George Clooney’s return to E.Rboosted the show to a 3.9 rating in the 18-49 demo, just  11% above last week’s 3.5. Maybe they shouldn’t have kept it a secret! Even with the assist from Clooney, NBC finished 4th on the night in the 18-49 demo. CBS, with all new episodes, topped the 18-49 demo, and ABC, taking a break from Scrubs reruns, topped the 18-34 demo.

Survivor, free of American Idol, had a commanding 18-49 demo win and tied Bones for the 18-34 demo top at 8. Bones was down a tick in each demo from its last new episode 3 weeks ago. Ugly Betty benefited even more by the Idol departure, up 0.3 rating points in each demo. Smallville returned after over a month of reruns to nearly identical numbers.

For the first time in a long while, everybody brought their A-team at 9pm, and Grey’s Anatomy was the winner in both demos, while CSI and The Office traded 2nd and 3rd. That battle cost all three though, as we’re told they were all at their lowest original show ratings this season. Hell’s Kitchen was up 0.3 ratings points in the 18-49 demo, and 0.4 in 18-34 from its last outing without an American Idol lead in. Supernatural, also in repeats since early February, returned by falling two ticks in each demo.

The “Surprise” Clooney E.R. won the 18-49 demo, but was beaten by Private Practice in the 18-34 demo, boosted just 8% in the 18-34 by Clooney. Those secret NBC marketing geniuses! Update: After reading the initial comments, I have a new theory. Clooney and NBC wanted the appearance “secret” so that if it produced mediocre numbers, as it did, they’d have deniability! “You see, he provided little boost simply because no one knew!” They’re evil geniuses!

For a little historical perspective  E.R. was the #1 show on a household ratings basis for both the ’95-’96 and ’96-’97 seasons averaging a 22.0 and 21.2 household rating respectively. Last night’s 7.1 household rating, was but a pale shadow of its pinnacle.

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

Full details:

Time Net Show Viewers Live+SD (Millons) 18-49 Rating/ Share 18-34 Rating/ Share
8:00 CBS Survivor: Tocantins 12.887 4.1/12 2.2/7
  FOX Bones 9.553 2.8/8 2.2/7
  ABC Ugly Betty 7.210 2.1/6 1.9/6
  UNI Cuidado con el Ángel 4.602 1.8/5 2.0/7
  NBC My Name is Earl (repeat) 4.411 1.7/5 1.3/5
  CW Smallville 3.723 1.6/5 1.6/5
8:30 NBC Kath & Kim 4.001 1.7/5 1.6/5
9:00 CBS CSI 16.963 4.2/10 2.5/7
  ABC Grey’s Anatomy 13.537 5.0/12 4.9/13
  FOX Hell’s Kitchen 7.765 3.5/9 3.2/9
  NBC The Office 7.513 4.0/10 4.4/13
  UNI Mañana Es para Siempre 4.835 2.1/5 2.4/7
  CW Supernatural 2.838 1.1/3 1.2/3
9:30 NBC 30 Rock 6.406 3.3/8 3.3/9
10:00 CBS Eleventh Hour 11.779 2.8/7 2.2/6
  NBC E.R. 10.708 3.9/11 2.8/8
  ABC Private Practice 9.069 3.5/9 3.2/9
  UNI Rosa de Guadalupe 3.414 1.5/4 1.7/5

Shows are sorted by viewers 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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