The 2011-2012 End-of-Season Rankings Are In: Here's How Every Show Fared

By Tim Surette

May 25, 2012

It's the end of the TV season, which means a gluttony of year-end lists! But to rich execs in the network business, this list of the top-performing shows of the 2011-2012 season released by Nielsen is the only one that matters. These rankings are based on the advertiser-coveted 18-49 age demographic, which largely determines what's placed on Thursdays at 9pm and what's relegated to Fridays to die a slow death.


A couple interesting notes before we show you the list:

– CBS's Rob was the season's highest-rated canceled show (#22). Also shocking: Rob was #22?!?!?!?!?!?!?

– For as big of a disappointment as Terra Nova was, it still finished 24th. Alcatraz was in a similar boat; that show placed 30th. But remember, these are average ratings, and both series slid in a big way after huge debuts.

Work It beat Community. Grumble grumble. Though that's a bit misleading because curiosity drew audiences to Work It for the few episodes that made it to the air.

– As far as overall network performance goes, Fox took first in the season for the 18-49 demo, followed by CBS, NBC, and ABC. Oh and The CW was way, way, way behind them all.


Okay! Here are the 2011-2012 series rankings in the adults 18-49 demographic:

1. NBC NBC Sunday Night Football
2. Fox American Idol Performance Show
3. NBC The Voice
4. ABC Modern Family
5. Fox American Idol, Results Show
6. CBS The Big Bang Theory
7. CBS Two And A Half Men
8. Fox The X Factor, Performance Show
9. CBS 2 Broke Girls
10. ABC Grey’s Anatomy
11. NBC Football Night in America Pt. 3
12. Fox New Girl
13. Fox The X Factor, Results Show
14. NBC The Voice, Results Show
15. CBS How I Met Your Mother
16. ABC Once Upon A Time
17. CBS NCIS
18. CBS Survivor: South Pacific
19. Fox Family Guy
20. CBS Mike & Molly
21. CBS Criminal Minds
22. CBS Rob
23. Fox Glee
24. Fox Terra Nova
25. ABC Desperate Housewives
26. CBS Survivor: One World
27. CBS NCIS: Los Angeles
28. ABC Dancing With The Stars
29. NBC The Office
30. Fox Alcatraz
31. Fox House
32. CBS Person Of Interest
33. Fox The Simpsons
34. CBS The Amazing Race 19
35. CBS Rules Of Engagement
36. CBS Hawaii Five-0
37. CBS CSI
38. NBC Smash
39. CBS The Mentalist
40. ABC Dancing With the Stars Results Show
41. CBS The Amazing Race 20
42. ABC Happy Endings
43. ABC Private Practice
44. ABC The Bachelor
45. ABC Revenge
46. Fox Bones
47. ABC Castle
48. NBC Fear Factor
49. CBS How To Be A Gentleman
50. Fox Napoleon Dynamite
51. Fox Touch
52. Fox American Dad
53. ABC Don’t Trust The B---- in Apt. 23
54. ABC GCB
55. ABC Last Man Standing
56. NBC Parenthood
57. Fox Raising Hope
58. Fox The Cleveland Show, Sunday 8:30p
59. NBC The Biggest Loser 13
60. NBC The Biggest Loser 12
61. ABC Suburgatory
62. CBS CSI: Miami
63. ABC The Middle
64. CBS Unforgettable
65. CBS The Good Wife
66. ABC Scandal
67. ABC Pan Am
68. ABC The River
69. NBC Up All Night
70. NBC Celebrity Apprentice
71. ABC Celebrity Wife Swap
72. CBS 60 Minutes
73. NBC Law And Order:SVU
74. NBC Parks And Recreation
75. Fox The Finder
76. NBC Whitney
77. NBC Football Night in America Pt 2
78. Fox Mobbed
79. CBS Undercover Boss
80. Fox Allen Gregory
81. NBC Grimm
82. NBC 30 Rock
83. Fox I Hate My Teenage Daughter
84. ABC Saturday Night Football
85. ABC Man Up!
86. ABC Body Of Proof
87. Fox Bob’s Burgers
88. CBS Blue Bloods
89. Fox The Cleveland Show
90. ABC Work It
91. NBC Community
92. ABC Cougar Town
93. NBC Are You There Chelsea?
94. CBS CSI: NY
95. ABC Wipeout, Thursday
96. NBC The Playboy Club
97. NBC The Sing Off
98. ABC Missing
99. ABC Shark Tank
100. NBC Fashion Star
101. NBC Betty White's Off Their Rockers
102. NBC Prime Suspect
103. NBC Who’s Still Standing
104. NBC Awake
105. Fox Fringe
106. Fox Kitchen Nightmares
107. ABC Charlie’s Angels
108. Fox Breaking In
109. ABC 20/20, Friday
110. ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, 9pm
111. CBS NYC 22
112. ABC America's Funniest Home Videos
113. NBC Betty White's Off Their Rockers, 8:30pm
114. ABC Primetime:What Would You Do?
115. NBC Dateline, Friday
116. ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
117. Fox Cops
118. NBC Harry’s Law
119. CBS A Gifted Man
120. NBC Free Agents
121. NBC Chuck
122. CW The Vampire Diaries
123. CBS 48 Hours Mystery
124. Fox Cops
125. ABC You Deserve It
126. NBC Dateline, Sunday 7pm
127. NBC Bent, 9pm
128. ABC My Extreme Affliction
129. CW America’s Next Top Model
130. ABC Missing, Wednesday
131. NBC Who Do You Think You Are?
132. ABC 20/20, Friday
133. NBC Best Friends Forever
134. ABC ABC Sat Movie Of The Week
135. NBC The Firm
136. CW One Tree Hill
137. NBC Bent, 9:30pm
138. NBC Rock Center With Brian Williams
139. CW The Secret Circle
140. CW Supernatural
141. CBS Crimetime Saturday
142. NBC Law & Order: SVU, Saturday
143. NBC Law & Order: SVU, Wednesday 9pm
144. CW 90210
145. CW Gossip Girl, Monday
146. CW Ringer
147. CW Hart Of Dixie
148. CW America’s Next Top Model, British Invasion
149. CW Nikita
150. Fox Q’Viva
151. CW H8R
152. NBC The Firm, Saturday
153. CW Remodeled
154. NBC Escape Routes
155. CW LA Complex


Are you shocked/awed by the performance of any of the shows on this list? What conclusions would you draw from the final ratings?

  • Comments (109)
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  • joenamherst Jun 09, 2012

    I can't believe this list. There is no way in heck that the pathetic 30rock would be in the top 100. Why are you showing us half a list? How about total viewers, not the 18-49 demographic.

  • blueMnM415 Jun 01, 2012

    I think there is way too much TV in this world, and this is just a small sampling...

  • terminaltrip421 Jun 01, 2012

    i think those who download illegally are moast likely to fall into the 18-49 demographic. and you can find the stats online for most torrented shows in the same way you can movies i'd imagine. that of course doesn't include other forms of downloading. i guess it's possible that 10s of thousands is a drop in the bucket compared to actually ratings but i've seen them that high for a single torrented episode just after release.



  • ybo123 May 31, 2012

    I don't understand networks wanting this demographic. Most of the them have no money, the big money is in the hands of older people, say 35-55. Anyway, I LOVE Supernatural, in fact my favorite show on TV, but most of the CW line up is bad except for that show and it deserves to be in the basement.

  • mattgus May 31, 2012

    maybe the cw will finially get it...other than reality (which i can not comment on because i will not watch) pretty faces with little talent and mean boys and girls are maybe not as sellable as they thought. hard to believe. but a good thing. most of the reallt good showa are on cable...Justifies,Burn Notice,Closer,amer horror,suites,fallen skyies,dr who,killing mad men...need i say more!

  • BerthaRosales May 31, 2012

    140. CW Supernatural .... O.o my God!! Supernatural is so awesome, won PCAwards in a double great night, like 8 awardsor more during the present (over) season ... Supernatural is a great serie--!! deserves better.

  • lganthoney May 31, 2012

    It's quite obvious that most everyone's comments are in disagreement with the list. Really, there are some very good to excellent shows that have been beaten out by some very bad and overrated shows, like Modern Family for instance. In my opinion, it is not deserving of being the #1 comedy show on the air. The Big Bang Theory is one of many shows a million times funnier than Modern Family. And at the other end of the spectrum is: Grimm. An excellent show overall and only 81 on the list. And what is it with these so-called 'reality shows' or the 'search for talent' programs. Holy Moley and YIKES all rolled together you folks in charge of programming! Let's get our heads out of you know where.

  • cofal0209 May 31, 2012

    Practically every night my TV is tuned to the CW. I don't understand America's fascination with reality TV and 1/2 hour comedies that rely on toilet humor and sexual innuendos for entertainment. Plus Smash, Revenge, Person of Interest, The Good Wife, Once Upon a Time, Fringe--these are great shows that need an audience. Come on 18-49 year olds, get an IQ.

  • KnoX Jun 01, 2012

    absolutely agree!!!

    i'm still surprised about TVD being that low in the overall rankings...

  • drwoowoocl May 31, 2012

    I think this list, with 4 reality shows in the Top 10, 6 in the Top 25, is evidence that network TV viewers are indeed, morons! And I havent even gotten to the presence of 2 and a half men and 2 Broke Girls!

  • Frenz9 May 30, 2012

    Quite suprised by this list, thought the vampire diaries would of been alot higher than it was.



    Including reality tv (American idol / X factor etc) is debatable as they force it down our throats at tea time..

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