TV Ratings: Small ‘Glee’ bump can’t lift FOX past CBS, ‘NCIS’ on Tuesday

Fast National ratings for Tuesday, February 21, 2012.
“Glee” got a small bump for its heavily promoted winter finale on Tuesday night, but with “New Girl” taking a small drop, FOX was unable to capitalize on a night of small dips from CBS’ powerhouse dramas, which won primetime as usual. 
The repetition of “small” was not incidental, since almost all of Tuesday’s ratings movement feels more like Nielsen hiccups than any actual ratings movement.
Among adults 18-49, CBS averaged a 2.9 rating, edging out FOX’s 2.8 rating in the key demographic. NBC was third with a 2.1 rating, with ABC’s 1.7 rating coming in fourth. The CW averaged a 0.5 rating for Tuesday night.
Overall, though, CBS had much more cushion, averaging 15.33 million viewers and a 9.7 rating/15 share, far ahead of the 3.9/6 and 6.47 million viewers for FOX. NBC’s 3.8/6 and 6.08 million viewers and ABC’s 5.76 million viewers and 3.7/6 followed closely. The CW averaged 1.24 million viewers and a 0.8/1.
[Univision averaged 3.575 million viewers and a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 for Tuesday night.]
8 p.m. – “NCIS” started primetime in first for CBS with 19.55 million viewers and a 3.8 key demo rating. FOX’s “Glee” was second with nearly 7.4 million viewers and a 2.9 key demo rating. NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” was up with 6.37 million viewers and a 2.2 key demo rating. On ABC, “Last Man Standing” (7.455 million and a 2.2 key demo) was steady from last week and “Cougar Town” (4.45 million and a 1.7 key demo) was down only a hair from its premiere. The CW’s repeat of “Hart of Dixie” averaged 1.06 million viewers and a 0.4 key demo rating, which sounds inexplicably high after last week’s repeat averaged only 749,000.
9 p.m. – “NCIS: Los Angeles” kept CBS in the lead for the 9 p.m. hour with 15.89 million viewers and a 2.9 rating among adults 18-49, weirdly low for the procedural favorite in the key demo. NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” gained some of those missing “NCIS” viewers with 6.95 million viewers for second and a 2.4 key demo rating for third. FOX was second in the key demo and third overall with “New Girl” (6.245 million and a 3.0 key demo, both down) and “Raising Hope” (up with 4.85 million viewers and a 2.2 key demo). ABC’s “The River” was flat with 4.78 million viewers and a 1.7 key demo rating. For some reason, after weeks of steady drops, The CW’s “Ringer” leapt to a weirdly high 1.41 million viewers and a 0.5 key demo rating. [If somebody knows about sporting event preemptions for The CW, feel free to let me know.]
10 p.m. – CBS’ “Unforgettable” took a sizable drop to 10.56 million viewers and only a 1.9 key demo rating, but still won the hour. ABC’s “Body of Proof” was up with 6.54 million viewers and a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49. NBC’s “Parenthood” was also up with 4.91 million viewers and a 1.7 key demo rating.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.