With preliminary ratings identical to last week, American Idol and Glee topped the adults 18-49 ratings on Tuesday, but their margin of victory shrunk as season finales boosted much of the competition vs. last week.

On Fox, American Idol’s 6.6 adults 18-49 rating was identical to last week’s fast affiliate rating, as was Glee’s 4.8 rating. The two shows topped every half hour from 8-10pm. Update: That 6.6 adults 18-49 rating for Idol was down 20% from last season’s comparable final performance show (8.3 rating).

On ABC, the Dancing With The Stars season finale scored a 3.8 rating, that’s up 52% from last week’s standard results show, but down 27% from last spring’s finale, and the show’s lowest rated finale ever.

On CBS, the numbers were all down. The NCIS finale fell 3% from last week to a 3.2 rating, that’s also down 9% from last season’s finale. The NCIS:LA finale was down 13% vs. last week, to a 2.7 rating, a series low. The Good Wife finale was down 9% vs. last week to a 2.0 rating which was also a series low.

On NBC, The Biggest Loser finale was up 23% from last week to a 3.8 adults 18-49 rating, but that’s 19% below last season’s finale. The finale of Parenthood was even with last week’s 2.6 adults 18-49 rating.

via NBC press note:

In Late-Night Metered Markets Tuesday night:

  • In Nielsen’s 56 metered markets, household results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 2.9/7; CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman,” 2.7/7; and ABC’s “Nightline,” 5.1/12; and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” 2.4/7.
  • In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 1.1/5; “Late Show,” 0.8/3; “Nightline,” 1.7/7; and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” 0.9/5.
  • At 12:35 a.m., “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” (1.3/5 in metered-market households) tied CBS’s “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” (1.3/5). In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, “Late Night” (0.6/4 in 18-49) topped “Late Late Show” (0.5/3).
  • At 1:35 a.m., “Last Call with Carson Daly” averaged a 0.9/4 in metered-market households and a 0.5/4 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters.
Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
8:00 FOX American Idol 6.0 18 17.895
CBS NCIS (finale) 3.2 10 15.467
NBC The Biggest Loser (finale) 3.1 10 8.199
ABC Dancing With The Stars (repeat) 1.4 4 9.033
CW Life Unexpected (repeat) 0.3 1 0.884
8:30 FOX American Idol 7.2 20 21.313
NBC The Biggest Loser (finale) 3.5 10 8.997
CBS NCIS (finale) 3.3 9 16.372
ABC Dancing With The Stars (repeat) 1.7 5 9.663
CW Life Unexpected (repeat) 0.3 1 0.729
9:00 FOX Glee 4.9 13 11.915
NBC The Biggest Loser (finale) 4.2 11 10.935
ABC Dancing With The Stars (finale) 3.4 9 17.295
CBS NCIS:LA (Finale) 2.7 7 13.120
CW 90210 (repeat) 0.2 1 0.573
9:30 FOX Glee 4.7 12 11.058
NBC The Biggest Loser (finale) 4.5 12 11.408
ABC Dancing With The Stars (finale) 3.5 9 17.480
CBS NCIS:LA (Finale) 2.6 7 13.120
CW 90210 (repeat) 0.2 1 0.518
10:00 ABC Dancing With The Stars (finale) 4.0 11 18.398
NBC Parenthood (finale) 2.7 7 6.321
CBS The Good Wife (finale) 2.0 6 10.805
10:30 ABC Dancing With The Stars (finale) 4.4 12 19.566
NBC Parenthood (finale) 2.5 7 5.757
CBS The Good Wife (finale) 2.0 6 10.345

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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