Ratings: Only Private Practice Rises on Another Down Night; The Office Hits Series Low

This Thursday, in a third straight night of conspicuously depressed primetime numbers, only ABC’s Private Practice saw any kind of an uptick.

Leading out of Grey’s Anatomy, which tied a season low, Private Practice‘s half of the two-hour crossover event drew 7.1 million total viewers while scoring a 2.6 demo rating, good for gains of 9 and 18 percent week-to-week.

But every other Thursday program? Flat, at best. Series lows, at worst.

Michael Slezak’s American Idol Recap: What Happened In Vegas

Going hour by hour….

8 pm | The Big Bang Theory was Thursday’s most-watched and highest-rated scripted program, drawing 15.52 mil and a 5.0 (down 4 and 11 percent, yet again besting Idol in the shared half hour); lead-out Rob (10.9 mil/3.2) was flat. American Idol, with 16.5 mil and a 5.0, was down 9 and 13 percent. NBC’s 30 Rock (3.6 mil/1.4) fell two tenths in the demo, while Parks and Rec (3.5 mil/1.7) held steady at its series low. Vampire Diaries (2.86 mil/1.3) shed a few eyeballs.

9 pm | Person of Interest (13.2 mil/2.9) dropped double digits from last week’s high. Grey’s, as mentioned, fell more than 20 percent to 8.13 mil and a season low 3.1. NBC’s The Office (4.34 mil/2.2) was down 12 percent in the demo to a series low, while Up All Night (3 mil/1.5) dropped 18 and 12 percent. The Secret Circle was flat at 1.76 mil/0.8.

10 pm | The Mentalist led with 13.6 million total viewers and a 2.8 demo rating, down 7 percent week-to-week. (Erica Flynn, you so crafty! And purty.) A Grimm repeat drew 2 mil and a 0.7 for NBC, down sharply from the Voice rerun that filled this gap last week. (Awake claims the Peacock’s 10 o’clock spot starting March 1; watch premiere here.)

What were you watching this Thursday?

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  1. Jamie says:

    It was worst rated crossover in GA/PP history. A 2.6 is pitiful. LOL.

  2. apor says:

    Up against AI, POI held. POI once again had another terrific episode. If anyone want to watch a great action movie and doesn’t want to pay for it, Watch POI.

  3. John says:

    NBC better do something. It’s big draw (The Office) is aging and posts a series low….and up all night, a show they’re determined to foist off of the public at all costs does worse than Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock, two other comedies the public doesnn’t seem to love, but NBC keeps them on because it has nothing better to broadcast.

    • John says:

      NBC has two choices: it can remain a critically acclaimed niche network or become like CBS, and fertilize the schedule with simple, easy-to-follow procedurals and sitcoms that don’t require any emotional investment.
      Seems to me that your and my definitions of “better” are quite different.

    • Kate says:

      Bite your tongue! NBC has Community! While not a ratings darling, it’s definitely a better quality option. I have tried really hard to get into Up All Night because I love Will Arnett and Christina Applegate, but even I turned it off last night. Having Applegate causing a scene in the airport security line because they won’t let her take a full size lotion through felt like a joke about five years past being humorous. I love Maya Rudolph’s character though, it’s unfortunate they didn’t have the show focus on her show instead because the three of them are great together, but the parenting part just doesn’t seem to find the humor.

    • Jericho says:

      You are right, they need to do something… like realize that The Office and 30 Rock are dying slowly. They are critically acclaimed and they are good shows, but they have lost their mojo over the last few years.
      Parks and Rec & Community deserve a place in their lineup, but they also deserve a better network at the same time. The NBC lineup is pretty horrible these days from top to bottom. They rely far too heavily on reality shows(Voice/Biggest Loser/Apprentice) and old mainstays who have long since needed to be put to pasture (Office/SVU/Apprentice). They need to completely rethink their strategy, but some support to what is still good and not being promoted enough (the aforementioned Parks/Community) and start looking for some new shows with quality hooks, not remakes of British shows or very niche shows like Grimm. They need to take a lesson from their sister network USA and pick a “theme” and stick with it. Its worked for CBS, the home of the “older skewing procedural”. Fox used to be the “alternative” network. Why shouldn’t NBC pick a theme and go with it? Even if it was the “quirky” network, people would watch more than just the voice.

    • Well says:

      I feel like everyone I know watches Parks & Rec…They just watch it online or DVR it. Literally everyone from my parents to my best friend to my boss all watch P&R. I can’t imagine that I’m living in some kind of rare cluster of Parks & Rec fans. I think the ratings system is bogus and needs to be rethought now that there are more options than sitting at home Thursday night and watching it when it’s on.

      • Steve says:

        If people are not watching it at home on TV then why would the companies pay for the ad rights? If people want to see their shows continue they are going to have to learn to stay home and watch them when they are on.

  4. Jonathan A says:

    This is kind of discouraging, because I feel like this season of The Office is exceeding in a lot of ways compared to the last couple. Up all Night is kind of bringing me around as well.

    • apor says:

      I agree…. There really is nothing going on in the country to explain why the sudden drop. At first people blamed Valentine’s day, an now some are saying kids are off this week and parents went on a trip. Yet Nielsen claims that the Household numbers of viewers is unchanged from last week. There has to be something with the methodologies Nielsen is using, or Nielsen changed its sampling group from last week to this (unlikely).
      Nielsen is just too outdated and too slow to capture actual viewing habits of people. DVR, OnDemand, Online, and Streaming have made the Nielsen people meters obsolete. Moreover, Nielsen does not count OnDemand viewing if the commercials are not the same as the live broadcast.

  5. John says:

    Kind of strange how ratings seem to be crashing and burning across the board in a “Sweeps” month. If this doesn’t prove that old system dated and ineffective, I don’t know what does.

  6. Low says:

    Too bad about The Office, I really liked the episode! I enjoyed Catherine Tate, and an episode without James Spader is always a better episode. Loved Jim’s prank in the hotel, too!

    • Sarah says:

      I loved the cold opening on The Office this week. It was a good episode overall, but I couldn’t stand Catherine Tate’s character Nellie Bertram. She was like a girl version of Packer and I really can’t stand that character! The last couple of episodes he was in I really started to enjoy James Spader as Robert California. I’m looking forward to his return.

  7. Lynn says:

    NBC has two of my favorite shows, Parenthood and Parks and Recreation. Did anyone ever stop to think that maybe the Nielsen ratings aren’t accurate and deciding whether or not tv shows are successful on that is ridiculous?

    • Kate says:

      There really should be a better system by now. I mean with all the technology in TVs, DVrs, etc certainly there must be a way to track what is being watched live. I know they will do +1 and +7 ratings from DVR viewings but I don’t know that it helps shows that much. I just don’t see how the small number of Nielsen houses could possibly accurately everyone’s TV watching habits.

  8. Svenja says:

    I don’t think the shows sucked. TBBT, GA and PP were fabulous, but apparently people were busy doing other things than watching TV.

  9. Anon says:

    On another night full of drops and lows, I’m so glad that The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle held steady. Especially glad for TSC, because this was its first time up against Idol and the episode was fantastic!
    For everyone saying we need a new ratings system, I agree with you 110%.

  10. mm says:

    I don’t know why more poeple don’t watch Parks and Rec! It’s such a great show and the characters are the best!

  11. DB says:

    Did all the Nielsen box malfunction? isn’t this February sweep period when people are supposed to be tuning in to all the big episodes? where are the eyeballs that Nielsen counted anyway? Who on earth has a Nielsen box? Why isn’t there a better way to measure viewership? I’m really annoyed that networks still make renewal decision based on Nielsen’s archaic and questionable rating technique.

  12. KSM says:

    I am not a Nielsen house, so it doesn’t matter, but it should be noted that there are a LOT of sporting events on right now. My husband and I split the TVs last night – he was watching basketball while I watched GA/PP. Lots of nights, I’ll DVR shows so we can watch the games together – I just really like GA right now so he went down to the basement. Between March Madness coming up, Linsanity, and hockey, people are probably doing a lot of splitting with TVs these days. Just a thought.

  13. fernando says:

    I didnt watch Grey’s Live I just DVR it and just watch when Amelia showed up and then I started wathing Private Practice around 9:26pm live.
    Grey’s just got old for me and I could not stand it anymore but I still love Private Practice to me PP is better then GA

  14. kirads09 says:

    Re: Big Bang Theory. So glad it continues to do so well. I still am “bazinged” at the comic genius that is Jim Parsons. His physical comedy, delivery, timing, speech patterns, mannerisms, everything – nearly flawless. Sorry – you can kinda tell I love my Sheldon and the man who portrays him!
    POI was very good. Mentalist was downright excellent.

  15. sarah says:

    Of course Private Practice had more viewers it was all the Grey’s audience so next week it will go back down. I watched it which I do not any other time but as it was a cross over I had to
    Not surprised about the Office that show was done when Steve left

  16. dot says:

    I don’t get how parks and recs rating are so low everyone watchs it bt a lot people watch it on demand or dvr its an amazing show!

  17. Leah says:

    I really thought this week’s Office was the best one of the season. I haven’t laughed that hard at the show in a long time!

    • Dave says:

      I thought the Office was GREAT this week! Switched to “do not delete” status, which I haven’t done for that show for a couple seasons.

  18. Jill says:

    Watched Grey’s but shut it off as PP’s hour came on as I have no interest in that show. I wish they would stop with this cross over EVENT stuff. Good writing will bring in the ratings, not this over used gimmick.I was expecting a lot more from a sweeps episode.

  19. Afrouz says: