Para Siempre 1.6 4 1.8 5 4.115
CW Supernatural (finale) 1.3 3 1.4 4 2.902
9:30 NBC 30 Rock (finale) 2.8 7 2.8 8 5.664
10:00 ABC Grey’s Anatomy (finale) 6.2 17 5.6 17 17.124
CBS CSI: NY (finale) 3.1 8 1.8 5 12.836
NBC Southland 1.7 5 1.5 5 4.640
UNI Mujeres Asesinas 1.6 4 1.7 5 3.473

Shows are sorted from highest 18-49 rating to lowest 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 and Numbers 102.

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