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 the ratings for every first-run episode of every primetime broadcast series and as many cable series as possible between April 1981 and 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. I initially decided to stop posting current ratings data in January 2019, but in May 2020 I chose to start posting it again. Perhaps one day I may go back and fill that gap, but it is not a major priority for me.

    Over time I will also work to try and build an archive of weekly Nielsen ratings back to the 1970s and 1960s (and potentially the 1950s). Data from prior to 1981 is not as easy to track down and most importantly, full weekly Nielsen data is very rarely available. Most of the data available is only for the top 10-20 shows, but if I can find enough available weeks of that then I will post them.

    Additionally, I originally was never planning 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 those scans and I have added them all here. 

     There are currently 4 parts of this archive:
  1. The first is an archive of individual program ratings. As of right now this archive is only being used to archive cable programs, though my plan is to add ratings for individual broadcast programs at some point in the future. For now, either www.spottedratings.com, TVSeriesFinale, or Wikipedia are the best resources for episode-by-episode ratings for broadcast programs.
  2. The second is an archive of the weekly ratings organized by TV season. This archive is organized in two different ways.
    • Some seasons have the full weekly ratings in a single post (1980-81 through 1986-87 and 1989-90 through 1997-98).
    • Other seasons have the ratings provided in a weekly format with a post for each individual week and typed-out charts (1987-88, 1988-89, and 1998-99 through present). 
    • I will include actual newspaper/magazine scans in all of the posts for TV seasons prior to 2006-07 (with the exception of the 1987-88 & 1988-89 seasons as I do not possess the scans of those). These scans will include:
      •  Full household (HH) ratings from 1981 through the end of the 1999-00 season (at which point all HH data was acquired from TVTango.com).
      • Full viewership data from the beginning of the 1989-90 season through the end of the 2005-06 season (from either USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, or ABC Medianet Press Releases).
      • Full weekly 18-49 data from the beginning of the 1999-00 season through the end of the 2005-06 season (from either The Hollywood Reporter or Variety).
    • For the seasons with full weekly ratings in a single post, the newspaper/magazine scans will be embedded into those posts. For seasons with weekly posts, there will be a link at the bottom of each to the newspaper/magazine scans for that specific week. Beginning with the 2006-07 season, I used solely internet sources to create these charts, so there are no source data scans available.
  3. The third is an archive created in December 2021 and features an index of all of the streaming (SVOD) ratings available on this site. One can either view all the available data for any specific week or can view all of the available data for any specific show.
  4. The fourth is an archive of all of the Evening News ratings (ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News) back to 2000. This is also constantly being updated and not currently complete.
Below are two charts which lay out the availability of specific ratings information on this blog:

BROADCAST RATINGS
Data TypeAvailability
Full week broadcast ratings by
Household rating
April 13, 1981 -
*January 20, 2019
Full week broadcast ratings
with viewership (P2+) to 1-decimal
place (from Nielsen)
July 25, 1988 -
December 29, 1996
Full week broadcast ratings with
viewership (P2+) to 2 or 3-decimal places
December 30, 1996 -
present
Full week broadcast ratings with
all 18-49 ratings
September 20, 1999 -
present
DVR ratingsAugust 26, 2007 -
present
*I stopped posting HH ratings in January 2019, but the data is still available through present-day at Programming Insider

CABLE RATINGS
Data TypeAvailability
Top weekly basic cable ratings by Household rating & number of homesFebruary 22, 1993 -
September 21, 2003
Top weekly basic cable ratings by total viewers (P2+)March 16, 1998 - 
present
Top weekly premium cable (HBO) ratings by Household rating & number of homesJuly 18, 1994 -
June 14, 1998
May 8, 2000 -
September 21, 2003
Top weekly premium cable ratings by total viewers (P2+)*December 25, 2000 -
present
*some premium cable viewership figures (P2+) were available sporadically beginning March 16, 1998, but were not regularly available until December 2000

Projects in-progress:
  • Broadcast & cable ratings for the 2000-01 TV season
  • Broadcast & cable ratings for the 2001-02 TV season
  • Broadcast, cable, & DVR for the 2014-15 TV season (summer 2015 completed; broadcast & DVR formatting in-progress. Will be backdated.)
  • Broadcast & cable ratings for the 2015-16 TV season (broadcast completed, cable in progress. Will be backdated.)
  • Evening News Ratings for 2000-2021 (2000-2002, 2006-2010, 2020, 2021 completed)

Upcoming projects (not in any order):
  • Broadcast & cable ratings for the 2002-03 TV season (upon completion of 2001-02 season)
  • Broadcast, cable, & DVR for the 2010-11 TV season (upon completion of 2000-01 season)
  • Weekly broadcast ratings posts for summer 2020
  • Late night talk show ratings for 2007-2021
  • Broadcast, cable, & DVR for the 2016-17 TV season (broadcast completed, DVR completed, cable coming soon. Will be backdated.)

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)
  • Broadcast, cable, & DVR ratings for the 2017-18 TV season (completed: 8/23/21 & backdated)
  • Broadcast & cable ratings for the 2004-05 TV season (completed: 8/30/21)
  • Broadcast ratings for the 1988-89 TV season (completed: 9/23/21)
  • Add source data links for the 1998-99 TV season (completed: 10/21/21)
  • Updating the 343 Ratings Recaps to new formatting (completed: 12/12/21)
  • Broadcast ratings for the 1980-81 TV season (completed: 12/25/21)
  • Add broadcast HH ratings and source data links to the 2003-04 season posts (completed: 12/29/21)
  • Broadcast ratings for the 1979-80 TV season (completed: 1/3/22)
  • Broadcast ratings for the 1978-79 TV season (completed: 1/12/22)
  • Broadcast & cable ratings for the 2005-06 TV season (completed: 1/28/22)
  • Broadcast & cable ratings for the 1999-00 TV season (completed: 2/24/22)
  • Broadcast, cable, & DVR for the 2009-10 TV season (completed: 3/5/22)
  • Broadcast ratings for the 1972-73 TV season (completed: 4/15/22)
  • Broadcast ratings for the 1977-78 TV season (completed: 4/16/22)

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