In a very close Thursday night overall, ABC edged Fox and CBS for the nightly adults 18-49 ratings win, while NBC’s comedies gained vs. their last new episodes.

The first night of the February sweeps period was a close one ratings-wise at the top, but not a particularly strong one overall.

ABC was hobbled by the dead weight that is The Deep End, which sank 28% vs. last week to just a 1.3 adults 18-49 rating. That certainly crushed their night’s average and may have directly hurt Grey’s Anatomy which was down 4% vs its last original episode to a series low 4.5 adults 18-49 rating for an original episode. Private Practice also fell, down 6% vs. its last original episode.

CBS was dragged down a bit by the Surviving Survivor special at 8, which had a 2.3 rating. When Survivor premieres next week, the competition will not get off nearly so easily. CSI was up slightly compared to its last original (1/21) episode to a 3.2 rating, while The Mentalist increased 6% to a 3.3 rating.

Fox was down vs. last week, but Fringe fans can be relatively pleased by its performance vs. full broadcast competition. Bones fell 8% to a 3.3 adults 18-49 rating but equaled last week’s 3 year high in total viewers, while Fringe fell 13% to a 2.6 rating.

NBC’s comedies all recovered vs. their last original episodes on 1/21. Community was up 5% to a 2.2 rating. Parks & Recreation increased 15% to a season high 2.3 rating. The Office was up 3% to a 3.8 rating, and 30 Rock gained 7% to a 2.9 rating. The Jay Leno show seems to be going out like a lamb, its 1.2 rating tied its lowest for a Thursday.

CW’s Vampire Diares was mixed vs. last week, down a tenth flat for adults 18-49 with a 1.8 rating, but up 7% vs. the CW target to a 3.0 rating for women 18-34. Supernatural’s results were not mixed at all, it fell 15% to a 1.1 rating for adults 18-49, and was down a tenth of a point to a 1.5 rating for women 18-34.

In Late-Night Local People Meters Wednesday night:

  • Conan O’Brien (0.9/4 in 18-49 in local people meters with an encore telecast) trailed CBS’s first-run Late Show (1.0/4) in Nielsen’s 25 local markets with People Meters.
  • At 12:35 a.m., Jimmy Fallon (0.6/3 in 18-49 in local people meters ) topped CBS’s Late Late Show (0.5/3 with an encore telecast).
Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (Millions)
8:00 FOX Bones 3.2 10 11.93
CBS Surviving Survivor 2.3 7 8.18
NBC Community 2.2 7 5.22
CW Vampire Diaries 1.9 6 4.05
ABC The Deep End 1.3 4 5.01
8:30 FOX Bones 3.4 10 12.64
CBS Surviving Survivor 2.5 7 8.39
NBC Parks & Recreation 2.3 6 4.87
CW Vampire Diaries 1.8 5 3.98
ABC The Deep End 1.3 4 5.14
9:00 ABC Grey’s Anatomy 4.2 11 12.02
NBC The Office 3.8 10 7.36
CBS CSI 3.1 8 14.18
FOX Fringe 2.8 7 7.76
CW Supernatural 1.1 3 2.39
9:30 ABC Grey’s Anatomy 4.7 12 12.98
CBS CSI 3.4 9 14.96
NBC 30 Rock 2.9 8 5.93
FOX Fringe 2.5 7 7.06
CW Supernatural 1.1 3 2.31
10:00 ABC Private Practice 3.5 10 9.63
CBS The Mentalist 3.4 9 14.98
NBC The Jay Leno Show 1.3 3 4.08
10:30 CBS The Mentalist 3.2 9 14.51
ABC Private Practice 3.2 9 9.03
NBC The Jay Leno Show 1.0 3 3.80

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2009 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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