Due to the nature of live programming the ratings for ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox are approximate because of the Presidential Address and subject to significant revisions in the final numbers. See below for more information on these Fast Affiliate Ratings.
NBC’s Biggest Loser ratings went large, bowling over the competition in its wake. The season premiere of Scrubs averaged a 2.0 rating, better than I expected. Melrose Place ratings were nearly invisible.

We still do not have combined, or final, numbers for last night’s Presidential address yet.

Update: Here are final, combined numbers for last night’s address, with some historical comparisons.

For comparison, on September 9 in the preliminary ratings from 8pm-9pm the president averaged 21.2 million on ABC (adults 18-49 rating/share =1.8/5, 7.4 million total viewers), CBS (1.2/4, 5.63 million) and NBC (1.9/6.8.16 million).

Among the 4 broadcast networks covering the 30 minute address last night, there were 30.84 million average viewers. Among the 3 that covered the Sept. 9 address, there were 26.3 million. So using just these preliminary broadcast only numbers, the average viewership was up anyway you look at it vs. Sept. 9.

Here are the final combined numbers (32.1 million average viewers) for the September 9 address.

Here are the final combined numbers for the Presidential press conferences and addresses prior to September 9.

ABC’s season premiere of Scrubs averaged a 2.0 adults 18-49 rating for both episodes. Not great, but I expected even worse. Remember, Scrubs is only on the air to generate more episodes for syndication purposes. Anyone imagining the forgotten has any chance to come back should be pulled back to reality today as it managed only a 1.2 rating its lowest ever, down 33% from its last new episode on November 17.

The Biggest Loser was extra big, up 6% from last week to a 3.7 adults 18-49 rating. It, minus The Jay Leno Show, was the reason NBC topped the night’s 18-49 ratings.

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on CBS registered a 2.9 rating, down 19% from last year’s (12/3) show.

Partially against the President’s address, 90210 fared slightly better, up a fraction to a 1.15 adults 18-49 rating, than its last new episode (11/17). The tiny bump that the return of Heather Locklear generated in Melrose Place ratings vanished, as it settled to a 0.7 adults 18-49 rating, the same as the episode before she returned.

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
8:00 NBC Presidential Address 2.1 6 8.653
CBS Presidential Address 1.9 6 10.158
FOX Presidential Address 1.8 5 4.573
ABC Presidential Address 1.7 5 7.460
CW 90210 1.1 3 2.173
8:30 FOX So You Think You Can Dance 2.2 6 5.621
NBC Presidential Address 2.0 6 7.522
CBS NCIS (repeat) 1.9 5 10.756
ABC Modern Family (repeat) 1.5 4 5.466
CW 90210 1.2 3 2.237
9:00 NBC The Biggest Loser 3.6 9 9.698
CBS NCIS (repeat) 2.4 6 12.872
FOX So You Think You Can Dance 2.3 6 5.839
ABC Scrubs 2.0 5 4.627
CW Melrose Place 0.7 2 1.457
9:30 NBC The Biggest Loser 3.6 9 9.708
CBS Two And A Half Men (repeat) 2.7 7 13.498
FOX So You Think You Can Dance 2.2 6 5.808
ABC Scrubs 2.0 5 4.458
CW Melrose Place 0.7 2 1.387
10:00 NBC The Biggest Loser 3.9 10 10.334
CBS Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (special) 2.8 7 8.295
FOX So You Think You Can Dance 1.8 5 5.631
ABC the forgotten 1.3 3 5.500
10:30 NBC The Biggest Loser 3.9 11 10.148
CBS Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (special) 3.0 8 7.653
ABC the forgotten 1.2 3 5.412

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 ViewingProgram 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.

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

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