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.

  • The End


    Elementary is CBS’s long term investment, no more, no less. Make of that what you will but none the less, there’s more chance of the Sun going Supernova than there is of this show ending next season.

    A couple of low rated episodes does not equal a show in trouble, virtually everything on CBS is dropping at this time of the year. I’m sure Season 2 will premiere back to over 10 million viewers as it was averaging prior.

  • Andrew Dias

    @Michael Z

    Mariah’s performance wasn’t lipped. Or rather, ENTIRELY lipped.

  • gerry

    @ the end

    i agree. when cbs picks up a show for a season two, their aim is to get it to syndication. that’s how the cbs machine rolls. and i think the chance of elementary bombing next year is slim to none, at best. it will be around for at least 4 years (or however many episodes it’s buyer wants).

  • Jelly86


    Hannibal should be cancelled. It is currently the worst show on television (in my opinion). NBC should just burn off the remaing episodes.

    Next season NBC will run third for the night. Parks will do no better than what’s it doing now; Welcome to the Family will flop and The Michael J. Fox Show will flop big-time. Parenthood (will be its’ last season and will come in third at 10:00 pm. I’m still not sure about Sean Saves The World. I will watch a few episodes but from what I see from the trailer it doesn’t look so good. Sean Hayes is a good performer but I think the show will be weak.

    ABC: Once Upon A Time In Storyland will not make it expecially since Once on Sunday is already falling fast. Grey’s and Scandal will come back big with their season premiers but as always Grey’s will fall as the weeks go by but Scandal will be the leader at 10:00 pm in demo.

    FOX: X Factor will do okay but not great. I can see this show running for two more seasons. Glee will be down and should have been renewed for one season only.

    CBS: Will win Thursday night big with The Big Bang Theory, The Millers (looks like a winner), and Two And A Half Men. Elementary will get a boost from men and win its’ timelsot with viewers and come in second in demos. I have my doubts about Crazy Ones – I wasn’t crazy at all about the trailer and I am not a big Robin Williams fan. I will watch a few episodes and hope the series turns out to be funny. If not, at 9:00 pm I will walk my dog.

  • JJ

    Two hour long of Flopementary.

  • KarenM

    @Jelly86, the worst show on television?! Yeah, because shows Splash and Celebrity Apprentice are so much better. Oh, please…

  • Katherine

    Stop with the damn “flop” comments. The show has already been renewed for a second season. It’s not a flop and I assume anyone who uses the term integrated into a show name is got a sub 50 IQ.

  • Melanie P.

    I enjoyed last night’s finales of Grey’s and Scandal! Can’t wait for next season. :)

  • Josh

    To the person who said Hannibal is the “worst show on television”: Your taste in things is complete garbage. Hannibal might be the best show on NBC right now.

  • Carl

    @KarenM, I don’t think Elementary’s ratings have a lot to do with Sherlock. They are very different in tone and there are a million Sherlock Holmes adaptations around.

    I think the problem is mostly the network it airs on, as CBS is procedural-heavy and it isn’t quite a procedural. The show has also had some kinks to work out. And CBS is having a slump on all their dramas (bar NCIS) in general.

  • rob60990

    Just getting home from work so at this point I won’t say much other than ABC, FOX & NBC were really trying to kill each other last night. Grey’s & American Idol finales plus Office series finale. Elementary never had a chance. If Wipeout can’t improve next week, ABC Thursdays are going to be really bad.

  • Dan

    Yea Hannibals not getting renewed. A 1.0 put of a 3.0 is terrible

  • The End


    Yup, anyway there’s a bit of a trend here with some posters to hate on any show that is rating lower than usual. They usually stay quiet when the show is doing well but a couple of low rated episodes and boom it’s doom and gloom and hate.

    It makes me wonder if some people here actually read what they post prior. That or they love making fools out of themselves on random websites.

    Regardless, we’re both in agreement with regards to Elementary, 4 seasons would be a nice number. With perhaps a short 5th to get to 100 episodes.

  • andri

    Gotta move celeb apprentice to Thurs. or Hannibal to fri. Going down fast nbc

  • KarenM

    @Josh, not might be one of the best but “is definitely the best.”

    @Carl, next season of Elementary will tell because it doesn’t have PoI as a lead in.

  • The End

    @next season of Elementary will tell because it doesn’t have PoI as a lead in.

    Not only does it NOT have Person of Interest as a lead in, it has literally one of the best lead ins a show can have on CBS. Anyone who thinks a show that will be propped up by Two and a Half Men will fail needs to get a clue.

    Please get one.

  • gerry

    @ the end

    i think its pretty obvious that there are some people on here who have something of value to add to the convo and then there are those that do not….

    i don’t even watch elementary, but i like the leads and its doing well enough and don’t have anything against it doing well (despite the fact that i’ll be pulling double duty against it next year with scandal and parenthood- i don’t see either having much of an effect on the ratings) and i get the cbs business model. anyone else that didn’t would’t be yammering on about elementary’s ‘imminent’ cancellation.

  • The End


    I agree with you.

    None the less, I think you should watch Elementary, it’s a nice little show. If you look beyond the fact Holmes is a recovering drug addict, it has quite a few decent stories and oddly enough is not boring to watch. And again well said.

  • Anthony Parello (AP076)


    When folks talk about Hannibal being a joint international production, is that in any way analogous to The Firm on NBC last year.

    The Firm was an American-Canadian coproduction and was produced by Entertainment One “primarily for the overseas market. Thanks to pre-sales and Canadian production tax credits, the cost of producing the series was already paid for and NBC was able to pick up the show for a greatly reduced licensing fee, just like any other secondary buyer”

    It was broadcast via AXN, “The AXN broadcast broadens the shows markets to over 125 territories and countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America, Central Europe, Germany, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Russia, and Spain”

    The Firm was down to a 1.0 demo two weeks prior to being placed on Saturday burn-off. Obviously NBC would not place Hannibal on Sunday burn-off but I have to wonder if the situation is sort of similar.

    I honestly don’t know the answer.

  • Anthony Parello (AP076)


    “Sunday burn-off”should have read “Saturday burn-off”.

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