‘How I Met Your Mother’ Surges Monday With Penultimate Episode

How I met Your Mother Finale

NBC's 'Blacklist,' 'The Voice' also strong

NBC dominated Monday’s ratings race in key demos, winning five of six half-hours among adults 18-49 behind “The Voice” and “The Blacklist,” the latter of which had its second best score since late fall despite a lower lead-in from the music competition.

Kicking off the night, CBS’ “How I Met Your Mother” prepped for next week’s series finale by edging out “The Voice” in young adults. ABC won in total viewers behind “Dancing With the Stars,” the night’s most-watched program overall.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “The Voice” averaged a 3.6 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 and 12.6 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., down about 10% from last week but handily winning its time period in every under-55 category. And at 10 p.m., “The Blacklist” (2.9/8 in 18-49, 11.0 million viewers overall), pictured, rose 7% week to week to score its top rating since Feb. 24 and its second best since Dec. 2; its 18-49 score matched the combined deliveries of ABC’s “Castle” and CBS’ “Intelligence” in the hour.

At CBS, “How I Met Your Mother” (3.4/11 in 18-49, 9.1 million viewers overall) surged 17% (0.5) from the previous week to beat “The Voice” head-to-head in 18-49 (3.4 to 3.3) while standing as the No. 1 program of the night in adults 18-49 (3.4/12 to 2.8/9 for runner-up “The Voice”).

“Mother,” which wraps its nine-season run next week with an hourlong episode, helped lift the entire CBS lineup on Monday. “2 Broke Girls” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall), “Mike & Molly” (2.0/6 in 18-49, 7.8 million viewers overall), “Mom” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall) and “Intelligence” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall) were all up a tick or two.

ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 14.3 million viewers overall) held up pretty well in the current cycle’s second week, showing stronger retention from Week 1 to Week 2 than it did last spring in both adults 18-49 (85% vs. 75%) and total viewers (93% vs. 85%) — though last year’s second week had the challenge of facing the spring premiere of “The Voice.” “Dancing” beat out Fox’s dramas from 8 to 10 p.m. by a comfortable margin in 18-49 (2.2 to 1.4) and even beat them in adults 18-34 (1.4 to 0.9) and males 12-34 (0.8 to 0.7).

At Fox, “Bones” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall) and “The Following” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall) again placed fourth and matched last week’s 18-49 scores. While the dramas are certain to jump ahead of “Dancing” in L+7 numbers, their same-night scores are pretty low.

CW didn’t do much with first-year dramas “Star-Crossed” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 0.9 million viewers overall) or “The Tomorrow People” (0.3/1 in 18-49, 0.8 million viewers overall), neither of which is looking worthy of returning next season.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 3.4/10; ABC, 2.1/6; CBS, 2.0/6; Fox, 1.4/4; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: ABC, 12.8 million; NBC, 12.1 million; CBS, 6.9 million; Fox, 5.0 million; CW, 0.9 million.

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