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Presidential Debate Creates Tight Ratings Race for Big 4

The Presidential Debate created a tight race between the big four networks last night. Here are the highlights of the 16 ad-sustained programs that aired in primetime on the broadcast networks last night:

CBS (9.74 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.8, #T1) was the most-watched network on Wednesday thanks to its mix of "Survivor: Philippines" (10.49 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 2.9, #5), "CBS News Special" (10.18 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 3.0, #T3) and "Debate Analysis" (6.95 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 2.0, #T10).

Sharing the demo crown was FOX (7.39 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 2.8, #T1) with its lineup of "The X Factor" (9.26 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 3.4, #T1), "FOX News Special" (6.98 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 2.8, #6) and "Debate Analysis" (4.88 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T12).

Next up was NBC (8.00 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.7, #3) with originals from "Animal Practice" (5.22 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 1.5, #14) and "Guys With Kids" (5.50 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 1.8, #T12) followed by its "NBC News Special" (9.91 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 3.4, #T1) and "Debate Analysis" (7.55 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 2.5, #7).

Meanwhile, ABC (8.77 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.6, #4) offered up week two of "The Middle" (7.93 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T8) and "The Neighbors" (6.61 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 2.0, #T10) plus "ABC News Special" (10.12 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 3.0, #T3) and "Debate Analysis" (7.70 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.2, #T8).

And finally, the season finale of "Oh Sit!" (0.92 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 0.3, #16) and the return of "Supernatural" (1.80 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.8, #15) on The CW (1.36 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.6, #5) closed out the night. In the netlet's target demo (women 18-34), "Oh Sit!" delivered a 0.4 rating at 8:00/7:00c and "Supernatural" a 0.8 rating at 9:00/8:00c.

Week-to-week changes (adults 18-49):
+12.50% - Guys With Kids
+9.68% - The X Factor
+7.14% - Animal Practice
-3.33% - Survivor: Philippines
-18.52% - The Middle
-25.00% - Oh Sit!
-39.39% - The Neighbors
Year-to-year changes (adults 18-49):
+80.00% - Guys With Kids (vs. Free Agents)
0.00% - Supernatural (vs. America's Next Top Model)
-6.45% - Survivor: Philippines
-12.82% - The X Factor
-18.52% - The Middle
-25.00% - Oh Sit! (vs. H8R)
-31.82% - Animal Practice (vs. Up All Night)
-33.33% - The Neighbors (vs. Suburgatory)
In late-night metered market ratings (via NBC's press release):
* In Nielsen's 56 metered markets, household results were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 2.8/7; CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," 2.2/6; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 3.0/7; 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," 0.9/4; "Late Show," 0.7/3; "Nightline," 1.0/4; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.6/3.

* 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" (1.2/4). In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late Night" (0.6/3 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 and a 0.4/3 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters.

Here are the highlights of the 16 ad-sustained programs that aired in primetime on the broadcast networks one year ago (10/5/11):

FOX (10.20 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 3.5, #1) edged out the competition on Wednesday thanks to a 90-minute "The X Factor" (11.54 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 3.9, #2) and a special "Raising Hope" (6.19 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 2.3, #10).

CBS (11.90 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.3, #2) then was a competitive second place with its mix of "Survivor: South Pacific" (10.54 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 3.1, #4), "Criminal Minds" (13.34 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 3.8, #3) and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (11.81 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.9, #T6).

Next up was ABC (8.91 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 3.2, #3) and its lineup of "The Middle" (9.01 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 2.7, #8), "Suburgatory" (9.05 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 3.0, #5), "Modern Family" (13.08 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 5.6, #1), "Happy Endings" (6.92 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 2.9, #T6) and "Revenge" (7.69 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 2.5, #9).

Meanwhile, NBC (6.86 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.6, #4) offered up its sagging combination of "Up All Night" (5.65 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 2.2, #11), "Free Agents" (3.28 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 1.0, #14), "Harry's Law" (8.22 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 1.2, #13) and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (7.88 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 2.1, #12).

And finally, new episodes of "H8R" (1.15 million viewers, #16; adults 18-49: 0.4, #16) and "America's Next Top Model" (1.68 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.8, #15) on The CW (1.41 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.6, #5) rounded out the night. In the netlet's target demo (women 18-34), "H8R" posted a 0.4 rating while "Top Model" delivered a 1.1 rating.

Week-to-week changes (adults 18-49):
+5.56% - Criminal Minds
+5.00% - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
+4.76% - Up All Night
+3.85% - The Middle
+2.63% - The X Factor
0.00% - Survivor: South Pacific
0.00% - Free Agents
0.00% - Modern Family
0.00% - Harry's Law
0.00% - America's Next Top Model
-3.33% - CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
-7.41% - Revenge
-9.09% - Suburgatory
-9.38% - Happy Endings
-33.33% - H8R
Year-to-year changes (adults 18-49):
+78.57% - Revenge (vs. The Whole Truth)
+46.67% - Up All Night (vs. Undercovers)
+38.10% - CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (vs. The Defenders)
+30.43% - Suburgatory (vs. Better With You)
+28.71% - The X Factor (vs. Hell's Kitchen)
+24.44% - Modern Family
+12.50% - The Middle
+8.57% - Criminal Minds
-6.45% - Happy Endings (vs. Cougar Town)
-11.11% - America's Next Top Model (vs. Hellcats)
-12.50% - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (vs. Law & Order: Los Angeles)
-13.89% - Survivor
-30.30% - Raising Hope (vs. Hell's Kitchen)
-33.33% - Free Agents (vs. Undercovers)
-52.00% - Harry's Law (vs. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit)
-69.23% - H8R (vs. America's Next Top Model)
In late-night metered market ratings (via NBC's press release):
In Nielsen's 56 metered markets, household results were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 3.1/8; CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," 2.9/7; and ABC's combo of "Nightline," 3.4/8; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 1.4/4.

In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 results were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 0.9/4; "Late Show," 0.8/4; "Nightline," 1.2/5; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 0.5/3.

At 12:35 a.m., "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.7/6 in metered-market households) beat 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" (0.5/3).

At 1:35 a.m., "Last Call with Carson Daly" averaged a 1.0/5 in metered-market households and a 0.5/4 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters.

Source: Nielsen Media Research


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