TV Ratings Thursday: 'Idol' Finale Drops Substantially From Last Year (Updated), 'Office' Series Finale Rises (Also Updated) & 'Scandal' Matches High

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May 17th, 2013


Adults 18-49: Rating/Share 3.4/11 2.6/8 2.4/7 2.2/6 1.4/3 0.8/2
Adults 18-34: Rating/Share 2.5/9 1.6/5 2.0/10 2.2/8 1.3/4 0.7/2
Total Viewers (million) 13.608 10.353 7.194 4.436 3.558 1.767

FOX was number 1 in adults 18-49 and with Total Viewers.

On FOX the finale of American Idol earned a 3.4 from 8-10PM,  Update: We just got time zone adjusted fast national ratings from FOX (which are usually the same as final numbers), and American Idol earned a 3.6 adults 18-49 rating from 8-10:08, which is still a huge dive (44%)  from last year's  6.4  Adults 18-49 rating

In total viewers, this marks the first year that American Idol's finale did not hit the 20 million mark. For those interested, in the half hour that the American Idol finale went up against The Big Bang Theory, it only earned a 2.8 adults 18-49 rating.

On CBS, The Big Bang Theory scored a 4.4, down half a ratings point from last week's 4.9, but even with last year's 4.4 adults 18-49 finale rating. The two hour finale of Elementary earned a 2.0, up a tenth from last week's series low 1.9.

On ABC  Wipeout  earned a series low 1.0, down three tenths from last week's 1.3 adults 18-49 rating. Grey’s Anatomy earned a 3.0, down a tenth from last week's 3.1 adults 18-49 rating. Scandal matched last week's series high 3.2 adults 18-49 rating.

On NBC, The Office Retrospective earned a 2.0 from 8-9 PM.The Office finale earned a 3.0 adults 18-49 rating from 9-10:15 PM, which is up from last week's 2.3 and a 16-month high.  Hannibal earned a 1.0, down a tenth from last week's 1.1 adults 18-49 rating.

On The CW, The Vampire Diaries matched  last week’s 1.0 Adults 18-49 rating. Beauty and the Beast also matched last week's 0.5 adults 18-49 rating.



Overnight ratings for Thursday, May 16, 2013:

Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
8:00PM CBS The Big Bang Theory - Season Finale 4.4 16 14.78
FOX American Idol  (8-10PM) -Season Finale 3.6 11 14.30
NBC The Office Retrospective 2.0 7 4.37
ABC Wipeout 1.0 3 3.82
CW The Vampire Diaries -Season Finale 1.0 3 2.20
8:30PM CBS The Big Bang Theory -R 3.2 10 11.64
9:00PM ABC Grey's Anatomy - Season Finale 3.0 8 8.63
NBC The Office - Series Finale (9-10:15) 3.0 5.70
CBS Elementary (9-11) -Season Finale 2.0 6 8.93
CW Beauty and the Beast -Season Finale 0.5 1 1.34
10:00 PM ABC Scandal - Season Finale 3.2 9 9.134
NBC Hannibal (10:15-11PM) 1.0 2.40


In Late-Night Metered Markets Thursday night:
  • In Nielsen's 56 metered markets, household results were: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," 2.3/6; CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman," 2.3/6; and ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 2.2/6.
  • In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, adult 18-49 Wednesday results were: “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” 0.9/4; "Late Show," 0.4/2; and "Jimmy Kimmel Live," 1.0/5.
  • From 12:35-1:05 a.m. ET Wednesday night, ABC's "Nightline" averaged a 1.3/4 in metered-market households and a 0.6/3 in 18-49 in the Local People Meters.
  • From 12:35-1:35 a.m. ET, "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (1.2/4 in metered-market households) tied CBS's "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" (1.2/4).  In the 25 markets with Local People Meters, "Late Night" (0.5/3 in 18-49) topped "Late Late Show" (0.3/2).
  • At 1:35 a.m., "Last Call with Carson Daly" averaged a 0.8/3 in metered-market households and a 0.4/3 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters.

via press note:
NOTE: All ratings are "live plus same day" from Nielsen Media Research unless otherwise indicated.

Nielsen TV Ratings: ©2013 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.
You can see TV ratings from other recent Overnight ratings reports here.


Fast Affiliate Ratings: These first national ratings, including demographics, are available at approximately 11 AM (ET) the day after telecast, and are released to subscribing customers daily. These data, from the National People Meter sample, are strictly time-period information, based on the normal broadcast network feed, and include all programming on the affiliated stations, sometimes including network programming, sometimes not. The figures may include stations that did not air the entire network feed, as well as local news breaks or cutaways for local coverage or other programming. Fast Affiliate ratings are not as useful for live programs and are likely to differ significantly from the final results, because the data reflect normal broadcast feed patterns. For example, with a World Series game, Fast Affiliate Ratings would include whatever aired from 8-11PM on affiliates in the Pacific Time Zone, following the live baseball game, but not game coverage that begins at 5PM PT. The same would be true of Presidential debates as well as live award shows and breaking news reports.

Rating: Estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.

Share (of Audience): The percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. (See also, Rating, which represents tuning or viewing as a percent of the entire population being measured.)

Time Shifted Viewing – Program ratings for national sources are produced in three streams of data – Live, Live+Same Day (Live+SD) and Live+7 Day. Time shifted figures account for incremental viewing that takes place with DVRs. Live+Same Day (Live+SD) include viewing during the same broadcast day as the original telecast, with a cut-off of 3:00AM local time when meters transmit daily viewing to Nielsen for processing. Live+7 Day ratings include incremental viewing that takes place during the 7 days following a telecast.

For more information see Numbers 101.

  • Ivan

    Of course Hannibal will drop. People who watch The Office (or similar crap) usually don’t watch horror/psycho thrillers like Hannibal.

    The show is just too good for NBC. It should be on FX or Showtime, where there’s no stupid censorship and great shows like Dexter can go on for as long as the writers want.

    Well, we’ll see where the second season of Hannibal is gonna be, on NBC or cable. But there is gonna be a second season, pretty sure.

  • Mick271

    Hannibal belongs on AMC. They should pick it up— let’s hope

  • Wright

    Still seeing all the Hannibal hate. I just don’t understand. It’s such a great show. I love Hugh Dancy.

  • Chuck_T

    Posted May 17, 2013 at 11:24 AM
    But how could they renew Beauty and the Beast with a mediocre 0.5 / 1 viewers 1,34?

    It’s CW–nothing does very well on that network–compared to other networks.

  • KarenM

    @Mick271, I’m addicted to these characters now! I hate NBC. It’s the only show I’ve ever watched on their network that I can remember anyway.

  • ViolaDeWynter

    LOL @ Hannibal. Just cancel it already. Its fans should watch The Following instead and see what INTENSE actually means!

  • StevenD

    The Office finale last night was great. Really hope it pulls ahead of Greys

  • Brian

    Scandal has no competition…no wonder it has good ratings!

  • gerry

    awesome for the office finale! 3.0! again, nbc won’t see numbers like this on a thursday for a loooooong time.

    bye hannibal.

  • Contrast


    You must be on the wind-up. The Following is murder porn, a grade D gore fest. The writing is just lazy and silly. Hannibal is a work of art.

  • Ivan

    The Following is like a serial killer parody. I’ll write a better script. Hannibal is an INTELLIGENT show. Plays with your mind.

  • gii

    lmao at idiots saying that elementary will be canceled or will be in trouble. Are you the sam who said it would be shipped to fridays? Well look how that worked for ya… lol

    CBS loves the show and kept it where it is, plus they know their shows fall in the spring but rise when they’fe back in the next season.

  • John Doe

    that picture kinda spoils who won doesn’t it?

  • KarenM

    ViolaDeWynter, The Following should thank its lucky stars for Kevin Bacon and for the much more talented James Purefoy.

  • KarenM

    @gii, I think the verdict’s still out on Elementary.

  • Carl

    I tend to agree with those who say that Hannibal just isn’t going to benefit from a lot of the shows it follows. The Office, The Voice – not exactly big similarities in audience.

    I stopped watching American Idol before it was cool.

    Wish Elementary had done better but considering the competition that’s not bad at all.

  • Kavyn

    Wow, Hannibal has worse retention than *insert CW show after TVD here*

    Hopefully another channel picks it up. I want to watch it but I only plan on doing so if the show gets another season (or moves to another channel).

  • The End


    Personally I think Elementary will get at least enough episodes for syndication. And will be around for a few years, very unlikely it will end next season. Anyone who says otherwise is speaking out of their rear end.

    @I think the verdict’s still out on Elementary.

    No it’s not. The network has shown preferential treatment to this show.

  • gerry

    @ ivan

    Of course Hannibal will drop. People who watch The Office (or similar crap) usually don’t watch horror/psycho thrillers like Hannibal.

    i think that’s a pretty stupid blanket statement to make. yeah, i watch the office. and i watch american horror story. and game of thrones. and homeland. and big bang. and mad men. shall i go on?

    hannibal ended up on the wrong network. that’s the problem. but its getting canned. sorry dude.

  • gerry

    elementary is cbs’ only renewed drama pilot this year. and they only have two new (drama) pilots for the coming year. barring a ratings plunge in s2, i think the show is pretty much a lock to make it to syndication.

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