ABC's music awards tops demos; CBS rolls in total viewers

The broadcast networks didn’t exactly light up the ratings scoreboard on the final Sunday of the season, with the top programming down vs. the comparable night a year ago. ABC won among young adults with the Billboard Music Awards while CBS easily drew the most viewers overall.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ABC was the top-rated network among adults 18-49 in all four hours Sunday with the season finale of ”America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.5 rating/5 share in adults 18-49, 5.8 million viewers overall) and the three-hour ”Billboard Music Awards” telecast (2.7/7 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall). ”Videos,” wrapping its 22nd season, was down a tick year-to-year while the kudocast, which featured live performances from acts including Katy Perry and Linkin Park, dipped 10% from its inaugural airing on ABC a year ago.

Fox opened with a repeat of ”The Simpsons” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 2.4 million viewers overall) and the season finale of ”The Cleveland Show” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall). They were followed by the season-enders of ”The Simpsons” (2.1/7 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall), ”Bob’s Burgers” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall) and ”Family Guy” with an hourlong episode (2.5/6 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall). Anchors ”Simpsons” and ”Family” were up week to week but down about 15% vs. last year.

At NBC, a special repeat of ”America’s Got Talent” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall) performed a bit better than what the net has been doing from 7 to 9 p.m. with ”Dateline” and ”Harry’s Law.” It was followed by the live season finale of ”Celebrity Apprentice” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall), which came in down about 25% from last year’s conclusion. It narrowly won the 10 p.m. hour in adults 25-54 (3.0/7).

CBS aired installments of ”60 Minutes” at both 7 (1.4/5 in 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall) and 8 (1.5/4 in 18-49, 10.1 million viewers overall), dominating in total viewers and down slightly vs. last year. Also off a tad from last year was the original movie ”Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt” starring Tom Selleck (1.2/3 in 18-49, 12.8 million viewers overall), the eighth telepic based on the book series. The movie was the night’s most-watched program overall and CBS easily led by that measure for the night despite a fourth-place 18-49 finish.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 2.4/7; Fox, 1.9/6; NBC, 1.6/5; CBS, 1.3/4; Univision, 0.8/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 11.3 million; ABC, 7.0 million; NBC, 5.6 million; Fox, 4.1 million; Univision, 2.3 million.

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