nielsen ratings

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Most shows in their sixth season are typically on their last legs. Not so for Mad Men. The AMC period drama drew its best ratings to date, attracting 2.7 million viewers for its Season 6 finale. That bested its previous best of 2.6 million for the Season 5 climax.

As impressive as those numbers were for AMC, the big winner on broadcast or cable television was Discovery Channel’s live coverage of Nik Wallenda’s latest death-defying stunt. Last year, he made history walking across Niagara Falls. This time around his 22 minute intense walk across the Grand Canyon attracted 13 million viewers. If he gets approval, his next challenge will have him walking from the top of the Empire State building to the Chrysler building in NYC.

watch Nik’s walk after the jump and other ratings news

The highly-anticipated Liberace biopic certainly delivered. Behind the Candelabra scored boffo ratings for HBO. The Steven Soderbergh film delivered 2.4 million viewers in its first airing, making it the most watched HBO film in almost a decade since 2004′s Something The Lord Made. When you factor its second airing Sunday evening, a total of 3.5 million watched the glitzy biopic. Definitely impressive given television viewing typically is less during Memorial Day weekend.

Did you watch Michael Douglas and Matt Damon play gay lovers? Did you love it or loathe it? I was in Seattle and about to watch it, but two friends who saw it earlier said it sucked big time. Truthfully, they have awful taste. LOL. I kid. I’ll probably check it out later regardless of their opinion. Sound off below.

Big Bang Theory Proves It’s Big Bang-ness

In: Donovan, TV Shows

I don’t normally share Nielsen Ratings unless it’s the premiere week or finale episodes, but this truly has me impressed. Congrats CBS.

After a three-week winter break hiatus, The Big Bang Theory came roaring back. Not only did viewers tune in, but they came in droves. Currently in its sixth season, the CBS comedy achieved its best ratings EVER. Given the viewership decline of veteran shows, this feat is truly remarkable. Its strong showing also benefited all the shows following it. Two and a Half Men hit season highs, while Person of Interest and Elementary both matched series bests. Find out how many “bangers” tuned in below.

check out the ratings below

Is this a sign of the apocalypse? Believe it or not, NBC managed to launch a successful debut for its much-hyped Revolution. The J.J. Abrams drama nearly held most of its lead-in audience from The Voice, attracting almost 11.7 million viewers. As if that wasn’t enough good news for the peacock network, The Voice was actually up a million viewers from its season premiere last week. Has the network made a deal with the devil?

Just how impressive was Revolution‘s debut? It’s the highest rated drama debut in almost three years since ABC premiered V, and the highest for the network since Bionic Woman. That said, both those shows are no longer on the air ;) Compared to NBC’s preview of The New Normal last week, Revolution was up 39% and a gigantic 156% from the debut of The Playboy Club last year. NBC shouldn’t celebrate too much, Revolution did lose “power” during the second half of the show. Seems some people weren’t riveted and tuned out. That doesn’t bode well for next week’s episode or long-term future.

check out The Mob’s numbers after the jump

Victoria’s Secret Angels Deliver Heavenly Ratings

In: Donovan, TV Shows

Last night’s titillating “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show” gave CBS executives a collective stiffy this morning. Naturally, you’d think it was due to the skimpy outfits the VS Angels wore down the glittered runway. Alas, I’m sure that partly helped, but execs love high ratings more than scantily-clad Glamazons. The Angels delivered in a big way. Not sure if Maroon 5, Nicki Minaj or Kanye West helped to inflate those numbers or if people were just in the mood for some T&A. Whatever the reason, I’m just glad that next year’s telecast is now a sure thing. If you haven’t checked out the recap of my 15 favorite outfits from the special, click here and do it now.

Typically, we don’t report on overnight Neilsen ratings, but I had to share this since I’m a huge fan of the yearly extravaganza. The annual event scored its best ratings since 2002. The hour-long show garnered a strong 4.6 rating in the coveted 18-49 demographic and attracted 10.3 million viewers. That number represents a whopping 35% leap from last year’s telecast. The show handily crushed everything last night and won the evening. CBS often wins the ratings war with regards to overall viewers but rarely wins the 18-49 demo. Last night, the network showed advertisers they too, can be young and hip.

see how other shows fared last night

It was another big night of television last night with so many premieres to watch. I even saw Alex‘s Facebook status say, “Well, the time has come for a second dvr box, or a change in tv viewing… 2nd box it is.” Oh Alex, you crack me up.

As I mentioned in my post about Revenge’s premiere episode, despite mixed reviews, overall I like the show and I’m definitely going to be tuning in each week to watch Emily Vancamp’s revenge play out. In terms of viewership, Revenge beat out CSI and Law & Order: SVU (in the coveted 18-49 demo) in the 10pm time slot, with over 10 million people tuning in.

The X-Factor was a different story for me. I thought I was going to be really into it, but alas in my opinion it was just another singing competition. Maybe better than the others, but in general, I fell like I’m “singing competition’d” out. The show did succeed in giving Fox its best season-opening since the early 1990s, but it was much lower than the premiere numbers for American Idol last season and below expectations.

Lastly, “The Emmy goes to… Modern Family“. LOL. This powerhouse comedy premiered their new season with a bang, up 18% over last year’s premiere with 14.3 million viewers tuning in to watch Lily’s wrath.

Check out the hour by hour viewership for last night’s TV after the jump…

Fox’s “New Girl” Receives Huge Welcome

In: Donovan, TV Shows

If you had told me that Fox’s new sitcom “New Girl” was going to top “Glee” prior to last night, I would’ve said you were cray cray. Apparently, all of the network’s promotional work paid off. Over 10 million viewers sampled the Zooey Deschanel show. It’s the biggest fall sitcom premiere on Fox since “The Bernie Mac Show” 10 years ago. In the coveted 18-49 demo, the show was the top show of the night with 4.8. Coming in at second place was NCIS at 4.2. Looks like Deschanel could be this season’s breakout star. With “Two and a Half Men” premiering with over 28 million viewers on Monday night, this season is certainly off to a solid star.

What makes “New Girl’s” accomplishment even more impressive is the fact it built on its lead in- the once powerful “Glee“. For the show’s third season, the teen musical still scored 8.9 million, but represented a 32% drop from last year’s premiere. Ryan Murphy and co. certainly have their work cut out for them to woo back viewers after last year’s lackluster season. Fox’s other show “Raising Hope” matched it’s first season numbers with 6.8 million viewers tuning in. “New Girl’s” premiere was up a ginormous 52% in the same timeslot when “Raising Hope” premiered.

see how the other networks fared after the jump

If you thought Jersey Shore Mania was a 2010 thing, you thought wrong. The overly tanned bunch look like they’re here to stay, at least for 2011. The Season 3 premiere draw HUGE numbers for MTV, giving the the network the highest audience ever. The reality guilty pleasure drew 8.45 million viewers.

Not only is that a huge number for broadcast television, but that’s humongous for cable TV. It crushed everything in the coveted 18-49 demographic on broadcast television during the 10pm timeslot. Sorry “Private Practice“, “The Mentalist” and “The Office“. Maybe it’s time for their cast to do some GTL’ing. With exception to “The Big Bang Theory” and “Grey’s Anatomy” which the Shore tied in the 18-49 demo, it slaughtered everything in any time slot in primetime.

You would think watching two seasons of these drunken fist-pumping fools would be enough. Not so. In fact, the season premiere represents a 38% increase over the Season 2 finale in October. The love wasn’t limited to just Americans. Canadians were sucked in as well giving the show a 13% increase over the Season 2 premiere, proving Canucks aren’t immune to the powers of the guidos and guidettes.

more stats after the jump

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