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.


    Damn damn scandal is a hotter then hot show for abc. Last nights finale was sizzling amazing. Show is so freaking hot. Idol did what I thought that’s a huge massive drop from last years finale. It was about 8 million less in viewers. Two years ago when Scotty won it was almost 30 million. It seems people checked our of idol big time this season and even the finale. It’s onto next year. Show needs major overhaul.

  • Jason

    Scandal won’t adjust down

    Wipeout 0.9/1.1
    The Office Retrospective 2.0/2.0
    American Idol 2.8/3.3/3.6/4.1
    The Vampire Diaries 1.0/1.0
    Grey’s Anatomy 2.9/3.0
    Elementary 2.2/2.0/2.0/1.8
    The Office 2.9/2.9
    Beauty and the Beast 0.5/0.5
    Scandal 3.2/3.2
    The Office/Hannibal 2.3/1.0

  • Dillan

    I’m really hoping TVD adjusts up.

  • Raul

    Thats bad for Grey’s. Down from last week and last year 11 million views finale. It had it’s lowest finale ever!

  • BigBrotherFan

    NBC isn’t stupid

    …I think

    They know the likelihood of a 1.3 rating for Hannibal is pretty concrete and the likelihood that’s what it got out of the office’s likely 3.0 is even more pathetic!

    This show needs to just be axed. I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets it’s a@# handed to it by SCANDAL tonight (per final adjustments) and even ROOKIE BLUE in the upcoming weeks

    Pathetic. CANCEL.

    Scandal pretty much own ELELMENTRY AND FLOPANNIBAL last night! Why in he world CBS is keeping this stinker in the 10pm slot on Thursday is beyond me but maybe with MEN it will improve. Doubtful, though. Given the UNSTOPPABLE high Scandal is on.

    AI did better than I thought.

    The Office did better than I thought

    Hannibal is not even up for discussion at this point FLOP!

  • Carlos

    With This rating of TVD,Supernatural becomes the show number one in The CW. Even after 8 years, SPN is the best tv show.

  • Tom

    That makes it four 0.5 demos in a row for B&B and a total of eight 0.5 demos out of 22 episodes. I still can’t believe the CW cancelled the Secret Circle for this. Oh well, maybe B&B will win another PCA next season.

  • BigBrotherFan

    Gillian Anderson is looking mighty fine, though

  • snoot

    Was expecting bigger numbers for TBBT season finale

  • senor chang

    Why are you so emotionally attached to the fate of a television show you don’t even watch?

  • senor chang

    Oh, right, the Internet. I just answered my own question.

  • BigBrotherFan

    The Office/Hannibal 2.3/1.0

    If this is correct LMAO that’s HORRIBLE a 1.3 drop in a half hour? haha

    ..and people have the audacity to call for NASHVILLES cancelation for dropping a COUPLE tenths in a hour


  • tv_viewer

    It is obvious that the American Idol finale (though much weaker than past seasons) affected Grey’s Anatomy. I knew American Idol share more viewers with Grey’s Anatomy than the World Series.

  • BigBrotherFan

    senor chang

    It’s taking up valuable primetime space for something better!

  • Alex

    Some interesting and ugly year-on-year comparison here.

    American Idol currently down 46% on last years finale.
    Grey’s Anatomy currently down 26% from last seasons finale.
    Big Bang Theory currently even year-on-year.

    A nice on as well with Scandal up 39% vs. last years finale.

    I’m interested to see how The Office shakes out in finals. Looks like it might squeeze ahead of the Grey’s Anatomy season finale. I’m not sure how many people would have predicted that in advance even if with this being The Office’s series finale. Elementary also did a hell of a lot better than I’d expected it to. I thought for sure the combination of competition would have it below a 2 across the 2 hours but it just about kept its ahead above water. Its perhaps not quite as dead in the water as it might have appeared in recent weeks. Scanning some reviews it seems to have been a relatively well received finale as well.

  • Raul

    Big Bang could have done better! Grey’s tenth and final season before the ratings get worst!

  • mando

    The Office Well done. So happy for the ratings but sad its gon. :(

  • Skylar James

    Disappointing for Grey’s.

    @Tom: I was a Secret Circle fan last year, but you’re just an annoying troll. Please go away. Everything you say is just to bash B&B, you’re an idiot.

  • brandy

    Nicki Minaj ruined this season’s ratings by turning off the core audience (conservative moms).

  • Max Vrany

    A18-49 halves courtesy TV Media Insights:

    Wipeout: 0.9/1.1
    Office Retrospective: 2.0/2.0
    Vampire Diaries: 1.0/1.0

    Idol: 2.8/3.3/3.6/4.1

    Grey’s: 2.9/3.0
    Beauty and the Beast: 0.5/0.5

    Office: 2.9/2.9/2.3* (*15 mins Office/15 mins Hannibal)

    Elementary: 2.2/2.0/2.0/1.8

    Scandal 3.2/3.2
    Hannibal 2.3*/1.0 (*15 mins Office/15 mins Hannibal)

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