On a night when ABC was in repeats and CBS was a mixture of new comedies and repeat procedurals, Fox won the night with adults 18-49 and total viewers but CBS’s The Big Bang Theory beat American Idol by fairly comfortable margins in the 8-8:30p ET head-to-head half hour.  Big Bang Theory’s 5.4 adults 18-49 rating was ahead of American Idol’s 4.8 adults 18-49 rating for that half hour and Big Bang Theory claimed more viewers for the half hour too (15.96 vs. 15.46).  For the full hour, Idol’s 5.4 adults 18-49 rating tied with the Big Bang Theory’s half-hour and will likely be adjusted up in the finals to win out.  Rob was even with last week with another 3.5 adults 18-49 rating.

FOX’s The Finder saw a big 32% jump from last week in adults 18-49, rising to a 2.9 rating.

The Idol half hour breakout with adults 18-49 was 4.8 and 6.0. Idol will likely be adjusted up to a 5.5 rating which would only be down 4% from last week, but that will still be down 29% from the equivalent Thursday telecast one year ago.

30 Rock’s 8pm episode was even with last week’s season lows at a 1.6 adults 18-49 rating. The 9pm telecast bumped up to a 1.9 adults 18-49 rating, but that was down 37% from last week’s Office. That led to a 26% drop in Up All Night with its 1.4 adults 18-49 rating marking a series low. Whoops, Up All Night was a repeat last night.

Earlier in the night Parks & Recreation was down 11% to a series low 1.7 adults 18-49 rating.  Bucking the downward NBC trend, The Firm was up 11% to a 1.0 adults 18-49 rating at 10pm.

Overnight ratings for Thursday, January 26, 2012:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 FOX American Idol 5.4/15 16.99
CBS The Big Bang Theory 5.4/15 15.96
NBC 30 Rock 1.6/4 3.84
ABC Wipeout (R) 1.5/4 4.86
CW Movie: The Covenant (R) 8-10p 0.5/1 1.31
8:30 CBS Rob 3.5/9 11.58
NBC Parks & Recreation 1.7/4 3.48
9:00 FOX The Finder 2.9/7 8.51
CBS Person of Interest (R) 2.1/5 10.48
NBC 30 Rock 1.9/5 4.00
ABC Grey’s Anatomy (R) 1.3/3 3.99
9:30 NBC Up All Night (R) 1.4/3 3.03
10:00 CBS The Mentalist (R) 1.9/5 9.56
NBC The Firm 1.0/3 3.77
ABC Private Practice (R) 0.9/2 2.79

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2012 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

Via NBC press notes:

In Late-Night Metered Markets Thursday night:

  • In Nielsen’s 56 metered markets, household results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 2.4/6 with an encore telecast; CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman,” 2.4/6 with an encore; and ABC’s combo of “Nightline,” 3.0/7; and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” 1.4/4.
  • In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 0.8/4 with an encore; “Late Show,” 0.7/3 with an encore; “Nightline,” 0.9/4; and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” 0.6/3
  • At 12:35 a.m., “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” (1.2/4 in metered-market households with an encore) tied CBS’s “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” (1.2/4 with an encore).  In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, “Late Night” (0.5/3 in 18-49 with an encore) topped “Late Late Show” (0.4/2 with an encore).
  • At 1:35 a.m., “Last Call with Carson Daly” averaged a 0.8/3 with an encore in metered-market households and a 0.4/3 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters

NOTE: All national ratings are “live plus same day DVR viewing” from Nielsen Media Research unless otherwise indicated.

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 baseball 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. 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.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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