Lower ‘Idol,’ ‘Glee’ finales still top Tuesday

ABC's 'Dancing' season-ender also down vs. last year

Fox has won the final Tuesday of the television season in key demos, but the ”American Idol” performance show finale and the ”Glee” season-ender tumbled more than 30% from their lofty levels of last year. Also down sharply was the season finale of ABC’s ”Dancing With the Stars.”

All three of these shows have been tracking down all season, and they didn’t really show much pop on Tuesday even though CBS was in repeats and NBC was down from last year when it aired ”The Voice.” ”Glee” and ”Dancing” did rally week to week, however.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ”American Idol” averaged a 4.2 rating/13 share in adults 18-49 and 14.4 million viewers overall with its special off-night performance episode; it’s expected to rise a tick or two in the nationals, but that would still leave it down more than 30% vs. last year for the show’s lowest-rated performance finale to date. And at 9, the third-season finale of ”Glee,” airing an hour later than usual, averaged a 3.0/8 in 18-49 and 7.6 million viewers overall , up 20% from last week but down 35% vs. its finale on the same night a year ago.

Despite the year-to-year softness, Fox won the night in 18-49 and 25-54 as either ”Idol” or ”Glee” ranked as the top-rated series of the night in every category except adults 50-plus (”Dancing With the Stars”) and teens 12-17 (”America’s Got Talent”).

At ABC, following a repeat of the previous night’s performance finale (1.3/4 in 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall), the season finale of ”Dancing With the Stars” averaged a 3.2/9 in 18-49 and 17.5 million viewers overall from 9 to 11, winning each half-hour in adults 25-54. While this marked a season high for the results show , up nearly 50% in 18-49 vs. last week , this will go down as the show’s lowest-rated finale to date, likely coming in down 28-30% vs. last year depending on the finals. The hoofing vet was still easily Tuesday’s most-watched program overall.

NBC didn’t do much at 8 p.m. with an ”America’s Got Talent” repeat (1.6/5 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall) or at 10 p.m. with its ”Dateline: 20th Anniversary Special” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) but in between them, a new hour of ”Talent” impressed with a 3.2/9 in the demo and drew 9.3 million viewers overall, beating both the finales of ”Dancing” and ”Glee” in 18-49. ”Talent” was down a bit vs. its Tuesday premiere of last week (3.4/10 in 18-49).

Univision’s original novellas beat CBS’ drama repeats on the night in adults 18-49 as the Spanish-language net ranked fourth. In the 8 o’clock hour, ”Una Familia Con Suerte” (A Fortunate Family) ran second to ”Idol” in young adults (1.9/6 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall).

CBS, whose ”NCIS” combo wrapped last week, went with special encores of ”NCIS: Los Angeles” at 8 p.m. (1.1/4 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall) and ”NCIS” from 9 to 11 p.m. (1.7/5 in 18-49, 9.2 million viewers overall for its two-hour average).

And CW aired a repeat of ”Hart of Dixie” in what will be its new fall timeslot (0.3/1 in 18-49, 0.9 million viewers overall) followed by low-rated original ”The L.A. Complex” (0.2/1 in 18-49, 0.4 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 3.6/10; ABC, 2.6/7; NBC, 2.1/6; Univision, 1.7/5; CBS, 1.5/4; CW, 0.2/1.

In total viewers: ABC, 14.6 million; Fox, 11.0 million; CBS, 8.6 million; NBC, 6.5 million; Univision, 4.2 million; CW, 0.7 million.

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