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Broadcast TV Ratings for Thursday, September 10, 2009

After two nights of soft ratings for their series (Melrose Place) and season (90210 and America’s Next Top Model) premieres, The CW rebounded with a much more solid series premiere of Vampire Diaries (attracting nearly 5 million viewers), giving the network it’s best-ever audience for a series premiere.  The season premiere of Supernatural was less compatible with Diaries’ than it was with Supernatural last season, but it still had a solid start to the new season.

Granted, more than half the programming on last night was in repeats, but the third place performance for The CW among households, viewers and adults 18-49 is still a very noteworthy accomplishment.

Elsewhere on the evening, the only other original programming came from CBS (an episode of Big Brother) and the start of NBC Sunday Night Football (their special Thursday night premiere airing) which led NBC to the top of the pack across all three main categories.

Complete ratings and breakdown’s, including week-to-week comparisons, follow after the jump.

NBC finished in first place for the evening with a 10.9/18 household rating/share, 17.50 million viewers and a 7.0/20 rating/share among adults 18-49.

Last Week:

3.3/6 HH rating [#3]
4.85M viewers [#3]
1.6/5 A18-49 rating [#3]

  • Note: Due to the live sporting event the following numbers, for NBC only, are based on the final national numbers
  • 8:00 p.m.: NFL Kickoff Special (5.8/11 HH rating/share, 9.23M viewers, 3.2/11 A18-49 rating/share).
  • 8:30 p.m.: NFL Thursday: Prekick (9.5/17 HH rating/share, 15.53M viewers, 5.7/19 A18-49 rating/share).
  • 8:41 p.m.: The season premiere of NBC Sunday Night Football (NBC NFL Thursday), featuring the match up between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans (12.8/22 HH rating/share, 20.91M viewers, 8.6/25 A18-49 rating/share).

CBS followed in second place for the evening with a 5.1/8 household rating/share, 7.70 million viewers and a 1.9/5 rating/share among adults 18-49.

Last Week:

6.0/10 HH rating [#1]
9.37M viewers [#1]
2.5/8 A18-49 rating [#1]

  • 8:00 p.m.: Big Brother (4.8/8 HH rating/share, 7.62M viewers, 2.6/8 A18-49 rating/share).

Week-to-week numbers:

Households – 4.2/7 to 4.8/8 (+14%)
Viewers – 6.81M to 7.62M (+12%/+0.81M)
Adults 18-49 – 2.3/8 to 2.6/8 (+13%)

Episode-to-episode numbers (TUES; 9/8/2009):

Households – 4.8/7 to 4.8/8 (n/c)
Viewers – 7.89M to 7.62M (-3%/-0.27M)
Adults 18-49 – 2.7/7 to 2.6/8 (-4%)

  • 9:00 p.m.: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation-REPEAT (5.0/8 HH rating/share, 7.43M viewers, 1.4/4 A18-49 rating/share).
  • 10:00 p.m.: The Mentalist-REPEAT (5.4/9 HH rating/share, 8.05M viewers, 1.7/5 A18-49 rating/share).

ABC finished in third place for the evening with a 2.9/5 household rating/share, but was fourth among both viewers (3.98 million) and adults 18-49 (1.2/3 rating/share).

Last Week:

3.1/5 HH rating [#4]
4.41M viewers [#4]
1.3/4 A18-49 rating [#4]

  • 8:00 p.m.: Grey’s Anatomy-REPEAT (2.9/5 HH rating/share, 3.97M viewers, 1.1/4 A18-49 rating/share).
  • 9:00 p.m.: Grey’s Anatomy-REPEAT (3.3/5 HH rating/share, 4.51M viewers, 1.4/4 A18-49 rating/share).
  • 10:00 p.m.: Private Practice-REPEAT (2.5/4 HH rating/share, 3.46M viewers, 1.0/3 A18-49 rating/share).

The CW followed in fourth place for the evening with a 2.6/4 household rating/share, but managed third place finishes among both viewers (4.11 million) and adults 18-49 (1.7/5 rating/share).

Last Week:

1.1/2 HH rating [#5]
1.62M viewers [#5]
0.6/2 A18-49 rating [#5]

  • 8:00 p.m.: The series premiere of Vampire Diaries (3.1/5 HH rating/share, 4.84M viewers, 2.1/6 A18-49 rating/share) wasn’t just a solid launch, it was a record premiere for The CW.  4.8 million viewers and a 2.1 rating would be considered a disappointment/flop for a series premiere on the major networks, but on The CW they’re very impressive figures.  It’ll be very interesting to see how the show holds up throughout the season.
  • 9:00 p.m.: The fifth season premiere of Supernatural (2.1/3 HH rating/share, 3.39M viewers, 1.5/4 A18-49 rating/share).  It’s more than likely that a lot of the season-to-season decline for Supernatural is attributed to it losing its Smallville lead-in.  Last season, the two show’s premiered on the same evening and Smallville drew a 2.6/5 HH rating/share, 4.34 million viewers and a 1.8/6 A18-49 rating/share resulting in very solid retention rates of 88%, 91% and 94%, respectively.  Contrast those numbers to its retention numbers from last night: 68%, 70% and 71%, respectively.  We’ll see if Vampire Diaries holds up throughout the season — 90210 did not last season and had a sub par premiere this season — but it’s more than likely that Supernatural will stay steady in the low to mid 3 million figure range (thanks to a devoted fanbase) and perhaps draw even more viewers if Vampire Diaries remains strong.

Season premiere comparison (9/18/2008 – fourth season premiere):

Households – 2.3/4 to 2.1/3 (-9%)
Viewers – 3.96M to 3.39M (-14%/-0.57M)
Adults 18-49 – 1.7/5 to 1.5/4 (-12%)

FOX finished in fifth place for the evening with a 2.5/4 household rating/share, 3.89 million viewers and a 1.1/3 rating/share among adults 18-49.

Last Week:

3.4/6 HH rating [#2]
5.33M viewers [#2]
1.7/5 A18-49 rating [#2]

  • 8:00 p.m.: Bones-REPEAT (2.8/5 HH rating/share, 4.28M viewers, 1.2/4 A18-49 rating/share).
  • 9:00 p.m.: Fringe-REPEAT (2.3/4 HH rating/share, 3.49M viewers, 1.1/3 A18-49 rating/share).


Note: Network average numbers from the week prior are based on fast affiliate data. Comparison’s from the week prior (or episode-to-episode, etc.) on specific shows are based on final national data. Ratings for the current day are based on fast affiliates. (Expect all three scenarios to be the case at all times, unless otherwise noted). The final rating for first-run episodes that aired this evening will be reported the following week. So for example, the final rating for tonight’s episode of “Big Brother” will be reported in next weeks report for Thursday, September 10, 2009. Also keep in mind that because these are fast affiliate numbers, when the finals are released there may be noticeable changes.

And lastly, there may be some errors in the data due to rounding/human error. I’ll do my best to limit those mistakes and correct them in time for the next week’s report.

Source: Fast Affiliate/Final National Ratings Data from Nielsen Media Research. Daily ratings figures can be found at Zap2It, PI Feedback, and TV by the Numbers.