Ratings: NCIS Draws Second-Largest Audience Ever, Go On and Private Practice Rise

Ratings: NCIS Second Largest Audience EverDeath becomes NCIS, which this Tuesday night drew its second-largest audience ever.

Currently in its 10th season, TV’s most watched drama delivered 22.34 million total viewers while scoring a 3.8 demo rating, rising 6 and 9 percent from last week (when it hit a season-high audience).

Because you’re wondering: The show’s largest audience ever is 22.87 million (with the Feb. 1, 2011 episode “Freedom”). UPDATE: Per finals, this week’s NCIS did 22.86 million (while getting adjusted up to a 3.9 rating). Ooh, close one!

RELATED | NCIS Recap: ‘Aht Lo Leh-Vahd’ (You Are Not Alone)

NCIS: Los Angeles led out of that with 17.5 mil and a 2.7, shedding a few viewers and slipping 10 percent in the demo, while Vegas capped CBS’ night by matching last week’s 11 mil/1.6.

Also holding rock-steady was the penultimate Season 4 episode of NBC’s Parenthood (4.95 mil/1.9), which again won the 10 o’clock hour in the demo. As for the Peacock’s Tuesday comedies, Go On (4.4 mil/1.7) rose 13 percent in the demo, while The New Normal (3.24 mil/1.3) was flat.

Over on ABC, Happy Endings (3.06 mil/1.3) dipped a tenth in the demo, Apartment 23 (2.7 mil/1.1) matched last week’s rating and the penultimate Private Practice (4 mil/1.2) ticked up a tenth.

Among Fox’s comedy line-up, Raising Hope (3.7 mil/1.6), Ben and Kate (2.3 mil/1.1) and New Girl (3.6 mil/1.9,the night’s highest-rated sitcom) each dipped a tenth in the demo, while The Mindy Project (2.8 mil/1.5) was steady.

The CW’s Hart of Dixie returned from break to the exact same numbers it left with: 1.4 million total viewers and a 0.6 rating.

What were you tuned into this Tuesday night?

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72 Comments
  1. This is beyond awesome….way to go, NCIS!!! Bring us more Tony and Ziva please!!!! :-)

  2. Ebay4Ever says:

    That is great!! now Tiva please :D

  3. Maria says:

    Awesome and well-deserved. So much for the vocal minority who maintain that nobody wants to see episodes that focus on Ziva.

    • sofia says:

      You took the words right out of my mouth. :D
      Looking forward to its renewal, with these numbers that can’t be too far away.

  4. Jen says:

    NCIS is ON FIRE. Season 10 is amazing and this episode truly deserves such great ratings. To think that they’re on television for a decade and still draw in such big numbers of viewers, just amazing :)

  5. Esaul says:

    This is great for a show in its 10th season. There is no stopping NCIS.

  6. Stacey says:

    Holy Sh&T! And it could finalized in the final ratings very close to their highest ever. And add in the DVR ratings. That is American Idol territory. Wow. 10th season in. And the show is on fire! To bad the next few weeks are repeats. AI will have a race on it’s hand to even come close tonight… Although the HH will be higher.

    • lily says:

      Only next week is a repeat, Jan. 29th is a new episode (the 10 year-old Abby episode!). After these two eps, I can last a week before a new episode, lol! :)

      • Stacey says:

        Wish it was the case. But tv.com has listed the next episode (the Abby centric, young Abby episode) to be in two weeks. On the 5th of February. So it looks like it’s a two week hiatus.

        • Stacey says:

          Looks like I was wrong. Apparently there is a episode for the 29th of January!

          • Stacey says:

            Apparently the State of the Union is likely to be February 5th. So the NCIS scheduled for that day was moved up to the 29th

          • Hit and Run is scheduled for Jan. 29th, Canary is scheduled for Feb. 5th, and Hereafter is scheduled for Feb. 19th. Looks like the Presidential State of the Union speech is going to be on Feb. 12th.

          • Wanda says:

            Don’t worry, Stacey – you were close enough!! You can always go to CBS Press Express dot com to get the latest episode airdates – and CBS also has an Audience Liaison who graciously informs fans of all show scheduling information (including changes) – so this information is totally accessible to Everyone!! :)

  7. Chuck Finley (AJ) says:

    Best show on TV.

  8. Jared says:

    Hart of Dixie continues to surprise me. Extremely loyal audience.

  9. A says:

    Can someone tell me why NCIS is so popular? I’ve never seen it before, just curious by the large number of viewers it gets all the time. Oh and what does NCIS stand for?

    • Stacey says:

      Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Crime related to the Navy. I think it’s because of the characters. It’s not your ordinary procedure that solves crimes. The team becomes a family. And everyone has flaws. But it makes you grow to identify with them. And it’s not the cases (although the last two weeks. The case has been very personal for the team). It’s about the characters.

    • Stephanie says:

      NCIS = Naval Criminal Investigative Service. It’s a federal agency that investigates crimes related to the US Navy and Marine Corps. It’s a show well worth checking out; great stories and a fantastic bunch of characters. :)

    • Andrea says:

      Naval Criminal Investigative Service

      Short answer about the popularity of the show: There’s a lot of material with the characters, so viewers are free to enjoy what they like and ignore what they don’t and still watch the show. NCIS has a lot of room for all types of viewers.

    • Jill says:

      NCIS is popular because it’s a formulaic procedural where people can turn off their brains and have stories wrapped up tidily in an hour.

      • Stacey says:

        Except not all stories are wrapped up. They didn’t find the killer last night. They are pretty sure who it is. But he’s out there…at large. And it will come back later… It can be fluff. But it can be intense, like the recent two parter. People watch because they have come to know, Ziva. And Vance. And the team.

    • Alan says:

      its a crime show so the general public will eat that up but on top of that its actually really well written and the writers make an effort to include fun material alongside the serious stuff but not the csi way where the jokes are made over the body. i generally dont like crime shows, two exceptions are castle and psych, but if a repeat of this show is the only thing on i will more than happily watch

    • I don’t get it, either. I watch the show. I *like* the show. But it’s waaay down on my favorites list. Mostly, it bores me. It doesn’t touch me, engage me, pull me it nearly as much as many others. I don’t empathize or sympathize with the characters, with the stories. It’s just okay. But I’m thinking it’s because I’m not American, so, the exacerbated patriotism isn’t really a part of my life.

  10. Bobby says:

    I really hope the buzz for this season’s Parenthood isn’t hurt in terms of Emmy voting by the fact that it’s ending so early and could be forgotten about in a few months. Desperately need Monica Potter at least to get a nomination (and win… but I won’t fixate on that until I actually see a nom.), although I’d love if Peter Krause and the show as a whole did as well. This season has fired on all cylinders for me & been my favorite in a show where I’ve loved each one. I know it’s said about a lot of programs that get snubbed when it comes to awards, but I really believe it deserves some recognition for this season whether it’s on cable or not.

    • Totally agree with you on this! I’ve always felt that Parenthood is worthy of award show recognition (a nomination at least!) but especially this season, specifically Monica and Peter. I’m getting sick and tired of big award shows like the Emmys and Golden Globes only recognizing cable shows (save for a few comedies). Broadcast dramas are excellent too, ya know!

  11. Jen says:

    Cougar Town ratings? That’s what I was watching! Here’s hoping the ratings start to increase so that it doesn’t get the shaft from TBS too.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich, Editor-at-Large TVLine.com says:

      “Cable always takes longer.”

    • Nero theTVFiddler says:

      Jen – I know Matt has a lot of things going on today, so in case Matt isn’t able to get back to you on TBS/Cougar Town numbers, here’s what I’ve just found regarding last night’s show [1/15/13] -

      Cougar Town – 2.02 million viewers and 1.0 in the 18-49 demo. I think these are ‘DVR-adjusted numbers’, although not the new DVR +3 days adjusted…those may bump these numbers up a bit. In comparison to last Tuesday [1/8/13] night’s TBS premiere numbers, those were 2.2 m/1.3, which were bumped up via DVR +3 days to 2.7 million viewers.

      So, a slight drop off (to be expected), but still good – I think TBS is happy thus far with the Cougar Town move. The key will be to keep the numbers steady, and to keep the production costs in line with those numbers and the ad dollars coming in. Coquette and Bill Lawrence are smart people – they know how to run that show, so I’m confident it will be renewed for next season and another 15 episodes. They want to reach ‘syndication episode count’ number, so I think Courtney/Bill will do whatever they need to in order to keep production costs in line and keep TBS happy.

      • Jen says:

        Thanks for posting this info!

      • Britta Unfiltered says:

        I don’t think my DVR even recorded Cougar Town. Not sure if I have a scheduling conflict with shows or if I have to reset the series recording because it’s on a different channel now. Did anyone who’s on Comcast have to reset the series recording when it changed to TBS?

  12. Jenny says:

    Tuesdays it’s Lying Game (which I find makes no sense most of the time) Hart of Dixie (Zoe and Wade!! Too cute) , and New Girl for me.

  13. S says:

    I watch Hart of Dixie, New girl and The Mindy Project, record NCIS and I have to admit I am very sad to see Emily Owens MD going off the air. I kind of wish they gave it time to pick up because we are just now starting to see the show turn into something good. Now that it is, of course they are going to take it off the air!

  14. leah says:

    Raising Hope was great! My favorite part was when Virginia said, I heard a rumor about john Travolta but it’s probably best if you don’t know. And Burt… lalalalala while covering his ears

  15. Catherine says:

    Cote de Pablo was truly outstanding last night, NCIS has a special something that could see them continue for quite some time. Congrats to all involved

  16. Elsi says:

    yey!!! long live to NCIS ♥ and Tony and Ziva :) ..love this episode

  17. Eric says:

    Private Practice was amazing last night!!!

    • Ari says:

      I’ve really enjoyed this season of Private Practice. I didn’t think I would like the way they dedicated each episode to one character but I loved it. I am sad to see it go!

  18. Natalie says:

    Very glad for NCIS’ numbers. That, “Raising Hope”, and “New Girl” are what I watched last night. Thought Rocky C. did a fabulous job last night. The Tiva interaction, and might I say-development, was very refreshing and great to see. I liked Oded last night, even though he played a bad guy, he did a good job of it. Looking forward to seeing how that comes back up later. The beginning with Ziva in Temple questioning God and asking for hope, then Tony showing up, was one of my very favorite scenes of the night.

    I have to say, Michael Weatherly playing the compassionate Tony-there for Ziva in such a wonderful way, was my favorite part of the entire episode. He really did it so well. Thanks for this lovely recap, Matt. I really love your write-ups and recaps of my favorite shows, like “Castle” and NCIS. You always hit all the right notes.

    As for NCIS’ numbers, I’ll say this: I love this show because of the characters. So with the good procedural stories and with the great characters & character development/growth this season, they are just owning right now. But most of all I think they’re just really blessed and humble about it. I remember reading recently a book on these people doing research on the these huge companies and what separated the merely good companies/leaders from the great ones. Surprisingly, the difference was humility. I see that in these actors and writers and in Gary Glasberg. They’re always great to their fans, never too proud to sincerely thank them, to give credit to their fellow co-workers, they’re just humble and kind. And they’re blessed. I’m glad.

    Uh, sorry for the little ramble there. Thanks, Matt. I hope maybe someday you’ll do a recap of my top favorite show: “The Mentalist”. I would love that. Maybe for the finale? Stay awesome, Matt, and have a good day. :)

  19. forwarddad says:

    Wish we could get more recaps. I know PH wrapping up but it needs to be recapped more consistently .

  20. Alyssa says:

    When will the final numbers for NCIS be in? That might cause it to become it’s most watched episode.

  21. John says:

    Pauley Perrette tweeted it was going to be a good one and like for the Donna Bell’s baked goods she was right!

  22. Claire says:

    Second-largest at 22million? I thought the season 7 opener was the largest at 21million. Which episode is it that tops these two stellar installments. So happy for them — the cast and crew of NCIS deserve it! I agree with Natalie, humility … Congratulations!

    • Stacey says:

      The highest is Season 8′s Freedom. Which rated 22.85 million. So there is a reason chance last night’s episode can be adjusted very close to that when the final ratings are released.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      The last sentence of graf 2: “The show’s largest audience ever is 22.87 million (with the Feb. 1, 2011 episode “Freedom”).”

  23. Alienate says:

    Getting lazy, eh, Matt? What happened to the overall numbers? I don’t fit “the demo” so I like to see all of us people with actual money to spend on products advertized on TV. :)

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Not so much “lazy” but “other priorities.” Total audience has been added for each of the 83 sitcoms and such.

  24. tvdiva says:

    Congrats to the cast, crew, writers and showrunners of NCIS. Thanks for keeping the show fresh a decade after it started.

  25. Sarah says:

    Actually, the final viewer numbers are 22.86, making it the “most-watched’ episode! :)

  26. Sarah says:

    Yes, I know that, but ‘Freedom’ (season 8) was 22.85 not 22.87

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      That would be news to the official numbers guy at CBS I’ve been speaking to all day.

      • Claire says:

        Not to beat a dead horse — and I think I trust your numbers more than I do that of EW and their numerous grammar/spelling errors of late — but are they just rounding their numbers and making this “most-watched” call on their own?

        UPDATE: NCIS increased to 22.9 million in the afternoon nationals — the most-watched entertainment telecast of the season.

        http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/01/16/ncis-scores-second-biggest-audience-ever/

        Just curious, thanks for all of your great articles!

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          They rounded up, and as I just commented elsehwere here: Per CBS, “About two weeks after viewing week, there are sometimes small adjustments made. In this case, NCIS (“Freedom”) was adjusted up to 22.87.”

      • Daniel says:

        “Freedom” did 22.85 million. How many sources do you need to prove we’re right? Or maybe just one, written by yourself: http://tvline.com/2011/02/02/ratings-ncis-hits-another-all-time-high/
        In the TVLine article it clearly says: “NCIS on Tuesday night enjoyed another all-time high in viewership, delivering — wait for it — 22.85 million total viewers (up 8 percent week-to-week).”

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          Sorry, but per CBS (who obviously would love nothing more than to trumpet this as the most watched NCIS ever, yet isn’t: “About two weeks after viewing week, there are sometimes small adjustments made. In this case, NCIS was adjusted up to 22.87.”

          • Claire says:

            Thanks! And from the sounds of it, if the numbers are adjusted down the road (as they should be) you may have to do a news flash! ;) Have a great day!

  27. lex says:

    What about justified??? Why does this site rarely report on this show???

  28. Britta Unfiltered says:

    I only had time for Justified, New Girl, and Apartment 23 before I passed out on the couch for the night. Apartment 23 was hilarious with the dating game. New Girl was pretty funny, and I am guessing the writers of that show were huge fans of the show Luck when it was on because of the inside jokes there. Justified was really awesome. I like this snake charmer character, but I am a little nervous he’s going to get poor Ellen May beat up by Ava again. Ava is becoming really bossy and dark and scary. And I am totally starting to think Arlo actually is Waldo Truth! Waldo’s wife said he used to beat on her and was a low-life and that sounds like Arlo’s M.O. So I am thinking Arlo is possibly on the run from someone and changed his identity. That would certainly make things for interesting for Raylan. And how awesome would it be if those frightening nutjob relatives of Waldo Truth’s were actually Raylan’s siblings and stepmother and nephew? Oh, I totally hope that’s where this show is going!

  29. Callie says:

    The final numbers are in! “Shiva” had 22.86 million viewers, officially making it the most-watched NCIS episode ever (Freedom was 22.85 million).

  30. Robin says:

    As wonderful as the episode was in terms of emotion and acting, I still think it is lazy to kill off characters. The only death that has made sense was Jenny’s and she was terminal anyway. I’m not saying no one should get badly injured. Jackie Vance could have been kept in a coma with the same result. Eli David could have disappeared. The other character he was working with on peace could still have blown up because we aren’t invested. You don’t have to resolve story completely. That’s why the soaps have to keep explaining how supposedly dead characters are alive.

    • Mikeyk says:

      It was a pretty darn good episode but I agree with you; not everyone has to die to not be on the show. Doesn’t anyone simply move away or get a different job? I personally liked Jenny & wished instead of her becoming terminally ill & then getting killed she could have simply taken another job & then at least there was someone out there for Gibbs later. Also, am still pretty bummed about Mike Franks death, while it was a fitting way to him to go I loved that character!