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.

  • Branbran

    Greys will adjust upset least 2

  • Anthony

    @Wright I must agree, they did a great job on the episode.

  • Billy

    American Idol finally down a whopping 40% from last year.

  • OERM

    SCANDAL will get 24 episodes next season

  • tjw

    My quick math says that if the last 15 minutes of The Office was a 2.9, Hannibal should adjust down to a 1.3.

  • gerry

    that’s a good number for grey’s considering it went against the idol finale and the office series finale.

    hannibal will adjust down because of the office finale overrun.

    great for scandal, i thought it would be strong last night!

  • stripped

    AI – terrible.
    GA, TVD – bad (hope they both adjust up).
    TBBT – not really impressive.
    Scandal did well.
    The Office – Wow. well done!

  • Joseph

    AI finale only 3 tenths above XFactor final- granted xfactor didn’t have much competition, and lost to a TBBT repeat but still- not good for AI

  • Kangarookeeper

    @Seth If you mean phenomenally bad, I agree with you.

  • Mon

    And that’s how you give a show a proper send-off, CBS! Bye The Office. Thanks NBC for giving The Office a wonderful finale night.

  • JacobYates

    No mention of Hannibal in the post above? Is that because the numbers may not be reliable?

  • Bookworm

    Yes for Scandal matching Series High!! The finale was awesome and I just can’t wait for season 3. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but I loved it!!

    I was hoping it would create a new series high but I can’t be upset with these numbers! It also increased in viewers!

  • Kangarookeeper

    American Idol will adjust up substantially in the final numbers but I still don’t think it will reach a 4 rating.

  • BlueAndGreenHair (former BigFlop)

    no, Greys won’t be adjusted up, maybe it will be adjusted down and Scandal will be at 3.2 tonight.
    Scandal beat Greys again

  • JaneDoe24

    Greys and Scandal were both great! I hope they adjust up. Go Shonda! :-)

  • senor chang

    Quick math suggests Hannibal is a 1.3 with 2.89 million viewers. Unsurprising coming on the heels of the Office finale, though. Fingers crossed!

  • JacobYates

    Half hours?

  • Stephen

    About expected for Grey’s – this was an unusual finale night for the show considering it was going directly against the series finale of the Office and the finale of Idol which it’s never had to do.

  • JR35

    Anyone recall how much the Idol finale adjusted up last year? Nonetheless, I thought it perhaps had a shot at a 5- last year, the top 2 scored a 4.4 and the results, a 6.4.

    Grey’s had a 2-minute overrun, so an upward adjustment should come.

  • Fred

    Idol may be down but its not out. A 3.4 (may be adjusted up) is still impressive for a show that’s been around for over a decade.
    Why is it that Survivor ( a former monster itself)doesn’t get ridiculed the way Idol does. Last time I checked Survivor wasn’t pulling #s the way it used to either.

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