ABC 2011-12 TV Ratings Report Card

ABC season ratingsWorried about the future of some ABC TV shows? Take a look at the chart below to see their season ranking, averages to date, and their grade in the all-important 18-49 demographic.

There’s lots of information that the networks take into consideration when cancelling or renewing a TV series but the ratings are the biggest factor. (You can see if your favorites have already been renewed or cancelled by visiting our ABC 2011-12 show page.)

These charts incorporate final ratings data through Thursday, May 30, 2012.

ABC TV shows
18-49 demo
rating (actual)
in millions
1Modern Family (renewed)A++5.1 (5.05)12.09ratings
2Grey's Anatomy (renewed)A++3.6 (3.56)9.83ratings
3Once Upon a Time (renewed)A3.3 (3.27)9.92ratings
4Desperate Housewives (ended)B2.7 (2.74)8.76ratings
5Happy Endings (renewed)B2.7 (2.71)6.18ratings
6The Middle (renewed)B2.6 (2.60)8.41ratings
6Suburgatory (renewed)B2.6 (2.60)7.58ratings
8Revenge (renewed)B-2.5 (2.46)7.82ratings
9Last Man Standing (renewed)B-2.4 (2.43)8.61ratings
10Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23 (renewed)C+2.3 (2.34)5.71ratings
11Castle (renewed)C+2.3 (2.33)10.71ratings
12Private Practice (renewed)C+2.3 (2.28)6.81ratings
13Scandal (renewed)C-2.0 (2.01)7.02ratings
14GCB (cancelled)C-1.9 (1.92)5.87ratings
15Man Up! (cancelled)C-1.9 (1.85)6.44ratings
16Work It (cancelled)D+1.8 (1.80)5.63ratings
17Body of Proof (renewed)D+1.7 (1.74)8.60ratings
18Pan Am (cancelled)D+1.7 (1.69)5.39ratings
19The River (cancelled)D1.6 (1.63)4.70ratings
20Missing (cancelled)D-1.5 (1.45)7.59ratings
20Cougar Town (moving to TBS)D-1.4 (1.41)4.23ratings
22Charlie's Angels (cancelled)D-1.4 (1.37)6.24ratings
ABC TV shows
18-49 demo
rating (actual)
in millions
1Dancing with the Stars (fall, perf.) (renewed)A++3.3 (3.28)17.56ratings
2Dancing with the Stars (spring, perf.) (cancelled)A+3.0 (2.97)16.95ratings
3Dancing with the Stars (fall, results) (renewed)A+3.0 (2.96)15.44ratings
4Dancing with the Stars (spring, results) (cancelled)A-2.6 (2.60)14.67ratings
4The Bachelor (renewed)A-2.6 (2.60)8.25ratings
6Celebrity Wife Swap (renewed)B-2.1 (2.10)5.74ratings
7Wipeout (returning)C1.9 (1.86)6.10ratings
8Shark Tank (renewed)C+*1.6 (1.61)5.68ratings
9America's Funniest Home Videos (renewed)C-1.6 (1.58)6.59ratings
10Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (cancelled)C*1.5 (1.52)5.77ratings
11Primetime: What Would You Do? (renewed)C*1.4 (1.43)4.83ratings
1220/20 (renewed)C-*1.4 (1.39)5.27ratings
13You Deserve It (cancelled)D-1.2 (1.15)4.61ratings
Other ratings report cards: CBS | The CW | FOX | NBC

Original ratings data ©The Nielsen Company. All rights reserved.

A couple of things to remember:
The averages included in these charts are based on the final numbers, not the fast affiliate ratings that are reported the morning after a show airs. These final numbers become available one to three days later (depending on holidays or weekends). The charts are updated as we get the new data.

Whether we like it or not, the demo numbers are what’s most important to the networks because that’s what’s important to advertisers. That’s how the networks measure success. Advertisers will pay more money for ad time on a show with a higher demo rating than one with more overall viewers. For example, Castle has more viewers than Grey’s Anatomy but an ad on Grey’s costs 30% more ($203,078 vs. $121,914).

Demo numbers are reported by Nielsen using the 10th decimal place (2.1, for example). In these charts, we’re including the rounded demo average as well as the average in 100ths (2.14, for example) in parenthesis so you can get a better idea of how the number’s been affected by the latest episode’s rating.

The letter grades are relative and are based on the individual network’s overall performance in either the scripted or non-scripted categories. The networks all have very different gauges for success. A hit show on The CW would get quickly cancelled on CBS. Our system for coming up with letter grades isn’t perfect but it should still give you an idea of where the shows stand when compared to others on the same network.

*The letter grades for TV series that run on Friday and Saturday nights are weighted a little differently to compensate for them airing on little-watched nights.

What do you think? How are your favorites doing? Are any of them in danger of being cancelled or sure to to be renewed?

Canceled and renewed TV show

79 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Christy says

    Why are so many great new shows on the chopping block? It really is insane that our entertainment is driven by ads we don’t even watch! I agree with other posts; I never watch the commercials, either. And yet the cash raked in by the networks for these ads that no one watches is the basis for the decision of whether a show that millions of people love will stay or go? Ridiculous! GCB is a breath of fresh air, and Pan Am is quite good, too. If they go I suppose its time to find something to do besides watch tv…

  2. Brooke says

    Revenge and Missing are awesome freshman shows that I hope get a chance!!
    For the naysayer about Missing, you watched, what? all of two minutes of it? puhlease it’s a really good show.

  3. Brooke says

    CBS is on demand in some markets. Mainly in the Northeast the last I heard. The reason CBS isn’t on demand is more markets is because they won’t edit their commercials for on demand content. For ex. ABC & NBC are both on demand with my provider and commercials are also with the on demand, but there is only like 1 or 2. CBS and FOX won’t do this.

  4. FredMertz65 says

    Do you think a Menopausal Woman is better than a man for MISSING?

    I was watching the NCAA basketball game, (didn’t see any old woman playing), at half time I switch over the Missing just in time to see the pillow face old lady chase a plane down a run way. How stupid was that? I think her Depends Diaper slowed her down. She needs to pick up a slick old people scooter. I hear she’s eyeing the top of the line 12 volt model that will go 4 miles an hour top speed.

    ABC has become the All B-*itch Channel. Seems they are going with the all girl programs, which means all the smart people are playing xbox or watching sports, yep that’s us men, and that leaves a lower class urban and female audience who can’t notice reverse sexism. Too many girl action heroes has become the fad, until the sponsors realize they are losing the male 18-45 market, the market they want the most.

    I am not even going to get into the fact anyone 100 pounds heaver then a 50 year old fat woman is not going to get beat up, but I am guessing this show is written by a bunch of Hollywood lefties, woman lib, latte types.

  5. Katia says

    ABC is going down in a hand basket my friends keep saying. They keep cancelling shows without giving them a fair chance. They cancel body of proof or anything else that is still in its’ freshman status, I am DONE with ABC for GOOD!!

  6. Sarah says

    I totally agree that there is no way you can get an accurate rating on shows. I tape 90% of what I watch and then watch the tapes when it is convenient. You are constantly cancelling shows that are excellent and are probably watched by people like me. Not only do most people have VCRs, but nearly all shows can be seen on “On Demand”. I have noticed that CBS doesn’t use On Demand; so maybe that is what you show their shows are the most watched?????

  7. Craig says

    Cougar Town did not benefit from ABC’s programming decisions. The network did a good job of killing the show.

    You mentioned how demo ratings affect ad pricing. Is it all 18-49 demo or is there a more specific demo rating that drives the ad pricing? Like does Grey’s have higher pricing because it has a much better female demo rating than Castle?

  8. Carol says

    Once Upon a Time, Castle and Body of Proof are the three best programs you have going! Please keep them around! We watch them every week! Never miss an episode!

  9. Jamison says

    Don’t cancel Cougar Town, I’m a 22 year old college guy who laughs to the point of side stitches on this show! It’s too funny and the title has nothing to do with the show so give it a chance! Come on People turn on your tvs or at least give the show another time slot!!!

  10. Anonymous says

    “Whether we like it or not, the demo numbers are what’s most important to the networks because that’s what’s important to advertisers. That’s how the networks measure success. Advertisers will pay more money for ad time on a show with a higher demo rating than one with more overall viewers.”

    LOL. Don’t companies realize most people watch on DVRs and fast forward those commercials. They need to get it, people watch TV for the shows not the Advertisements (except maybe during Super Bowl). Plus I’ve been seeing a lot more product placement in shows (especially Microsoft, Apple, and numerous Automobile companies). It used to be that one show had one sponsor and that was that. I long for the day when an hour television show is once again an hour long and not 42 minutes long with over 15 minutes of commercials.

    Plus Nielsen Rating are so outdated. They need to come up with a new system to actually get the numbers.

    • Isaura says

      That is true. I’ve seen more commercials within the shows than the actual commercials because I fast forward them. Which I find a bit funny at times that the actors HAVE to “sell” us the product. Even then it is less annoying than the actual commercials. I would buy a car from Nathan Fillion anytime. :)

  11. Sergio says

    Dont Cancel Body Of Proof…..This Show Is Awsome..Because Of This Show I Decided I Want To Be A Forensic Pathologist!!

  12. Kim says

    Give Body of Proof a better lead in and time slot!! This show is fantastic!! The cast has great chemistry!! Please do not cancel!!! I also really enjoy Castle and Revenge!!

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