Due to the nature of live programming the ratings for CBS (NCAA Basketball) are approximate and subject to more than the typical adjustments in the final numbers. See below for more information on these Fast Affiliate Ratings.

Even though we need to wait for the finals to see how CBS did, it’s safe to assume Fox easily won the night both with adults 18-49 and total viewers.  American Idol was up 11% to a 6.2 adults 18-49 rating and with the “Idol” lead-in, even a repeat of Bones managed a 2.5 adults 18-49 rating.

ABC was up across the board with Winter Wipeout climbing 5% to a 2.2 adults 18-49 rating. Grey’s Anatomy was up 6% to a 3.6 adults 18-49 rating, rebounding a bit from its series low on February 24. Private Practice was up 17% from its last original after a new Grey’s Anatomy (and up 42% from last week’s standalone at 9pm) to to a 2.7 adults 18-49 rating.

NBC also was up across the board with Community bouncing up 6% from its season low to a 1.8 adults 18-49 rating. Perfect Couples bounced off its series lows by 33% to a 1.6 adults 18-49 rating and The Office was up 6% from its last original to a 3.4 rating.  Parks & Recreation jumped 39% from last week’s lows to a 2.5 adults 18-49 rating and 30 Rock was up 18% from last week’s lows to a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating.  Outsourced also perked up from last week’s lows by 7% to a 1.5 adults 18-49 rating.

You’ll probably see some news about how CBS’s preliminary results were down 36% from the same night last year, but last year CBS had the basketball tournament to itself.  Last night it shared it with TBS. But CBS has all four regional final games to itself this Saturday and Sunday as well as next week’s semifinals and finals.  Between both CBS & TBS, the NCAA tournament was up to its best-rated Thursday regional semifinals in 18 years.

Late-night results are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Thursday, March 24, 2011:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 FOX American Idol 6.2/19 20.74
CBS NCAA Basketball Tournament 2.4/7 6.84
ABC Wipeout 2.2/7 7.48
NBC Community 1.8/6 4.47
CW Vampire Diaries (R) 0.5/1 1.41
8:30 NBC Perfect Couples 1.6/5 3.42
9:00 ABC Grey’s Anatomy 3.6/10 10.09
NBC The Office 3.4/10 7.07
FOX Bones (R) 2.5/7 8.78
CBS NCAA Basketball Tournament 2.2/6 6.82
CW Nikita (R) 0.5/1 1.39
9:30 NBC Parks & Recreation 2.5/7 5.21
10:00 CBS NCAA Basketball Tournament 2.9/8 7.80
ABC Private Practice 2.7/7 7.98
NBC 30 Rock 2.0/6 4.41
10:30 NBC Outsourced 1.5/4 3.64

Via NBC press note:

In Late-Night Metered Markets Thursday night:
• In Nielsen’s 56 metered markets, household results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 3.1/7; CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman,” 1.4/5 with an encore delayed by basketball; and ABC’s combo of “Nightline,” 3.6/8; and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” 1.6/5.

• In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 1.0/4; “Late Show,” 0.5/3 with an encore delayed by basketball; “Nightline,” 1.2/5; and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” 0.6/3.

• At 12:35 a.m., “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” (1.4/5 in metered-market households) beat CBS’s “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” (0.9/4 with an encore delayed by basketball). In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, “Late Night” (0.6/4 in 18-49) topped “Late Late Show” (0.4/3 with an encore delayed by basketball).

• At 1:35 a.m., Last Call with Carson Daly” averaged a 0.9/4 in metered-market households and a 0.4/3 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2011 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

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 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.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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