Of course Fox and American Idol won the TV ratings race last night, but the Tuesday results boosted the “Daylight Savings Time Killed My Show” meme again, as the broadcast ratings losses were widespread.

The night’s dominant show, American Idol, suffered less than most, down just 2% from last week to an 8.0 adults 18-49 rating. For the Idol fans keeping track at home, the show’s down just 6% season to date in the important adults 18-49 ratings. So much for missing Paula.

ABC’s Lost fell yet again, down 10% from last week to a season low, and tied for a regular episode series low, 3.8 adults 18-49 rating. The FlashForward clip show at 10pm scored just a 1.6 rating, although I don’t think that’s particularly predictive of what will happen on Thursday’s new episode return.

CBS suffered from the sunburn (or meme-burn) too. NCIS was down 11% to a season low 3.4 adults 18-49 rating. NCIS:LA fell 9% from last week to a 3.2 rating, and The Good Wife was down 4% to a 2.7 adults 18-49 rating.

NBC forgot the sunscreen too, as Biggest Loser was down 10% to a season low 2.7 rating. Parenthood, which I was pretty sure could save itself, fell 12% to a new low with a 2.3 adults 18-49 rating.

Somehow, the CW shows escaped the general downdraft. 90210 was up 12% to a 0.9 adults 18-49 rating, while Melrose Place rose 20% to a still squinty small 0.6 adults 18-49 rating. More on the CW target demos later.

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
8:00 FOX American Idol 7.1 22 20.504
CBS NCIS 3.2 10 16.814
NBC The Biggest Loser 2.3 7 6.357
ABC Lost (repeat) 1.1 3 3.723
CW 90210 0.9 3 1.931
8:30 FOX American Idol 7.9 22 22.493
CBS NCIS 3.6 10 18.384
NBC The Biggest Loser 2.5 7 6.577
ABC Lost (repeat) 1.4 4 4.039
CW 90210 0.9 2 1.794
9:00 FOX American Idol 8.2 21 23.241
ABC Lost 3.7 10 8.467
CBS NCIS: LA 3.1 8 15.064
NBC The Biggest Loser 3.0 8 7.705
CW Melrose Place 0.6 2 1.223
9:30 FOX American Idol 8.6 22 24.048
ABC Lost 3.9 10 9.053
NBC The Biggest Loser 3.3 8 8.299
CBS NCIS: LA 3.2 8 15.019
CW Melrose Place 0.6 1 1.101
10:00 CBS The Good Wife 2.7 8 13.555
NBC Parenthood 2.3 6 5.925
ABC FlashForward (clip special) 1.8 5 4.876
10:30 CBS The Good Wife 2.7 8 13.270
NBC Parenthood 2.3 7 5.952
ABC FlashForward (clip special) 1.3 4 3.779

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 ViewingProgram 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.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2009 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

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