The 10th season of American Idol premiered down 18% among adults 18-49, drawing a 9.7 rating compared to the 11.8 rating for last year’s Tuesday premiere. That’s more than the 10-15% seasonal ratings decline that has been typical in recent seasons. Idol’s 26.1 million average viewers was down 13% from last year’s premiere 29.945 million.

ABC was mostly down against Idol competition as The Middle’s 2.7 adults 18-49 rating fell 10% vs. last week. Better With You’s 2.2 rating was 12% below its last new episode two weeks ago. Modern Family’s 4.6 rating was up from it’s 4.2 rating last week during the Tucson memorial Wednesday jumble, but down from the 4.8 rating the week before. Cougar Town’s 2.5 rating was a season low, down 11% vs. its last new episode two weeks ago. Off The Map’s second outing fell 9% (not bad) to a 2.1 adults 18-49 rating (not good).

Poor Paula, her Live To Dance fell 33% to just a 1.0 adults 18-49 rating, far worse than even the repeats of Old Christine and Gary Unmarried did vs. Idol last season. Criminal Minds hadn’t had a new episode since December, and its 2.8 rating was a series low and was down 15% vs. its last original. Blue Bloods 2.0 rating for its Wednesday timeslot premiere was unimpressive, just 11% above its Friday night average, and will likely be CBS’s lowest rated non-Friday show of the week.

On NBC, Minute To Win It’s 1.6 rating was up 14% vs. the Tucson jumbled episode last week. The Wednesday timeslot premiere of Chase flopped in with just a 1.0 adults 18-49 rating, a series low. Perhaps weighed down by Chase, Law & Order: SVU struggled at 10pm with just a 2.3 adults 18-49 rating, down 8% vs. last Wednesday.

Late-night results are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Wednesday, January 19, 2011:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
8:00 FOX AMERICAN IDOL 10 8.4 24 23.441
ABC THE MIDDLE 2.7 8 8.73
NBC MINUTE TO WIN IT 1.4 4 4.509
CBS LIVE TO DANCE 1.0 3 5.325
CW NIKITA – R 0.5 1 1.669
8:30 FOX AMERICAN IDOL 10 9.8 26 26.518
NBC MINUTE TO WIN IT 1.8 5 5.644
CBS LIVE TO DANCE 1.0 3 5.322
CW NIKITA – R 0.3 1 1.485
9:00 FOX AMERICAN IDOL 10 10.2 25 27.072
ABC MODERN FAMILY 4.6 12 11.102
NBC CHASE 1.0 3 4.35
CW HELLCATS – R 0.3 1 0.792
9:30 FOX AMERICAN IDOL 10 10.4 26 27.203
ABC COUGAR TOWN 2.5 6 6.082
NBC CHASE 1.0 3 4.329
CW HELLCATS – R 0.3 1 0.837
10:00 NBC LAW & ORDER:  SVU 2.2 6 6.783
ABC OFF THE MAP 2.2 6 5.972
CBS BLUE BLOODS 2.1 6 12.257
10:30 NBC LAW & ORDER:  SVU 2.3 7 6.995
ABC OFF THE MAP 2.0 6 5.701
CBS BLUE BLOODS 1.9 6 12.105

Via NBC press notes:

In Late-Night Metered Markets Wednesday night:

In Nielsen’s 56 metered markets, household results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 3.0/8; CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman,” 2.9/7; and ABC’s combo of “Nightline,” 3.2/7; and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” 1.5/5.

In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 1.0/5; “Late Show,” 0.7/3; “Nightline,” 1.0/4; and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” 0.5/3.

At 12:35 a.m., “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” (1.5/5 in metered-market households) out-rated CBS’s “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” (1.4/5). In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, “Late Night” (0.6/4 in 18-49) topped “Late Late Show” (0.4/3).

At 1:35 a.m., Last Call with Carson Daly” averaged a 0.9/4 in metered-market households with an encore 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” from Nielsen Media Research unless otherwise indicated.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2011 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.

For more information see Numbers 101.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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