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.

  • D Diva

    Happy for Scandal :)

    So um, about these new judges for American Idol… will they (if they choose the best people for the panel) help these ratings or are people just over American Idol all together, interesting judges or not?

  • Edward

    Oh Alex, you’re being rational with a very, very immature soul.

  • Billy

    I actually think TBBT REPEAT number is the most impressive number of all last night. A 3.2 for a repeat beat almost all the other shows. Every show on TV would be happy with a 3.2 for an original episode.

  • Sammy

    I miss POI.

  • Alex

    Personally ABC is doing great with the exception for that 8pm slot…

    Just to be clear. ABC is doing ‘great’ at 8PM with a 1.0 but NBC is doing horribly at 10PM with a better number?

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

    Firstly the point wasn’t that the show is up week-on-week but up on what NBC has aired in that timeslot this season.

    Just as an FYI on this point. Do No Harm had a lead-in of 1.9 for its first outing and score a 0.9. In week two with a 1.1 lead-in it dropped to a 0.7. Hannibal had a 1.1 lead-in for its debut and achieved a 1.6. Its series low in the slot (a 1.0) is still an improvement of the debut of Do No Harm.

  • Mrs. Angela Lansbury

    My word Alex, I just don’t think it’s worth it. BigBrotherFan is the only one screaming to the high Heavens that Hannibal has “horrible writing” and “horrible acting.” When taking into account the reviews from television critics and fans alike, it is empirically the equivalent of one man clapping.

    That being said, I hope Hannibal lives on through cable or Amazon if it is axed by NBC. Bon appetit!

  • Antonio


    I was not comparing last night’s Hannibal ratings to previous Hannibal ratings. I was comparing Hannibal’s ratings to both Do No Harm and Awake’s ratings within the same timeslot. It is doing consistently better than both shows. In regards to your Ready For Love comment, that is false because Hannibal is on episode 9 of a 13 episode season. Ready For Love only aired three or four episodes before being yanked. Also keep in mind that RFL had a much larger lead-in and aired on a different night. There is no way that Hannibal will be pulled from the schedule, even if it isn’t renewed.

  • ethan

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA..TBBT REPEAT beat the office FINALE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!…as someone who has truly despised the office ever since it began polluting the airwaves 10 years ago, that makes me laugh!!!

  • Freyja

    So if the numbers and demo hold for TVD in finales, that would mean SPN tied it in demo and beat it in viewers ;) Not bad for an 8 year old show Dawn tried to throw under the bus..

  • feinn

    Still shocked batb got renewed for 22 eps with those poor numbers…I guess you have keep the cbs side happy…but affiliates may flee

  • Alex

    You may want to hold off on that celebration for a couple of hours until we see final numbers for The Office (and the Big Bang repeat I suppose).

  • Wright

    Enough with all the Hannibal hate. The Office only scored that high because it was the series finale and people wanted to see how it ended. You can’t compare Hannibals rating to a series finale rating. It just doesn’t make sense.

  • Ram510

    Well I’m sure Elementary will be cancelled next season, now we just play the waiting game


    What idol needs is to get the original three judges Jackson, Abdul, and cowell back. It needs the old school idol feel with great guy contestants. Blatant manipulation, a zero chemistry personality cast and a horrible judging panel led to this drop. If we were just looking at the season these are good numbers and higher then season average. If we were to look at it was lowest idol finale and I think this scored lower then the voice season 3 finale last fall.

  • JacobYates

    Elementary will be hitting Vegas levels (back when Vegas was still on Tuesdays) next season if the last few weeks are any indication. Elementary will probably have to be dragged across the 88 episode finish line where it will be cancelled after 4 seasons.

  • Mark3

    The office ending was amazing. The best ending ever. Ive bren watching since day 1. Best show on nbc. U will be missed office!!! Not many people can say they have been on for 9 seasons. Truely amazing ending:)

  • sally

    I didn’t watch any network shows last night,i watched cable

  • CBSviewer

    @ Alex
    Just to be clear. ABC is doing ‘great’ at 8PM with a 1.0 but NBC is doing horribly at 10PM with a better number ?

    So if what you say is true Once Upon a Time in Wonderland will be Renewed if it gets beween 1.0 and 1.5 ? No it won’t because a 1.0 is not ‘great’ (except on The CW).

  • BigBrotherFan


    “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.”

    I don’t see any logic in this! If a show has a larger lead-in it should be performing at the same rate it was with a significantly smaller lead-in. It really should follow a likewise trend. One thing I will say about Hannibal is that AT THE VERY LEAST it keeps 50% of it’s lead-in..sadly (for it’s limited delusional fans) that number just isn’t enough. If the office gets a 3.0 in the finals HANNIBAL should do a 1.5 and nothing less. It’s only real competition was SCANDAL Elementary went down every half hour (I think) regardless it wasn’t exactly a big player last night!

    In terms of a replacement….LAW AND ORDER SVU repeats come to mind. Please do not try and tell me (like some have on here) that LAW AND ORDER repeats won’t save NBC a substantial amount of money and even help them in the ratings as opposed to having to use valuable airtime to promote Hannibal!

    I believe NBC has not announced it’s decision on Hannibal because they are stupidly keeping it on the schedule (I guess so they don’t have yet another dominance on their schedule and receive more criticism for) because they want to make some money off their lost investment! I think no decision on Hannibal is pretty much A DECSION! lol. If they where serious about keeping it than they would of really appreciated the buzz that might receive come upfront and some free publicity!

    Also why is the creator of the series consistently retweeeting ‘SAVE HANNIBAL’ tweets from it’s fans if it wasn’t in any real danger?
    Point taken on NASHVILLE VS. Hannibal (won’t argue that. You’re right)

  • Alex

    So if what you say is true Once Upon a Time in Wonderland will be Renewed if it gets beween 1.0 and 1.5 ? No it won’t because a 1.0 is not ‘great’

    That’s not what I’m saying.

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