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.

  • Paul

    So unfair for Grey’s, it was a fantastic episode!

  • Leah

    I guess CBS is proud today, Season finale of Elementary 2.0 – 8.9 mil, after a great Big Bang Theory Lead in. H50 1.8 7.9 mil with weak lead in. Maybe it’s not the show but the network. Without Person Of Interest as a lead in seems some people are losing interest in Elementary. P.O.I. did really great on Thursdays. Tuesday night 3 procedurals on CBS big drop from NCIS to NCIS-LA, to the 10 pm slot, P.O.I. put in the death spot, I only hope the viewers move with them, hate to see that show suffer.

  • TomZ

    Trust me you are not the only one… But I expected more for a final episode of TBBT. I mean it got a 6.0-6.2 and now “only” a 4.4.

  • Tommy M.

    LOL at anyone that thinks next season will be the last for Grey’s. Yes the show is down, but it has a lot further to go before it’s in any real danger.

  • Alex

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

    Indeed. That The Office ran to 10:15 means that the NBC numbers from 9-11 aren’t reliable. We’ll have to wait until finals to see how both Hannibal and The Office actually did.

    Scandal won’t adjust down

    You can’t really tell that for sure from the half hours. Although I don’t especially expect a downward adjustment anywway.

    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

    Although 15 minutes of the first half hour is The Office series finale and not Hannibal at all so a large proportion of that drop will be down to the fact that The Office ended at 10:15.

  • Sally

    A most heavily promoted 2-hour finale couldn’t even beat the Office ..
    but CBS still has so much love for it’s Elementary.

  • David

    Grey’s and others will adjust up after delayed DVR viewership. Would be great if this site could, at some point, give us those numbers. I find that more meaningful then overnight numbers. I rarely watching anything while it’s airing in its time slot, but that doesn’t mean I’m not watching it.

  • Mon

    Th Big Bang Theory’s finale last year (May 10) got 4.4 final rating. It’s highly possible TBBT can beat that later today in the final ratings.

  • Matt

    Because of Idol, Office, and Elementary finales, GREYS did pretty solid for its 9TH season finale and so much stiff competition. It will most likely adjust up, and for a show getting above a 3.0 in the demo and 9million in its 9TH SEASON finale, that is pretty good. Bet that if it had not that much completion it would’ve gotten around a 3.5 and 10 million. Actually predicted tht for the 10th season premiere. SCANDAL did amazing, nuff said.

  • BigBrotherFan


    My point is that the drop for HANNIBAL coming out of the office will be over 50% and that’s truly HORRIBLE! This show shouldn’t even be on the schedule anymore it has 0 chance of a future. Another thing that annoyed me is that people where going off their rockers yesterday (so to speak) with NASHVILLE dropping a couple tenths in the hour, where as Hannibal will likely drop off a MASSIVE point and a few tenths from the Office.

    horrible writing. Horrible acting. Horrible ratings=INSTANT CANCELATION


  • RyanCanada

    really dissapointed in Vampire Diaries, and BATB, both amazing episodes, and deserved another million viewers each

  • Cougar Town Forever

    I assume Grey’s struggled a bit because it was against the season finale of AI and the hour+ long series finale of The Office.

  • Joseph

    Fox should rest “American Idol” for a couple of years and bring it back for the 2015/2016 TV season.

    This way, I think a “new look” “Idol” (new host, new judges) might have a chance for success.

    Otherwise, next season could be “Idol”‘s last.

  • Carmen

    I wonder 2 things about this season of Idol

    1) In view of how the ratings crashed this year, Do they have any regrets that all their manipulations, pimping, and stacking the field got them what they wanted?. . A female winner!! and a minority one for extra bonus points.

    2) Will they attempt to let the votes fall where they may next season, or did they do irreparable damage this season.
    The jury is out

  • Billy

    Its hilarious people think TBBT didn’t do well. How many other shows hit a 4.0 or greater this week. The answer is none. TBBT still towers over ever other show on TV. People it is spring. 8:00 shows will not put up big numbers in the spring ! A 4.4 is a terrific number for an 8:00 show in the spring.

  • Kendra

    Please Elementary adjust up. It’s my favorite show right now. It was a great finale but no cliffhanger so I’m worried for next season.

  • Lakersupbyten

    Good for Elementary and Beauty considering the competition. :) Elementary was outstanding. Beauty did excellent as well.

  • battye

    Are there any 15 minute ratings out?

  • Scandalfan

    Was so disappointed in Scandal finale. It was horrible.

  • Alex

    @Tommy M
    LOL at anyone that thinks next season will be the last for Grey’s. Yes the show is down, but it has a lot further to go before it’s in any real danger.

    While I agree with the general point probably worth noting that if next years finale is down 26% again it’ll have a 2.2. I don’t think that’s an especially likely scenario but equally I don’t think its entirely out of the realm of possibility that ABC may decide to wrap it next year. Particularly if Scandal maintains during its third season and SHIELD hits it big. They’d have options outside of Grey’s for the first time then. Equally if the cast aren’t going to do an automatic sign on for additional seasons then it may prove to be more trouble/expensive than its worth.

    Having said that I wouldn’t predict this coming season as Grey’s last just yet. Although I do think that perhaps its time to call it quits before the numbers get to the point of no return.

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