Bachelor finale

Dating show up by 15% vs. last year's final night; Fox's 'Following' dips, still solid

Auds were wedded to ABC on Monday as the final three hours of this season’s “The Bachelor” dominated the night’s ratings race.  Opposite the dating show’s conclusion, Fox’s “The Following” dipped but held up pretty well, while NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” hit a season low. CBS was on the sideline with repeats.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, the two-hour season finale of “The Bachelor” averaged a 3.3 rating/9 share in adults 18-49 and 10.0 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., building with each half-hour and peaking with a 3.7/9 in the demo at 9:30.  And the post-game show “The Bachelor: After the Final Rose” fared even better (3.8/10 in 18-49, 11.0 million viewers overall). Due to the finale not ending until about 10:07 p.m., its numbers figure to rise in the nationals while the “After the Final Rose” special should drop a bit.

For the night, ABC’s three hours of “Bachelor” were up about 15% from last year’s finale, though that episode had tough competition from NBC’s “The Voice.” For the season, “The Bachelor” was up 7% vs. last year.

At Fox, “The Following” (2.6/7 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall) was within 7% of last week’s demo average despite the stronger “Bachelor” and was the night’s No. 1 program in key male demos. The score is impressive when you consider that the new drama was airing behind a repeat “Bones” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall) for the first time.

NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall) was down 14% to a season low, but 10 p.m. drama “Deception” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall) was in line with its recent averages one week from the show’s season finale.

CBS opened with a repeat “How I Met Your Mother” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall) and an original “Rules of Engagement” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall) and then went all encores the rest of the way: “2 Broke Girls” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall), “Mike & Molly” (1.6/4 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall) and “Hawaii Five-O” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall), which beat NBC’s original “Deception.”

CW’s “The Carrie Diaries” remained at its low level (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.1 million viewers overall), while “90210″ again fared even worse (0.2/1 in 18-49, 0.7 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 3.5/9; Fox, 1.9/5; NBC, 1.7/5; CBS, 1.6/4; Univision, 1.5/4; CW, 0.3/1.
In total viewers: ABC, 10.3 million; CBS and Fox, 6.4 million; NBC, 4.8 million; Univision, 3.5 million; CW, 0.9 million.

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