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.

  • Tom

    @ Skylar James

    “…but you’re just an annoying troll.”

    Talk about a hypocrite. Recognize this?:

    Skylar James
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    Flopkita still the monster hit we all know and love

    I’m sure Nikita fans were grateful for your constructive comment.

  • Ezy

    Good for scandal

  • BigBrotherFan

    Personally ABC is doing great with the exception for that 8pm slot and I think Greys is holding up well for a show in it’s what..? 9th season? I don’t even watch it! Could never get into it for more than maybe 5 minutes but I don’t hate on it. The acting is good! It launched some great careers! Just not my thing.

    Scandal had a good episode last night! What a great ending! TWO BIG CLIFFHANGERS!!! I’m so Happy *spoiler* MILLIE got what she wanted. LOL @ Cyrus with a heart attack still working in the ambulance. Kinda gives new definition to the term workaholic ha-ha!

  • Diana

    I don’t know how scandal keeps hitting I’m not trying to hate on the show or anything I watch it but I just don’t see anything special about it

  • Melissa

    I think there were way too many “showdowns” last night.

  • KarenM

    I see this as good news for Hannibal with the strong lead in. Very bad news for Elementary though. Hannibal’s still alive…hopefully.

  • BigBrotherFan


    Wrong. Hannibal will be adjust WAY down and not even hold 40% of the Office’s lead-in.

  • JP

    Big Bang Theoory – not a freat season finale – weakest season so far IMO – still love the show though.

    The Office – So glad I kept with this show after Carrell left… AMAZING series finale – one of the best I have ever seen… THAT is the way you do a series finale!!!!!!

    Have not seen Grey’s or Elementary yet.

    Oh yeah – one more thing… POI RULES!!!!!!!!!

  • Anthony0717

    Idol is still doing well after 12 years. I wonder how well The Voice will do when it hits season 12, not as good as Idol.

  • k:Alex

    I wait for the final numbers. A lot will go up, and some down.

  • Luv36

    @”Elementary 2.2/2.0/2.0/1.8″

    What a SF. Dropped .4 from beginning to end. :(

  • Antonio


    Though Hannibal’s ratings are not very good, they are much better than what was airing previously in the the timeslot. Now I agree that the ratings are not good, but you are the only person who has said negative things about the writing and acting. That seems like a very biased statement.

  • josh2770

    ok grey’s and scandel WOWWWWW!!!!!! ;) good for TBBT Beating idol!

  • TVDude

    Decent numbers across the board.

    If The Office cracks a 3.0, I think that was really what was hoped for. With a adjustment, that’s quite possible too.

    Idol was down, way down, but still decent compared to what Fox has been doing on other nights. Its situation is just as bad as NBC’s.

  • Tested

    Idol did about what I expected given what it had been doing this season.
    I’m not sure what they’re going to do to the show in the off-season, but I would not be surprised to see a bit of a rebound next year IF Nikki and Mariah are off the show. Losing Randy hurts, but I think those two being on the show hurt more. I know I’ll be watching.

  • KarenM

    If NBC does stupidly cancel Hannibal at least there’s interest for it on cable now. Supposedly there are a few cable networks that might want it.

  • BigBrotherFan


    Of course it’s ratings are up it had a much bigger than expected lead-in

    but it will go the way of READY FOR LOVE

    and not even hold 40% of THE OFFICE LEAD IN

  • Ram510

    I was thinking that Scandal would be mid to high 3’s but still excellent for Scandal I’m so happy. I was a great finale last night!

    Wasnt Grey’s finale last year over a 4.0?

  • imadiva

    Kudos to Scandal what a incredible finale, and it increased in viewers and tied high in demos. I love the cast,Kerry Washington and Shonda Rhimes what a great writer and producer.Keep doing the damn thing. Congrats to a excellent show and excellent season.

  • Alex

    My point is that the drop for HANNIBAL coming out of the office will be over 50% and that’s truly HORRIBLE!

    But not in anyway shape or form surprising. We’ve all seen where Hannibal has settled in recent weeks and it was fairly predictable that The Office was going to see (at least) a slight rise week-on-week for its series finale. I can’t imagine why anyone would seriously expect Hannibal to suddenly jump up an excessive amount this week.

    This show shouldn’t even be on the schedule anymore it has 0 chance of a future.

    What on earth do you propose NBC air in its place? Equally its not in especially valuable real estate especially not from next week when we move into the summer schedules. There’s really no reason why NBC should pull the show. Its numbers while not good aren’t so terrible that it can’t or shouldn’t finish its run. Also a low-1 this week isn’t any more or less terrible than a low-1 last week.

    I’d also disagree that it has no future. The show is cheap. I maintain that NBC have kicked a decision on its future to see how it holds up into June. My guess is that they’re eyeing a potential second season to air as part of summer 2014 which is where season one was originally supposed to air. I think people have forgotten that Hannibal was drafted in from the summer as schedule spackle and actually in the grand scheme of things at NBC hasn’t performed that horribly (nor has it performed well).

    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.

    Only that isn’t a like-for-like comparison.

    You’re comparing an hour of Nashville on Wednesday with 15 minutes of The Office and 45 minutes of Hannibal. The drop-off for Nashville over the hour was all people switching off of Nashville whereas the drop-off from Hannibal (that we’ve seen) is largely people switching off after The Office. This would be like Modern Family airing to 10:15 and then being shocked and appalled when Nashville drops like a stone after ward. Of course it did.

    That’s not to say that people bemoaning the drop-off across the hour for Nashville have a point. I doubt they do unless it was a particularly significant drop.

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