ABC dominated the night with two hours of The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love followed by an “After The Final Rose” special.   The show completely dominated with women, posting ratings higher than an 8.0 with both women 18-49 and women 18-34 between 9:30-10:30p.  Showing strength,  The Bachelor completed its most-watched season since 2003.

CBS was second with a strong performance out of its two hour comedy block.  The Big Bang Theory was just off from its record numbers for its last new episode (down only 2%).  Two and a Half Men viewers definitely aren’t deterred by Charlie Sheen’s personal life.  With a 3.5 rating for adults 18-49, the season premiere of Rules of Engagement was just a tick ahead of the last original airing of Accidentally on Purpose.

NBC quickly returned to fourth place following the Olympics, but Chuck bounced back to a 2.4 rating in adults 18-49 and the 10pm results for Law & Order (2.1 rating with adults 18-49) were 31% higher than the average for The Jay Leno Show at 10pm.

The fall off for 24 lingered beyond the Olympics.  Up against The Bachelor finale, and with a repeat of Life Unexpected leading into an original episode instead of a new episode of One Tree Hill, Life Unexpected was down a bit.

Here are the results for the late night wars in Jay Leno’s return to The Tonight Show


Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Shr Viewers (Millons)
8:00 ABC The Bachelor: On The Wings of Love (Finale) 4.9/13 14.29
CBS How I Met Your Mother 3.9/11 10.48
NBC Chuck 2.4/6 6.70
FOX House (R) 2.1/6 6.70
CW Life Unexpected (R) 0.6/2 1.44
8:30 CBS Rules of Engagement (Premiere) 3.5/9 9.81
9:00 CBS Two and a Half Men 5.7/14 16.75
ABC The Bachelor: On The Wings of Love 5.6/14 15.67
FOX 24 2.5/6 8.56
NBC Law & Order 1.9/5 7.58
CW Life Unexpected 0.8/2 1.88
9:30 CBS The Big Bang Theory 5.9/14 15.61
10:00 ABC The Bachelor: After the Final Rose 5.4/14 14.30
CBS CSI: Miami 3.4/9 12.05
NBC Law & Order 2.1/6 7.86

You can see TV ratings from other recent Overnight ratings reports here.

All numbers are Live+SD.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2010 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.

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