A crossover episode with Grey’s Anatomy boosted Private Practice ratings to their second highest level this season as ABC won the ratings race on Thursday. But Grey’s itself fell to an all time low for a new episode. With limited broadcast competition, Bones ratings hit a season high. No controversy boost evident for Leno as The Jay Leno Show hit its lowest Thursday ratings ever.

While ABC won the night, its ratings success was all backloaded as the crossover episode boosted Private Practice ratings 31% from its last original episode on 12/1/09 to a 4.2 adults 18-49 rating. But a repeat Grey’s an ABC News Haiti Earthquake Special at 8pm may have dragged down Grey’s the regular episode at 9, as the regular timeslot Grey’s Anatomy fell 8% from its last original episode on 11/19/09 to a 4.7 rating, its lowest original episode rating ever.

Fox enjoyed an up night, as Bones was up 6% from its last original episode (12/10/09) to a 3.3 rating, a season high, and its highest rating since 11/12/08. Fringe may have benefited from its post-House episode on Monday as it rose 13% from its last original Thursday episode to a 2.6 rating, its highest since the season premiere.

Considering it went with a repeat at 8pm, CBS didn’t fall that far, but CSI was already trending down this season and falling 6% from its last original episode (12/17/09) put it at a series low original episode rating of 3.3. The Mentalist was down 3% from its last original (12/17/09) to a 3.4 rating.

The limited 8pm broadcast competition seemed to help NBC too, as Community was up 10% from its last original episode (12/10/09) to a 2.3 rating and Parks & Recreation held steady (vs. 12/10) with a 2.1 rating. 30 Rock proved to be not such a good lead in for itself, as the regular timeslot 30 Rock fell 30% from its last original episode (12/10) to a season low 2.3 rating. No controversy boost evident for The Jay Leno Show, as it fell 7% from last Thursday to a 1.3 rating, its lowest Thursday ever.

Conan’s Tonight Show (1.9 adults 18-49 rating) crushed Letterman’s Late Show (1.1 rating) again on Thursday night.

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (Millions)
8:00 FOX Bones 3.2 10 10.260
NBC Community 2.3 7 5.418
CBS The Mentalist (repeat) 1.8 5 9.093
ABC Haiti News Special 1.3 4 5.517
CW Vampire Diaries (repeat) 0.7 2 1.730
8:30 FOX Bones 3.4 10 11.079
CBS The Mentalist (repeat) 2.1 6 10.178
NBC Parks and Recreation 2.1 6 4.593
ABC Haiti News Special 1.4 4 5.303
CW Vampire Diaries (repeat) 0.7 2 1.626
9:00 ABC Grey’s Anatomy 4.7 12 12.588
CBS CSI 3.2 8 14.978
FOX Fringe 2.5 7 6.679
NBC 30 Rock 2.3 6 5.122
CW Supernatural (repeat) 0.6 2 1.364
9:30 ABC Grey’s Anatomy 4.8 12 12.871
CBS CSI 3.5 9 15.787
FOX Fringe 2.6 7 6.529
NBC 30 Rock 2.3 6 5.014
CW Supernatural (repeat) 0.5 1 1.253
10:00 ABC Private Practice 4.3 12 11.343
CBS The Mentalist 3.4 9 15.336
NBC The Jay Leno Show 1.4 4 4.507
10:30 ABC Private Practice 4.2 12 10.703
CBS The Mentalist 3.4 9 15.213
NBC The Jay Leno Show 1.3 4 4.317

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

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 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.

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