Ratings: What the Numbers Mean!

There is a lot of talk about ratings and numbers going on with Supergirl today. When it comes down to how the show is performing, in the eyes of the executives, its all about the numbers. has reviewed tons of articles and reports on the numbers and we've sorted it all out for you. Here's what you need to know:

Ratings Key: Understanding the Lingo:

Term: Example: Description:
Household Audience Rating: "Channel 5 News at 5pm has a 15 Household Audience Rating" This means that 15% of an area (city, state or country) are watching this show. This also mean 85% are not. This is a house measurement so if the TV is on, it could be watched by one or ten people, the measurement doesn't take this into account.
The Share "Channel 5 News at 5pm has a 30 Share" This means that of the households that are watching TV at 5pm, 30% of those households are watching the Channel 5 News. Share is always higher than rating because share never includes households not watching TV.
Ratings/Share "Channel 5 News at 5pm got a 3/7" This is the most common way ratings are shared. What this means is that of all households in the country that have TV's 3% of them were watching the Channel 5 News at 5pm, Also, of everyone watching TV 7% were watching the Channel 5 News at 5pm.
Demographics "Channel 5 News at 5pm got a 2.1/6 in 18-49 adults Now we are getting closer to what we commonly see reported. This means that Channel 5 News at 5pm had 2.1% of viewers that have TVs in the country and 6% of the people that were watching tv at 5pm all of which were adults between 18-49 years old.
Live + Same day "Channel 5 News at 5pm's ratings Live + Same day..." Live + Same day looks at all the users who watched the show live as well as watched the show the same day like on a DVR. A great example is how people might watch Supergirl live but then watch Gotham after on DVR.
Live + 3 "Channel 5 News at 5pm's ratings Live + 3..." Live + 3 ratings are all the people who watched the show live and who watched the show digitally, DVR or other trackable means over a 3 day period where the first day includes the live show. If you have an iTunes season pass, you get the show the day after the live show, this generally is how you watch.
Live + 7 "Channel 5 News at 5pm's ratings Live + 7..." Same as the previous but this includes a 7 day period. Basically a week from when the live broadcast happens. Anything beyond Live +7 is generally not commercially viable meaning advertisement revenue is negligible.
1% = 1,156,000 People "How many viewers did Channel 5 News at 5pm Get with a 3.3 Rating Simple math here 3.3 X 1,156,000 = 3,468,000 People
18 - 49 adults This is the golden demographic While many other demographics are important, this is the catch all. It is usually assumed that adults in this age range are the most susceptible to advertisements on TV.

Supergirl Episode 1 Premiere:

Supergirl's premiere episode knocked it out of the park in the live ratings as we know. It had the Big Bang lead in which seemed to help a ton. Well is now reporting on the Live + 7 ratings for that episode.

With seven days of delayed viewing, the premiere of the CBS superhero drama went up to a 4.4 in 18-49 [adults] to rank as the No.1 drama series for the week.

The way to read this is, "Of the adults watching TV between the ages of 18 and 49, 5,086,400 people watched the premiere with in a week of its broadcast."

Supegirl Episode 2 Stronger Together:

As we previously reported, Supergirl's Live + 3 ratings for the second episode are now at a 3.0 in 18-49 [adults]. So keeping in mind they aren't the Live + 7 numbers, they way to read this is, "Of the adults watching TV between the ages of 18 and 49, 3,468,000 people watched 'Stronger Together within 72 hours of the broadcast."

Supegirl Episode 3 Fight or Flight:

As for last week, Supergirl hits a 2.5 in Live + 3 in the 18 - 49 demographic. This means that "Of the adults watching TV between the ages of 18 and 49, 2,890,000 people watched Fight or Flight within 72 hours of broadcast." Do note, when you remove the golden demographic, total ratings were at a 10.1 or 10,100,000 viewers.

Supergirl Episode 4 Livewire:

Last night Supergirl saw an uptick in the golden demographic suggesting that Supergirl has found its usual audience! This is still going directly against Monday Night Football and Gotham. Supergirl scored a 1.8 in 18-49 adults (live + sameday) last night. This is 0.1 better than last week's live + same day ratings. So of the golden demographic, 2,080,800 watched Supergirl last night. Folks, that's not bad!

We hope this clears up any and all ratings questions. It certainly was an education for us but now we feel confident in our ability to read and gauge these numbers. We hope you are too. If you have questions or comments hit up the comments section below. We also have the best Supergirl forum online in the world!

Eric Johnston
Author: Eric JohnstonWebsite: https://supergirl.tvEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Executive Editor/Owner
About the Author
Eric is the primary author for He has been covering the Supergirl show since 2014, but been a fan for decades. "Hope, Help, and Compassion for All, El May Arah!"

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