Season ratings leaders tie for week's demo crown

CBS and Fox started their dash to the finish line with shared leadership of the young-adults demo in last week’s primetime ratings race.

Fox, which is on its way to an eighth straight season as the top-rated network among adults 18-49, tied with CBS for the frame. The Eye is set to finish a close second for the season in the key demo while prevailing once again in both adults 25-54 and total viewers.

CBS held the edge over Fox in adults 25-54 (3.1/8 to 2.7/8) and dominated as usual in total viewers (10 million to 7.9 million for runner-up ABC).

Fox’s “American Idol” edged out a trio of other shows as last week’s top draw among adults 18-49 (4.5 rating/13) while CBS’ “NCIS” was the most-watched show overall (18.2 million viewers).

The second full week of the May sweep also saw more finales, including those for NBC’s “The Voice,” CBS’ “Survivor” and ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” and “Desperate Housewives.” All of these shows posted week-to-week gains, with “Housewives” going out on a season high (3.2/8 in 18-49, 11.12m).

Overall for the May 7-13 frame, CBS and Fox tied in adults 18-49 with a 2.3 rating/7 share, followed by ABC (2.1/6), NBC (1.7/5), Univision (1.4/4) and top cabler TNT (1.2/3).

The Eye was led by the season finale of “The Big Bang Theory” (4.4/15, 13.72m), which tied with ABC’s “Modern Family” (4.4/12, 10.58m) as the week’s No. 1 scripted show in 18-49.

Another CBS comedy, Monday rookie “2 Broke Girls,” wrapped its strong season with an hourlong episode (3.3/10, 10.74m). Among other shows wrapping were “CSI” (2.4/7, 10.73m), which led its Wednesday hour; “Blue Bloods” (1.3/4, 10.73m); and “Survivor” (2.9/8, 10.34m), with the reality vet down about 25% year to year.

For Fox, “American Idol” dominated its Wednesday timeslot (4.5/13, 16.46m), and Thursday’s results show ranked fourth for the week in 18-49 (4.0/13, 15.62m). Also in the top 25 were the net’s Tuesday combo of “New Girl,” which rallied for its finale (2.8/8, 5.61m), and “Glee” (2.7/8, 6.67m).

ABC had a strong Sunday with the season finale of rookie hit “Once Upon a Time” (3.3/10, 9.66m), and “Desperate Housewives” ended its eight-year run on a season high (3.2/8, 11.12m). Another show wrapping a winner was Monday drama “Castle” (2.4/6, 12.36m).

NBC was up week to week thanks to an extra hour of “The Voice,” which wrapped its second season with a two-hour finale Tuesday (4.4/12, 11.93m). But the net’s top scripted show was “The Office” (2.3/7, 4.49m), whose finale was well below last year’s closer.

The top cable program was TNT’s coverage of Game 7 of the NBA playoff series between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets (3.0/12, 6.46m), which dominated Saturday and ranked among the week’s top 15 primetime shows in 18-49.

On the entertainment side, the highest-rated series in 18-49 were HBO’s “Game of Thrones” (1.9/5, 3.69m), History’s “Swamp People” (1.4/4, 3.84m) and Bravo’s “Real Housewives of New Jersey” (1.2/3, 2.26m).

Also, TLC saw a good third-season preem on Sunday for “Sister Wives” (0.9/2, 2.04m), standing as the top cable show in the 9 o’clock hour in key femme demos.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more