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.

  • Lukes

    I’m a bit surprised that Scandal didn’t improve the series high considering it was the season finale.
    I also was expecting more from Vampire Diaries.

  • Fred

    Wonder what the #s would look like, had Elementary not aired after the Super Bowl. Given all that promotion, CBS must not be very happy with its performance.

  • hello

    Is there any doubt that Scandal is this years success-story

  • Bryan

    I can’t believe a repeat of the TBBT was tied with Scandal for third highest rating of the night. I’ve watched the show, I just didn’t find it funny. I guess I just don’t have a good sense of humor.

  • Samunto


    I wish to rejoice with you but Hannibal will probably be adjusted down to about a 1.4 as The office ran till 10:15

    Idol is down about 50% from last year!! Bam.

  • BrieK

    With all the promo Scandal received I thought it would at least reach 3.5. Kind of surprising, really.

  • Illinois

    Good for The Office finale ! The Big Bang Theory is a little low, no ?

  • Nick

    FOX should’ve aired the AI finale on Tuesday/Wednesday like they normally do and it could’ve seen a 4.0. They were dumb to air it against the season finales of Grey’s and The Office. Still, it won against both, so you have to congratulate it for that.

  • Chuck_T

    Hannibal’s ratings coming out of the strong Office lead-in will seal its fate. I don’t see NBC renewing it.

  • theCroup

    So happy for The Office getting big finale numbers. I stopped watching the show years ago, but it deserved to go out well.

    Hannibal should adjust down a lot. Though in positive (?) news, I see the Hannibal torrents are much more active than they were in the first few episodes of the season. Maybe it’ll build buzz (about 8 weeks too late)… Oh, NBC. So many shows that I want to like, and so few that I do, and then those are canceled.

  • Percysowner

    Unless TVD adjusts up, then Supernatural will be tied for first place in the demographic on the CW. Not bad for an 8 year old show that Dawn Ostroff wanted to kill off the entire time she ran the network.

  • Chris


    You ain’t the only one. I can’t stand TBBT.

  • MichaelChickless

    Major ouchage for Idol!

    Pretty tepid for Elementary.

    Really nice for The Office.

    Go Hannibal!

  • bjssp

    The next few weeks will tell for Hannibal. As Ultima said, it seems unlikely NBC will air both Crisis and Believe on Sundays next fall, but assuming it wants to air something scripted, which it should, Hannibal would fit the bill nicely.

    Also, its TBBT’s climb over, or are we just seeing the effects of spring on the ratings?

  • CBSviewer

    What happened to Elementary ? A 2.0 is OK for this Show but less than 9 million viewers. It aired after a 3.2 lead-in which is higher than a original of Person of Interest and it lower than ever 0_o

  • NDfan81

    The vampire diaries should have a spinoff called the other side. They’ve definitely killed off enough interesting characters over the last 4 years to make it an awesome show. I think it would be a lot more interesting than the originals.

  • Diana

    Even though scandal is not my favorite I could see it getting over 15 million viewers with a 6.0 rating

  • forg

    TBBT will likely be adjusted 3 tenths again

    I’m happy The Office’s series finale ratings considering how low they were this season. It could rise to 3.0

    Was hoping for new series high for Scandal in demo but still great ratings.

  • Rebecca

    Good for The Office. I guessed 2.1, too low. Haven’t seen the retrospective yet – maybe it’s on NBC.com because so far it’s not on hulu. I have 35 minutes left of the actual episode to watch and am loving it so far. Seen every episode, even last year’s bad season. Had to save TBBT on DVR to watch later tonight since last night we finally caught up on Grimm on the DVR.

  • John A

    Not that great for Greys. I watched and it was boring. Not surprised its down too many annoying charactors. Glad i dont watch it much anymore. TVD wasnt that great either. Hope it adjusts to a 1.1 though.

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