CBS has virtually wrapped up the May sweeps crown in total viewers after dominating Sunday with the two-hour-plus finale of “Survivor: The Amazon.”
The reality adventure skein and its reunion show that followed easily led the evening’s final three hours, according to preliminary nationals from Nielsen. It will, however, come in as the lowest-rated of the six “Survivor” finales, due in part to lower TV usage levels on Mother’s Day.
Ratings for Sunday’s hit series, including Fox’s “The Simpsons” and NBC’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” also seemed to be affected by the salute to moms.
For the sweep through Sunday, CBS led with an average of roughly 12.9 million viewers — well ahead of NBC’s 11.4 million, according to Nielsen. A victory would mark the first time in at least 15 years that CBS has swept all three major sweeps in a season.
On Sunday night, “Survivor” (a projected 8.9/22 in adults 18-49, 22.6 million viewers overall) easily led its 8-10:07 time period in key demos and total viewers — down about 10% from December’s finale of “Survivor: Thailand” (9.9/26 in 18-49). From 10:07-11, the “Survivor” reunion show, hosted by Jeff Probst, averaged a projected 8.4/21 in adults 18-49 and 18 million viewers overall, easily leading its timeslot.
Fox was a distant second on the night in 18-49, led by “Simpsons” (prelim 4.6/13, 10.1m) and “Malcolm in the Middle” (prelim 4.5/12 in A18-49, 9.6m). Net’s “Beverly Hills, 90210” reunion spec disappointed at 9 (prelim 3.9/9 in A18-49, 7.6m), although it was a competitive second in 18-34 (5.3/14).
NBC was runner-up in 18-49 from 9 to 11 with an original “Law & Order: CI” (prelim 4.4/10, 12.8m) and a repeat at 10 that fared even better (prelim 4.8/12 in A18-49, 13.2m).
ABC struggled with “ET: The Extra-Terrestrial” (prelim 2.5/7 in A18-49, 7.4m) and the season finale of “Dragnet” (prelim 2.4/6 in A18-49, 7.2m).
NBC led the May sweep in 18-49 through Sunday (roughly a 4.4 rating), followed by Fox (4.0), CBS (3.7) and ABC (3.2).
Sweep ends May 21.