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.

  • lostboy

    Oh Man, I think Hannibal is one of the better shows on television. Please NBC put on in the summer. I do not understand how some shows with awful ratings get renewed, but it does not take a Rocket Sciencetist( I hope I spelled that right a lot of critics on this website) to know those ratings are terrible for even NBC. I think I change my name to Crybaby

  • lostboy

    meant I will change my name to Crybaby.

  • Billy

    The Big Bang Theory gains a whopping .4 in the finals up to a 4.8 rating !

  • r0ckmypants

    @KarenM – “nothing could’ve helped it because it’s not the type of show for general audiences.”

    Well, this is a stupid argument. How many millions of people saw The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and/or Red Dragon?

  • BenA


    :) :)

  • Joseph A

    Glad you enjoyed the American Idol , Finale but the problem is that the earlier 36 episodes were not watchable for the bulk of what had been the AI fan base.

    As for The Voice , I can at least say that I enjoy everything leading into the Finale , so as part of the AI / VOICE audience , if my choice will be getting to watch a season that rocks with current artists , or just get to see them at a Finale , heck , I will take The Voice , where I can enjoy the journey

  • Paul

    I think the decline was due in part to the lackluster contestants the judges selected to get into the final 12. So many truly original, sexy, fantastic singers who would have brought a lot to the “American Idol” brand not to mention THE STAGE were left go early on unfairly. Jennifer Lopez understands talent because she doesn’t have a lot of it really. She noticed Jessica Sanchez for instance among other young talents last year oppose to the group of untalented contestants who had sob stories like the one who can’t talk properly. Fatty Candice would never made it through if not for three blacks judges on the panel. Angie should have been crowned the winner not Candice.

  • Networkman

    NBC should definately allow Hannibal to air all of its episodes but this is a show that should not return. It did rather poorly after the series finale of NBC’s biggest hit comedy.

    Once again Elementary underperforms. This was its season finale, airing after The Big Bang Theory and it falls to a nine year old drama airing after a reality/game show that hit its series low with a 1.0. This is the main reason why I felt CBS should of order another drama such as Beverly Hills Cop. There is a case to be made that at least 4 veteran dramas on the CBS network could be cancel by the end of the 2013-2014 season.

  • CookyMonzta

    Posted May 17, 2013 at 1:29 PM
    “@EveWren your argument that IDOL hasn’t produced a star in 7 years doesn’t make sense. Last years winner (Phillip Phillips) had one of the best selling songs of the year, selling over 4 million copies, his second single is doing great and has already sold over 600,000 copies, his album had been in top 50 in iTunes for 50 straight weeks and is on its way to Platnium stays. Season 10 winner (Scotty) has gone Platnium and won some awards and has sold over 1 million singles, Adam Lambert has sold per 2 million albums worldwide & over 4 million singles. Jordin sparks has sold over 4 million albums worldwide & millions of singles.”

    I think she’s implying POTENTIAL longevity in the forefront, and she is probably thinking that many of the show’s recent winners are probably not going to last 5 years, let alone 10, as a major player in their genre, let alone pop in general. Nearly 10 years for Kelly C. in the pop realm, 8 for Carrie in country, and Fantasia is barely holding it down in R&B for nearly 9. Daughtry had a good run (nearly 7 years), but I think his wheels are starting to fall off. We have to wait and see about Phillip (who just won last year) and Candice, but the wheels on most of the rest are starting to come apart.

  • CookyMonzta

    @TVMAN: I almost forgot about Scotty. Let’s wait and see how he fares after his next album.

  • Networkman

    @Paul, I don’t understand why you have to insult contestants because of their weight. Secondly, Candace deserved to not only be apart of the final 10 but she earned the right to be the American Idol winner. Why shouldn’t a gifted vocalist finally make it through? It shouldn’t have anything to do with the color of one’s skin. It is comments like yours that make me think the ratings decline this year is simply due to the fact that there were no white male country/folk singer who had a legitimate shot at the title this year. That would be really sad if this were the case. We should be rooting for any talented, gifted artists no matter what color.

  • bluejays

    @The End. It pulled a 2!!!! In the nine pm Thursday time slot. It has not done well all year. It’s their best performing drama yes, but by such a small margin that really any toss up between it, CSI and HFO were basically not numbers based. And for CBS to protect it to try to get it to syndication is a bad move because it won’t improve and I don’t see it getting a deal with those numbers.

    It will be like the Good Wife for CBS, limping along until it gets a crappy deal with not all that much per ep. Whereas with HFO they had a golden syndication deal and they’ve turned their back on it, not the best business decision.

    Moving POI was also a risky decision as was the benching of Mike and Molly to premier so many new Monday shows.

    They have made a lot of moves that may pay off or may risk them having an even worse season than this one. And compared to their previous years this one hasn’t been good for CBS, even taking into account the general drop in demo for the nets.

  • Rocky_

    Sad that Nigel thought the Mariah vs Nicki was gonna bring in views, but it actually drew people away from the show. but i think performed decent for the finale. What surprises me is The Office,it went up. And Elementary did horrible for a finale!


    @Cooky. Fantasia is not barely holding onto the R&B market. She just released her fourth album that went #2 on billboard 200 & #1 on R&B charts, after 10 years, that’s incredible. Scotty already released his second album, it went Gold. Compared to The Voice & XF. Adam Lamberts second album went #1… IDOL is king with the success of its contestants & the other shows will never reach the amount of alumni success IDOL has. @Joesph. If THE VOICE has had such “current” artists, why is that none of them can chart after the show..

  • Fakeem

    “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″

    Maybe the fact that there were no “white boys with guitars” [ as someone noted months ago ] is part of the reason for the drop.

    For the person that considers Mariah Carey “black”, she was never promoted that way. Your average person wouldn’t know it from looking at her, so in most peoples eyes, it was a half and half panel.

  • Scifibookguy

    This entire season of American Idol was set up so that a girl would win. The judges/produces stacked the deck. What is the probability that ALL the boys would be worse than ALL the girls? AI hadn’t had a female winner in six years, and wanted one, so they set it up.

    Unfortunately, due to the backstories for Candice and Kree, AI managed to send Angie (who has no sob story) home. Without Angie in the finals, the finale was due to suffer.

    American Idol is reaping what they sow, so it’s their own fault.

  • FowlScat

    I agree with the last guy, they stacked the contestants so a girl would win, its blatantly obvious. The stuttering gay mexican guy, WDF was that? Its the first finale I just didnt tune in for, towards the end I just didnt give a flying F what happened. I just didnt want to hear one more word from Nikki Minaj.

  • Deeann

    @Tom is a bitter old man!

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