Update: early finals alert, in time-zone adjusted fast national numbers, The X Factor was adjusted up 0.2 with adults 18-49 to a 4.4 rating and 12.5 million viewers.

Fox eked out a win on the night with adults 18-49, but there might be more smiles at ABC and CBS. The X Factor’s 4.2 adults 18-49 rating and 12.14 million viewers was nowhere close to Idol and well short of Modern Family’s 6.0 adults 18-49 rating and  14.3 million viewers. A few have e-mailed to say the comparisons between X Factor and Idol are unfair, and while that is perhaps true, those comparisons were inevitable with Simon, Paula and a lot of promotion.

At 8pm, X Factor led, but Survivor held up with a 3.1 adults 18-49 rating and ABC’s The Middle debuted to a 3.0 adults 18-49 rating, up 11% from last fall’s premiere. As even NBC surely expected, its new comedies were down big from last week’s premieres following America’s Got Talent. Both shows fell 38% with adults 18-49, but Up All Night held up pretty well all things considered with a 2.3 adults 18-49 rating but Free Agents fell to a 1.3 adults 18-49 rating

At 9pm the aforementioned Modern Family, which was up 18% vs. last fall’s half-hour premiere comfortably led The X Factor, but props to the somewhat unheralded Criminal Minds which debuted with a 4.1 adults 18-49 rating. Harry’s Law got off to a (s)low start and was pounded into dust by the 9pm competition with a 1.2 adults 18-49 rating.

ABC’s Revenge got off to a nice start, winning the 10pm hour with a 3.4 adults 18-49 rating and and 10.15 million viewers, 127% better than the premiere of The Whole Truth a year ago. Revenge bettered Ted Danson’s debut on CSI’s 3.1 adults 18-49 rating, but CSI won the hour in total viewers with 12.59 million. The Stabler-less Law & Order: SVU was last at 10pm with a 2.3 adults 18-49 and 7.6 million viewers.

Late-night results are below the primetime data.

Overnight ratings for Wednesday, September 21, 2011:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating/Sh Viewers (Millions)
8:00 FOX The X Factor (Series Premiere) 4.0/12 11.72
CBS Survivor: South Pacific 3.1/9 10.36
ABC The Middle (Season Premiere, 1 Hour) 3.0/9 9.64
NBC Up All Night 2.3/7 6.04
CW H8R 0.4/1 1.09
8:30 NBC Free Agents 1.3/4 3.86
9:00 ABC Modern Family (Season Premiere, 1 Hour) 6.0/15 14.29
FOX The X Factor (Series Premiere) 4.4/11 12.56
CBS Criminal Minds (Season Premiere) 4.1/10 14.07
NBC Harry’s Law (Season Premiere) 1.2/3 7.30
CW America’s Next Top Model 0.7/2 1.56
10:00 ABC Revenge (Series Premiere) 3.4/9 10.15
CBS CSI (Season Premiere) 3.1/8 12.59
NBC Law & Order: SVU (Season Premiere) 2.3/6 7.60

via NBC press note:

In Late-Night Metered Markets Wednesday night:

  • In Nielsen’s 56 metered markets, household results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 2.9/8; CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman,” 2.5/7; and ABC’s combo of “Nightline,” 3.4/8; 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,” 1.0/5; “Late Show,” 0.7/3; “Nightline,” 1.1/5; and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” 0.6/4.
  • At 12:35 a.m., “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” (1.5/5 in metered-market households) beat CBS’s “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” (1.3/5).  In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, “Late Night” (0.5/4 in 18-49) topped “Late Late Show” (0.4/3).
  • At 1:35 a.m., “Last Call with Carson Daly” averaged a 1.0/4 in metered-market households and a 0.4/3 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters.

NOTE: All ratings are “live plus same day” from Nielsen Media Research unless otherwise indicated. Starting with data for Mon 3/28/11, all program ratings will now include multiple viewings of a telecast on a DVR. Previously only the first viewing was counted. HUT/PUT will now consist of Live TV viewing and DVR playback at time of play. Previously, HUT/PUT consisted of live viewing and DVR playback credited to time of live telecast.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. 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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