“It’s great to launch this innovative new show with such strong initial sampling, but we realize this is just one night and that we’re going to build our business in this time period with ratings that will level out over time.  Our focus is on delivering a great show and developing a consistent comedy viewing habit at 10 p.m. over the long haul.” Quote from Jeff Gaspin, Chairman, NBC Universal Television Entertainment.

Update: in the final numbers, average viewers rose to 18.42 million and a 5.3 adults 18-49 rating.

The Jay Leno Show premiered to 17.7 million and averaged a 5.1/13 (rating/share) with adults 18-49…

Though I would prefer quarter hour data, half hour data will have to do. While there was some erosion with total viewers from the first half hour to the next, both the adults 18-49 rating and adults 18-34 ratings grew from the first half hour to the next.

(18-49 rating/share),(18-34/rating share),(viewers P2+) by half hour

10P 5.0/12, 3.7/10, 18.094M

10:30P 5.2/14, 4.3/13 17.22

Meanwhile on the CW season premieres of One Tree Hill (1.2/3, 1.6/5,  2.59M) and Gossip Girl (1.4/3, 2.1/5, 2.52M) were practically muted compared to The Vampire Diaries.  Though Gossip Girl probably had a strong outing with women 18-34 (haven’t seen those numbers yet).

(update from the CW: we already knew CW still was second for the night, but here are some blurbs from what will be released later in a press release:

Kicking off its 3rd season, GOSSIP GIRL delivered strong demos in its new 9pm time period, matched its year ago second season premiere with women 18-34 (3.3/8).  GOSSIP GIRL improved considerably from where it ended last season, building 27% in women 18-34 and 33% in adults 18-34 versus its May average.

Gossip Girl scored its best women 18-34 (3.3/8), adults 18-34 (1.6/5) and women 18-49 (2.1/5) since Dec 2008. GOSSIP GIRL also posted its largest audience (2.5mil) since Jan 2009.

Competitively, GOSSIP GIRL won the 9pm time period among women 18-34 and women 12-34 (3.0/8).  GOSSIP GIRL also ranked second in the hour among adults 18-34 (2.0/5)

Earlier in the night on NBC,  the two hour final performance show of America’s Got Talent averaged a 3.3/9 (rating/share) with adults 18-49 and 13.84M between 8pm and 10pm.  For those wondering how the half hour leading into Leno looked, AGT averaged a 3.8/9 with adults 18-49 and 15.22M viewers between 9:30p-10pm.

ABC ran a repeat the broadcast premiere of the 2006 movie Dreamgirls from 8p-11p which averaged a 1.5/4 and 5.01M viewers. The big action for the Mouse last night was on its cable sister ESPN with two installments of Monday night football, and particularly the 8pm-10:12p portion of the first game probably had very good numbers.  I’m sure we’ll see reports from ESPN later in the day and post those #s separately (update: here they are).

Due to US Open Tennis overrun, CBS #s are subject to a lot more preliminary than normal and should probably be ignored completely.  The tennis ran over by 43 minutes, so the first .75 hours of the HIMYM details here are really Tennis coverage and the last 43 minutes of CSI Miami was pushed past 11pm and we didn’t see the numbers,  But with those caveats the CBS repeats performed as follows: How I Met Your Mother (1.9/6, 6.19M), How I Met Your Mother (1.6/4, 4.73M), Two and a Half Men (1.9/5, 5.95M), The Big Bang Theory (2.1/5, 6.21M) and CSI: Miami (1.8/5, 6.03M)

Over on FOX a repeat of House averaged a 1.7/5 with adults 18-49 and 4.75M viewers at 8pm and another House repeat at 9pm averaged a 1.9/5 5.15 million viewers.

original early morning post below:

The long wait for ratings for the premiere of The Jay Leno Show is over…well, almost.    In the early metered market numbers, the premiere pulled a 12.1/19 (household rating/share) in the 56 largest Nielsen markets.  That increased over the the last half hour of  America’s Got Talent (8.9/13) by 36%.  America’s Got Talent was in its final performance show.

It’s not possible to translate the 12.1 preliminary household rating into viewers and adults 18-49 demographic viewers precisely, but I’d guess somewhere in the 15 million viewers range overall.  Of course after months of hype and promotion everyone expected the show to pull big numbers for its premiere.    There is no question the numbers will go down, the question is how far?

Unfortunately I didn’t see half hourly detail for the metered market numbers to see if people were already tuning out by the second half hour, but we’ll see that with the fast nationals hopefully, by 8:30am PDT.

The rest of the night was repeats and overrun of the US Open Tennis men’s finals on CBS, and the movie Dreamgirls on ABC.  CW had  the season premieres of One Tree Hill (1.6/3)  Gossip Girl (1.6/2).  Those numbers look disappointing on the surface, especially compared to The Vampire Diaries, which pulled a 3.2/5 preliminary metered market rating last Thursday in its series premiere, but how the shows performed with young women will tell the tale.  We’ll know soon enough.

I’ll update this post with the fast national data (viewers and adults 18-49 demo ratings) as soon as I see them.

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

All numbers are Live+SD.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2009 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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