Ratings: How every broadcast show ranked this season

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Image Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

From Fox’s American Idol to The CW’s Shedding for the Wedding, here’s how all the broadcast shows of the 2010-11 season performed in the all-important adults 18-49 demo (and this includes the first seven days of DVR viewing after a show’s premiere). Climbers on the chart include ABC’s Dancing With the Stars and Modern Family, while some of the notable declines include CBS’ Undercover Boss, Fox’s House and ABC’s Desperate Housewives. NBC’s The Voice is the highest-rated new show followed by CBS’ Mike & Molly. CBS’ $#*! My Dad Says ranks as the highest-rated cancelled show, while ABC’s Shark Tank is the lowest-rated renewed entertainment show among the Big 4 networks. Here’s your big list:

 RANK  SHOW  NET  RATE
1 AMERICAN IDOL — WED FOX 8.8
2 SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL NBC 8.0
3 AMERICAN IDOL — THU FOX 7.7
4 NFL SUNDAY PRE-KICK NBC 5.6
THE VOICE NBC 5.6
6 DANCING WITH THE STARS ABC 4.8
MODERN FAMILY ABC 4.8
8 NFL THE OT FOX 4.6
9 BIG BANG THEORY CBS 4.4
10 SURVIVOR:NICARAGUA CBS 4.3
GREY’S ANATOMY ABC 4.3
12 NCIS CBS 4.2
13 THE OFFICE NBC 4.0
TWO AND A HALF MEN CBS 4.0
GLEE FOX 4.0
16 FAMILY GUY FOX 3.9
HOUSE FOX 3.9
18 FOOTBALL NIGHT IN AMERICA NBC 3.8
AMAZING RACE: 17 CBS 3.8
CRIMINAL MINDS CBS 3.8
SURVIVOR: REDEMPTION ISLAND CBS 3.8
DANCING WITH THE STARS RESULTS SHOW ABC 3.8
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES ABC 3.8
24 NCIS: LA CBS 3.7
25 THE BACHELOR ABC 3.6
26 HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER CBS 3.5
BONES FOX 3.5
28 MIKE & MOLLY CBS 3.4
UNDERCOVER BOSS CBS 3.4
30 CSI CBS 3.3
HAWAII FIVE-0 CBS 3.3
HELL’S KITCHEN FOX 3.3
SIMPSONS FOX 3.3
CELEBRITY APPRENTICE NBC 3.2
THE MENTALIST CBS 3.2
COUGAR TOWN ABC 3.2
BIGGEST LOSER 10 NBC 3.1
BIGGEST LOSER 11 NBC 3.1
$#*! MY DAD SAYS CBS 3.1
AMAZING RACE: 18 CBS 3.0
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT CBS 3.0
HELL’S KITCHEN-WEDNESDAYS FOX 3.0
CSI MIAMI CBS 2.9
CASTLE ABC 2.9
SECRET MILLIONAIRE ABC 2.9
CLEVELAND SHOW FOX 2.9
PARENTHOOD NBC 2.8
BODY OF PROOF ABC 2.8
MR. SUNSHINE ABC 2.8
PRIVATE PRACTICE ABC 2.8
BREAKING IN FOX 2.8
LAW & ORDER: SVU NBC 2.7
CRIMINAL MINDS: SUSPECT BEHAVIOR CBS 2.7
RAISING HOPE FOX 2.7
30 ROCK NBC 2.6
PARKS & RECREATION NBC 2.6
THE GOOD WIFE CBS 2.6
BROTHERS & SISTERS ABC 2.6
MAD LOVE CBS 2.5
V ABC 2.5
THE EVENT NBC 2.4
OUTSOURCED NBC 2.4
60 MINUTES CBS 2.4
THE MIDDLE ABC 2.4
BOB’S BURGERS FOX 2.4
HARRY’S LAW NBC 2.3
EXTREME MAKEOVER HOME EDITION ABC 2.3
WIPEOUT — THURSDAYS ABC 2.3
AMERICAN DAD FOX 2.3
FRINGE FOX 2.3
MINUTE TO WIN IT — TUESDAY NBC 2.2
BLUE BLOODS CBS 2.2
DEFENDERS CBS 2.2
OFF THE MAP ABC 2.2
HUMAN TARGET FOX 2.2
LIE TO ME FOX 2.2
LAW & ORDER: LA NBC 2.1
CSI NY CBS 2.1
BETTER WITH YOU ABC 2.1
HAPPY ENDINGS ABC 2.1
THE CHICAGO CODE FOX 2.1
COMMUNITY NBC 2.0
THE CAPE NBC 1.9
CHASE NBC 1.9
CHUCK NBC 1.9
NO ORDINARY FAMILY ABC 1.9
MILLION DOLLAR DROP FOX 1.9
MEDIUM CBS 1.8
KITCHEN NIGHTMARES FOX 1.8
RUNNING WILDE FOX 1.8
THE APPRENTICE (FALL) NBC 1.7
AMER FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS ABC 1.7
DETROIT 187 ABC 1.7
AMERICAS MOST WANTED FOX 1.7
COPS-SAT 8:30P FOX 1.7
AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL 15 CW 1.7
PERFECT COUPLES NBC 1.6
UNDERCOVERS NBC 1.6
20/20-FRIDAY ABC 1.6
MY GENERATION ABC 1.6
COPS-SAT 8P FOX 1.6
AMERICA’S NEXT GREAT RESTAURANT NBC 1.5
DATELINE-FRIDAY NBC 1.5
PRIMETIME: WHAT WOULD YOU DO ABC 1.5
THE WHOLE TRUTH ABC 1.5
LONE STAR FOX 1.5
TRAFFIC LIGHT FOX 1.5
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE NBC 1.4
JAMIE OLIVER’S FOOD REVOLUTION ABC 1.4
SHARK TANK ABC 1.4
VAMPIRE DIARIES CW 1.4
MINUTE TO WIN IT-WED 8P NBC 1.3
OUTLAW NBC 1.3
48 HOURS MYSTERY CBS 1.3
LIVE TO DANCE CBS 1.3
SKATING WITH THE STARS ABC 1.3
PAUL REISER SHOW NBC 1.2
CHAOS CBS 1.2
FLASHPOINT CBS 1.2
SUPERNANNY ABC 1.2
AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL 16 CW 1.2
SMALLVILLE CW 1.2
SUPERNATURAL CW 1.1
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS NBC 1.0
GOOD GUYS FOX
90210 CW 0.9
GOSSIP GIRL CW 0.9
NIKITA CW 0.9
ONE TREE HILL CW 0.8
SCHOOL PRIDE NBC 0.7
HELLCATS CW 0.7
LIFE UNEXPECTED CW 0.7
SHEDDING FOR THE WEDDING CW 0.5

(Note: Average ratings from Sept. 20 to May 22. These are ratings for shows in their regular time periods. Special time-period airings like Glee‘s post Super Bowl slot and CBS’ Hawaii Five-0‘s special post-Sunday football episode are not included by Nielsen in these averages).


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Comments (112 total) Add your comment
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  • Kyle

    Whoever has those Neilsen boxes, they need them taken away. I feel very unrepresented–out of those top 11 shows, I only watch 3!

    • TLZ

      Don’t feel too bad; out of the top 20 I only watch 4.

      • Templar

        Very lame article as most of the really good shows are on cable not the four networks. I’d rather see articles about White Collar, Psych, Covert Affairs, The Glades, Rizzoli & Isles etc. The networks have become a cesspool. JMO

      • Dr. Linus

        The article isn’t lame. Believe it or not many people don’t have cable so even if you had those numbers mixed in it wouldn’t be representative.

      • Rose Garden

        “The Voice” is my favorite of all these shows. “American Idol” is just worn out for me.

    • joe

      I watch one in the top 10, and 3 in the top 50.
      Seriously, who is Nielsen counting?

      • AK

        Clearly, people other than you.

    • David

      I watch 9 of the top 10 shows. And if we could move around a couple of 11-20s, then I’d be watching 12 of them.

      • LMFAO

        You love crap.

      • MultiPass

        …and wayyyy wayyy too much freakin TV. Dude, get a life.

    • CapitalFool

      Perhaps–gasp!–all of America doesn’t have the same taste in television as you!

    • Liza

      Seriously! I watch 0 of the top ten shows! I am glad to see Parks & Rec is on par ratings wise with 30 Rock. It gives me hope that it isn’t going to be randomly, cruelly cancelled.

    • Tom

      With you, I am so sick fo the 18-49 Demo who came up with that crap. They even had a study that showed that it did not improve sales to to targer just that age group but yet they keep it going. I used to live next door to a “neilson” Family as a child. Well before DVR they would go out of there way to ensure the TV was on the shows they liked even if they were out for the night or eating dinner. Far to much power in the hands of to few in todays technology there has to be a better way

    • 4815162342

      Out of the entire list, I only watch 8.

  • Alex

    Wow, surprising that The Voice is that high on the list! But good for it, and NBC.

    • I love the show

      Yeah and then once it goes back to 9/8c on June 7th it will do even better.

      • voting

        I’m so excited for when the voting starts.

    • AK

      Well, that’s only reflective of the first few episodes. The ratings have really started to fall.

    • Kris

      It’s the ratings, not representative of the total number of actual viewers.

  • Mike

    I love Community… but their numbers are awful. Not sure how much longer it can be kept around, then again Chuck is going into its 5th season and their numbers are worse….

    • Blake

      Chuck has only been renewed to wind up the series – there will only be 13 episodes next season.

    • Monty

      I kind of hope that community gets 4 seasons and that is it. That way, they do the standard length of a college education (though most community colleges only offer 2 year degrees, they seem to indicate that all of the students will graduate after 4)

      • BLM

        My dream plan for Community is 4 years as well. I hope it can last that long–it’s such a great show. All my beloved shows’ ratings suck.

      • Ames

        Normally I would agree that a show shouldn’t overstay its welcome, but in the case of Community, I am just blown away by what the writers have come up with. As long as it’s still funny, I’ll still be watching.

    • Me

      I neeeed for Community to survive for a while longer. I watch other shows but Community is the only one that makes me laugh out loud. I love how they make every episode like it might be their last chance to make a great episode.

  • B.Rich

    Office is much higher than I thought. Hope Parks and Rec and Community can build from that.

  • B.Rich

    No ****ing way is America’s Funniest Home Videos still on.

    • TQB

      Still on – and still surprisingly funny. Tom Bergeron can sell anything. I doubt they pay him half of what he’s worth…

      • Carrie

        I have two stupid dogs to do stupid things to amuse me any time I want. Crotch shots and people tripping/falling/being humiliated quit being funny to me somewhere around the age of 8. I can’t believe people still watch that show. If you find watching other people’s stupidity that entertaining, let me introduce you to YouTube.

      • Troy

        Funniest Home Videos probably has the lowest production costs of any show on that list. That’s why it’s still on.

      • Gilbert

        @Carrie. Wow! You could really use an enema. Please record and post to YouTube:I’m sure what comes out will be just HEEELLLAARRIOUUSSS!

      • Diana

        ia. Tom Bergeron is great at what he does.

      • Dr. Linus

        Regarding America’s Funniest Home Videos:
        1. Tom Bergeron is a fantastic host.
        2. This is the day and age of Youtube where a video of cute kids or animals gets millions of hits.
        3. As someone mentioned, it’s cheap to produce.

        All in all I see why it’s still on the air and still popular.

  • Jay

    Shameful!!! You have to go all the way down to #7 with Modern Family to get an actual scripted TV show.

    I freakin HATE reality/competition shows.
    In fact, “hate” isn’t a strong enough word, but it’ll have to do.

    Even worse… out of the top 10, only 2 of them are actual shows with plots and characters.

    • TLZ

      Preach it!

    • Ellen Ripley

      You wanted scripted programming? Go to cable TV.

      • Jay

        Shut up ugly, how about you go back to the garbage can where your mother found you.

    • psb1962

      ONLY ONE 1 GOOD TV SERIES IN THE TOP 10..MODERN FAMILY…THE CURRENT RATING SYSTEM IS AS EXTINCT AS THE DINOSAUR…AND NEEDS A SEVERE OVERHAULING!!!I AGREE “REALITY/COMPETITION” TV ARE AS LAME AS TINY TIM’S LEG, AND ARE DUMBING DOWN AMERICANS MORE EVERY SECOND THEY ARE WATCHED!!NO WONDER THE REST OF THE WORLD IS OVER TAKING US IN EVERY WAY!!!!

  • Ben

    I’m proud to be a fan of the #1 scripted show on telelvision, Modern Family. Now with that said I notice it is number 7 on the list, which makes me realize that less and less people want anything that makes them remotely think at all. Where is society heading?

    • lauren

      My thoughts exactly!

    • Liza

      I think that a lot of “thinking” shows are ridiculously, alarmingly low. It is concerning. I think they need to break this demographic into smaller parts. I am 25 and what I watch is way different than what my 45 year old father watches and my younger sister (18) has a whole different set of shows that she watches. I think the 18-49 demo is too wide and shows are being underrepresented.

  • mark

    Is this for a certain Demo? They can no represent total audience because I know NCIS would be much higher.

    • LisaB

      The article says this is for the Adults 18-49 demographic, the one the advertisers pay the most attention to.

  • Scott

    Wow 30 rock is the only great show on that whole list. Shows on cable are way better then this crap listed here but its good to know my taste in shows differs from the rest of our devo population.

    • ruby

      False. Fringe is also on the list. It happens to be the best show on network television these days.

  • Mary

    It’s a shame to see Friday Night Lights so low.

  • mawhi

    I wish there was a way to not judge singing competitions and sports against the other shows, scripted AND reality shows that have some sort of plot.

    It’s different when you can just have a show on and do other things around your house.

    • mawhi

      (sentence structure… how does it work?!)

  • stu

    go figure…Outsource is 1 above
    60 Min but it gets canceled!

    • Carrie

      Mr. Sunshine was above Outsourced and some actual good shows (The Good Wife, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Law & Order: SVU, Raising Hope) and the popular Private Practice and it got canceled. It needed some tweaking but the actors on the show were outstanding. It could of been a winner with a little work between seasons.

      • Rebekah

        @Carrie- I agree. I am sad that they canceled Mr. Sunshine. The networks cancel so many shows wily nily that it makes me afraid to even bother watching a new show. What’s the point of getting invested in their news shows anyway? They’re just going to end up canceling them, even if they are good. *sigh*

    • joe

      News should not be judged by ratings. (r u listening, Fox?)

      • Rebekah

        @joe – I agree. The news should always be on whether or not it earns high ratings. It’s important to keep the news available to the public in as many formats as possible.

  • Cass

    Where is Bones?

    • Carrie

      Tied with How I Met Your Mother for #26.

    • Mike

      Tied for #26

  • TQB

    It was really interesting to see a fully ranked list of everything and to realize some of the funny decisions that get made. I’m shocked that V and The Event actually did better than Fringe – makes me twice as proud of Fox for sticking up for their offbeat sci fi drama.

    • Aimee

      V and The Event didn’t get placed on Friday night in mid-season either…

  • Mike

    This list includes repeats which 1) makes it terrible and 2) gives reality shows a big advantage since they don’t air any.

    • Tori

      I know, right? Is it really necessary to put them on there twice? Just because it’s on two different nights doesn’t mean it’s not one show -_-

    • Loch Ness

      America loves the NFL. Even pre- and post-game shows make the list.

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