Due to the nature of live programming the ratings for CBS (NCAA Basketball) are approximate and subject to significant revisions in the final numbers. See below for more information on these Fast Affiliate Ratings.


Please note, because of the live event, even CBS’s scripted numbers from 8p-9pm are inflated and will likely be adjusted down in the finals.

The “Butler” didn’t do it, but the exciting, down-to-the-last-moment NCAA championship won by Duke will likely be the most-watched game since 2005.  You can see past NCAA ratings here.  Because they are so subject to change, I’m not going to write anything else about the numbers, but the preliminary half hour numbers between 9:30p-11p are below, and also note, we didn’t see anything for the portion of the game that ran after 11pm yet.  We’ll post better numbers for the game as soon as we see them.  In the metered market ratings the game was up 34% from last year and tied with 2005 for the best ratings since 1999.

Dancing With the Stars dropped to a 5.0 rating with adults 18-49 and Castle dropped to a 3.0 rating with adults 18-49. Castle will likely be adjusted down slightly due to Dancing With the Stars overrun.   Still, ABC notes that the 5.0/14 and 20.9 million viewers were its strongest-ever performance against the men’s basketball championship.

FOX ran two hours of 24 against the basketball and dropped to a 2.3 rating with adults 18-49.

Chuck held steady versus the previous week with a 2.1 rating with adults 18-49.  Not that it means anything, but Chuck hit a 3 week high in total viewers.  Update: yes, Chuck did run against the the last part of the basketball game (no doubt the most-watched part of the game) on the west coast.  Find out what Chuck co-creator and executive producer Chris Fedak says is the best way to save the show.

Over on the CW,  Gossip Girl haters who want to fist pump over Life Unexpected having more viewers, take note:  Gossip Girl absolutely crushed Life Unexpected in CW’s target demo of women 18-34.  Gossip Girl had a 2.4 rating in that demo – 85% better than Life Unexpected’s 1.3 rating with women 18-34.

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 ABC Dancing With the Stars 4.6/14 19.94
CBS Big Bang Theory (R) 3.5/11 10.78
FOX 24 2.1/6 6.62
NBC Chuck 2.1/6 5.77
CW Life Unexpected 0.8/2 1.80
8:30 CBS Rules of Engagement 3.6/10 10.19
9:00 ABC Dancing With the Stars 5.4/14 21.93
CBS Prelude to a Championship 4.6/12 14.24
FOX 24 2.4/6 7.90
NBC Trauma 1.5/4 5.03
CW Gossip Girl 1.0/3 1.71
9:30 CBS NCAA Basketball Final: Butler vs. Duke 6.5/16 19.44
10:00 CBS NCAA Basketball Final: Butler vs. Duke 7.0/18 20.58
ABC Castle 3.0/8 12.30
NBC Law & Order (R) 1.3/3 4.74
10:30 CBS NCAA Basketball Final: Butler vs. Duke 7.8/22 22.15

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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