CBS won the night both with overall viewers and adults 18-49, but once again, ABC’s Primetime: What Would You Do? was the night’s top program with the ad-centric 18-49 demographic (1.8 rating).

Despite what, for now, appears to be the series finale of Ghost Whisperer and the season finale of Medium, neither show could muster better than a 1.6 rating with adults 18-49.  Sad.

Next Friday it will get even sadder as we enter summer season complete with summer burn off — Fox will be airing a new episode of Past Life.

Nielsen overnight ratings for Friday, May 21, 2010:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating Viewers (Millions)
8:00 CBS Ghost Whisperer (Series Finale?) 1.6/7 6.65
ABC Wife Swap 1.2/5 3.66
NBC Friday Night Lights 1.1/4 3.96
FOX House (R) 1.0/4 2.92
CW America’s Next Top Model (R) 8p-10p 0.4/2 1.20
9:00 ABC Primetime: What Would You Do? 1.8/7 5.10
CBS Medium (Season Finale) 1.6/6 6.82
FOX Kitchen Nightmares 1.3/5 3.41
NBC Dateline 1.3/5 5.72
10:00 NBC Dateline 1.6/6 6.76
ABC 20/20 1.3/5 4.54
CBS Miami Medical 1.2/4 6.56

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

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2010 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved. Source: Marc Berman/Mediaweek.

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 and Numbers 102.

  • Up for the 2nd straight week, 20/20 drew its biggest audience in 10 weeks and highest Adult 18-49 number in 7 weeks – since 3/5 and 3/26/10, respectively.  The ABC newsmagazine equaled its strongest Adult 25-54 number in over 3 months – since 2/5/10.
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