The Office Nielsen Ratings, Seasons 1-4

Season 1

Mar 25, 2005 press release (“Pilot”)

In last night’s preview telecast, “The Office” from 9:30-10 p.m. ET scored a 5.0 rating, 13 share in adults 18-49 and attracted 11.2 million total viewers from 9:30-9:59 p.m. ET. “The Office” ranked #1 in the key demographic of adults 18-49, as well as among adults 18-34 and adults 25-54, outperforming all five network competitors in the time period, including CBS’ coverage of NCAA basketball and Fox’s debuting comedy “Life on a Stick.”

Apr 5, 2005 press release (“Diversity Day”)

At 9:30 p.m. ET, the regular night-and-time-period premiere of “The Office” (2.7/6 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) retained a solid 90 percent of its 18-49 lead-in from “Scrubs.” That 90 percent retention rate tops the results of all eight telecasts of regular programming in this post-“Scrubs” time period this season. “The Office” delivered NBC’s highest 18-49 rating in the time period since Feb. 1.

Apr 12, 2005 press release (“Health Care”)

At 9:30 p.m. ET, “The Office” (2.9/7 in 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall) retained 100 percent of its 18-49 lead-in from “Scrubs,” marking the first time in nine telecasts this season with regular programming that NBC retained the full lead-in in this post-“Scrubs” time period. The previous best retention came the previous week, when “The Office” held onto 90 percent of the “Scrubs” lead-in. “The Office” was up 7 percent in adults 18-49 versus the previous Tuesday’s night-and-time-period premiere, to generate NBC’s highest rating in this slot in nine weeks (since Feb. 1).

Apr 19, 2005 press release (“The Alliance”)

At 9:30 p.m. ET, “The Office” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall) retained a full 100 percent of its 18-49 lead-in from “Scrubs” for the second week in a row. So far, “The Office” has delivered the best three retentions among the 10 telecasts this season for regular programming in this post-“Scrubs” time period. Through three weeks, “The Office” is averaging a 96 percent retention rate in 18-49, up from the 83 percent NBC has averaged this season with regular programming following “Scrubs” in this time period.

Apr 26, 2005 press release (“Basketball”)

At 9:30 p.m. ET, “The Office” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) retained 92 percent of its “Scrubs” lead-in in 18-49. Through four telecasts, “The Office” is averaging a 96 percent retention rate in 18-49, up from the 83 percent NBC has averaged this season with regular programming following “Scrubs” in this time period.

May 3, 2005 press release (“Hot Girl”)

At 9:30 p.m. ET, “The Office” averaged a 2.3/5 in 18-49 and 4.8 million viewers overall. Through its five weeks in this time period, “The Office” has averaged a 93 percent retention rate in 18-49, up from the 83 percent NBC has averaged this season with regular programming following “Scrubs” in this time period.

May 24, 2005 press release (the 2004-2005 season)

Freshman comedy “The Office” was television’s most upscale comedy of the 2004-05 season, delivering the highest concentration of 18-49 viewers in upscale homes by several key measures, including adults 18-49 living in homes with incomes of $75,000+. “The Office” retained 93 percent of its lead-in from “Scrubs” in its Tuesday time period in which NBC this season previously averaged 84 percent retention with regular programs.

Aug 23, 2005 press release (“Pilot,” “Diversity Day,” “Health Care,” and “Hot Girl”)

NBC telecast four back-to-back encore episodes of “The Office” from 8-10 p.m. ET. The two-hour block ranked #2 among men 18-34 and men 18-49. From 8-8:30 p.m. ET, “The Office” delivered a 1.4/5 in 18-49 and 3.4 million viewers overall. From 8:30-9 p.m. ET, “The Office” averaged a 1.3/4 in 18-49 and 2.9 million viewers overall. At 9 p.m. ET, “The Office” delivered a 1.3/4 in 18-49 and 3.2 million viewers overall. And from 9:30-10 p.m. ET, “The Office” averaged a 1.4/4 in 18-49 and 3.3 million viewers overall.

131 comments

  1. I have one of those Neilson boxes at my house i represent many of those viewers and of course i watch the office every thursday!!!yay!

  2. I thought Neilson people had to keep quiet about having a box, oh no! We might lose a viewer! Don’t tell them where you live!!

  3. Why is Nielsen just now including on-campus college students? Silly Nielsen. What else is there to do in college?

  4. “The Office” won this highly competitive time period among adults and men 18-34.”
    Does this mean that men between 18-34 aren’t considered adults?

  5. Great to see the show doing so well.

    But they really need to come up with a new system.

    This system is outdated.

  6. I’m really happy that the show is doing so well. :)

    I’m looking forward to many seasons to come! *fingers crossed*

  7. As a young, 21, college viewer, I can say, there are quite of few of us at my school who are flat out obsessed with The Office, so rock on to that.

  8. Yes, Angelica, I think it means that “men 18 – 34” are not adults. Grammatically at least. If I were a man I might be insulted.

  9. Should be interesting to see if viewership goes down this week, what with American Idol airing their hour-long results show at 8/7c.

  10. Claudia, we’re a Nielson family as well. I like to think that I had something to do with the increases.

  11. Angelica, that line means that the office won the 18-34 adults group (which is all viewers overall), and the 18-34 men subgroup, but not the 18-34 women subgroup.

  12. what i’d REALLY be interested to know is the Nielson Ratings for the Office compared to that of My Name Is Earl.. because umm… EVERYONE that i know who watches the office? hates my name is earl.
    i hope its outrating Earl. i’d love it.

  13. Jay C, “My Name Is Ernie” (see Paul/Toby’s myspace page) almost always gets more overall viewers, but with maybe one or two exceptions, since the two shows have been paired up, The Office has always outperformed Ernie in the coveted 18-49 demo. And there was much rejoicing! (I don’t like Earl either. It only made me laugh twice)

  14. Weak Arms wrote:

    Should be interesting to see if viewership goes down this week, what with American Idol airing their hour-long results show at 8/7c.

    My guess is that the other 8/7c network shows (i.e. Ugly Betty & Survivor) share a lot more viewers with American Idol than The Office, so with Thursday Idol those shows’ ratings will go down a bunch, while The Office’s ratings won’t be affected as much. I just checked the listings for tonight and ABC pulled Ugly Betty and is instead airing a repeat of last week’s Grey’s Anatomy, presumably to avoid the Idol crush.

  15. What’s really scary is that since I turn 34 this year, I only have a short amount of time until my opinion no longer matters.

    *sigh*

  16. “EVERYONE that i know who watches the office? hates my name is earl.”

    hey now — I like Earl. It does make me laugh . . . but I have to admit that sitting through it while waiting for The Office to come on is torture sometimes. LOL.

  17. I’m one of the biggest Office fans you’ll find, and I don’t hate My Name is Earl, in fact I really like it. And I have a lot of friends who it as well… along with my family.

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