Ratings Archive

     Welcome to my archive of Nielsen Ratings! This has been a project of mine since June of 2015, and my goal is archive all of ratings for every episode of every broadcast series and as many cable series as possible from 1981-2019. April 1981 was the first time that full-week broadcast ratings were published, and 2019 is a completely arbitrary end-date, but having this 38-year constraint makes this project feel possible. January 20, 2019 is the upper-bound for this archive, but beginning in late-May 2020 I decided to also resume posting current weekly ratings data. 

    I originally was never going to post the ratings for fall 1989 through 1997 because they were already posted over at the TV Aholics blog; however, as of mid-2020, the blog has ceased to be updated and the links to the USA Today Archives from February 4, 1991 through 1997 are all dead. Fortunately I did have copies of them all and I have added them all here. 

     There are 2 parts of this archive, the first of which is an archive of individual program ratings, and the second of which is an archive of the weekly ratings organized by TV season. As of right now, the first archive is only being used to archive cable programs, though my current plan is to add ratings for individual broadcast programs at some point in the future. For now, either www.spottedratings.com or Wikipedia are the best resources for episode-by-episode ratings for broadcast programs. My second archive does include both broadcast and cable ratings. 

Data TypeFirst  Available
(week ending)
Full week broadcast ratings 
by Household rating
April 19, 1981
Full week broadcast ratings 
with viewership (P2+) to 1-decimal place (from Nielsen!)
July 31, 1988
Cable ratings by Household rating & number of homesFebruary 22, 1993
Full week broadcast ratings 
with viewership (P2+) to 2-decimal places
January 5, 1997
Top cable ratings by total 
viewers (P2+) instead of homes
March 22, 1998
Full week broadcast ratings
with all 18-49 ratings
September 26, 1999
Broadcast & cable DVR ratings by viewership (P2+)August 26, 2007

Projects in-progress:
  • Broadcast ratings for the 1988-89 TV season
  • Broadcast & cable ratings for the 2004-05 TV season
  • Update the daily ratings posts from July 17 - November 25, 2015 to add broadcast ratings and 18-49 ratings for cable shows (July 17 - August 30 and September 21 - November 25, 2015 completed)
  • Broadcast & cable ratings for the 2015-16 TV season (broadcast completed, DVR completed for summer 2016; and cable completed through w/e May 22, 2016)
  • Broadcast, cable, & DVR ratings for the 2017-18 TV season (broadcast & DVR completed; cable in progress through w/e July 29, 2018)
  • Updating the Ratings Recaps to include data from 2019 and 2020

Upcoming projects (not in any order):
  • Broadcast & cable ratings for the 1999-00 TV season (on hold; planned to commence in Fall 2021)
  • Broadcast & cable ratings for the 2005-06 TV season (to commence when 2004-05 season is completed)
  • Broadcast, cable, & DVR for the 2009-10 TV season (to commence when 1988-89 season is completed)
  • Broadcast, cable, & DVR for the 2016-17 TV season (broadcast & DVR formatting in progress)

Recently completed projects:
  • Broadcast ratings for the summer 1981 TV season (completed: 7/6/20)
  • Broadcast ratings for the 1981-82 TV season (completed: 1/14/21)
  • Broadcast ratings for the 1991-92 TV season (completed: 1/15/21)
  • Broadcast & cable ratings for the 2006-07 TV season (completed: 1/16/21)
  • Broadcast & cable ratings for the 1992-93 TV season (completed: 1/17/21)
  • Broadcast & cable ratings for the 1993-94 TV season (completed: 1/19/21)
  • Broadcast & cable ratings for the 1994-95 TV season (completed: 1/21/21)
  • Broadcast & cable ratings for the 1995-96 TV season (completed: 1/24/21)
  • Broadcast ratings for the 1982-83 TV season (completed: 2/4/21)
  • Broadcast ratings for the 1983-84 TV season (completed: 2/7/21)
  • Broadcast & cable ratings for the 2003-04 TV season (completed: 3/1/21)
  • Broadcast ratings for the 1984-85 TV season (completed: 3/22/21)
  • Broadcast ratings for the 1985-86 TV season (completed: 5/1/21)
  • Broadcast ratings for the 1986-87 TV season (completed: 5/4/21)
  • Broadcast ratings for the 1996-97 TV season (completed: 5/6/21)
  • Broadcast, cable, & DVR for the 2007-08 TV season (completed: 5/11/21)
  • Broadcast ratings for the 1997-98 TV season (completed: 5/23/21)
  • Broadcast, cable, & DVR for the 2008-09 TV season (completed: 5/31/21)
  • Broadcast & cable ratings for the 1998-99 TV season (completed: 6/30/21)
  • Broadcast ratings for the 1987-88 TV season (completed: 7/24/21)

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