Wedding Lifts ‘Modern Family’; ‘Idol,’ ‘Survivor’ in Close Battle for Reality Audience

Wedding Lifts 'Modern Family'; 'Idol,' 'Survivor'

UPDATE: In updated nationals, Fox’s “American Idol” did not get its expected bump while CBS’ “Survivor” edged up a tenth; as a result both delivered a 2.6 rating for their season finales on Wednesday. “Idol” still rated a little higher in adults 25-54 (3.6 to 3.4) and total viewers (10.53 million to 10.45 million). The post-finale “Survivor” reunion show averaged a 1.9/6 in 18-49 and 7.14 million viewers overall from 10:13 to 11.

Elsewhere, ABC saw upward adjustments for both “The Middle” (2.1/8 in 18-49, 7.85 million viewers overall) and “Modern Family” (3.7/12 in 18-49, 10.45 million), which drew their largest-ever overall audience for a finale. The latter beat the reality show finales head-to-head in all key categories, and was the night’s No. 1 show overall in key demos.


ABC’s “Modern Family” was the top draw in key demos on Wednesday, the final night of the television season, hitting a six-month high with Mitch and Cam’s wedding. Fox’s “American Idol” edged out CBS’ “Survivor” in the battle of reality show finales as the veterans ended their seasons opposite each other for the first time.

“Idol” fell to a series low for a season-ender — hardly surprising given its overall ratings tumble this season — but the amazingly durable “Survivor” continues to live up to its name, with Wednesday’s finale in line with its prior two closers.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “Survivor” averaged a 2.5 rating/8 share in adults 18-49 and 9.5 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., with these numbers likely to edge up in the nationals due to a late finish time of 10:13. Its year ago finale did a 2.7 demo rating and 10.2 million viewers, and its most recent finale last December did a 2.6 in 18-49 and 10.2 million total viewers.

This was the first time “Survivor,” which regularly airs on Wednesday, wrapped its season on the night since its inaugural cycle in 2000. It has been closing its cycles on Sunday.

At Fox, the finale of “American Idol” averaged a 2.6 rating/9 share in adults 18-49 and 10.1 million viewers overall — down about 25% in both categories from last year’s finale (on a Thursday) for the show’s lowest-rated conclusion to any edition to date; it is projected to gain two-tenths in the nationals, as the winner wasn’t revealed until a little after 10. “Idol” did built sharply over its special Tuesday performance finale of this week, which produced the show’s lowest scores ever (1.7 in 18-49, 6.8 million).

Head-to-head from 8 to 10 p.m., “Idol” finished ahead of “Survivor” by 4% in 18-49 (2.6 to 2.5) and 6% in total viewers (10.1 million to 9.5 million), subject to revision in the nationals due to late finish times for both. “Idol” opened up a bigger advantage in the 9:30 p.m. half-hour over “Survivor” (2.9 to 2.6 in 18-49), whose audience was steadier throughout the night.

CBS closed the night with a “Survivor” reunion special, which was the leader in key categories from 10:30 to 11 (1.8/5 in 18-49, 6.8 million); it started at about 10:13 p.m.

At ABC, the hourlong season finale of “The Middle” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 7.5 million viewers overall) was up slightly from last week’s half-hour episode, and was followed by “Modern Family” (3.6/11 in 18-49, 10.2 million viewers overall), which grew about 10% week to week as it closed its season as Wednesday’s No. 1 program in 18-49 and 25-54 (4.1/11). It was also a narrow leader on the night in total viewers, though “American Idol” figures to move ahead in the nationals.

Although it finished down in season averages vs. last year, “Modern Family’s” fifth-season finale was in line with last year’s in 18-49 and up a bit in total viewers; among the show’s season-enders, only the season 2 finale drew more total viewers than last night. The show matched its highest rating in 18-49 since November (and figures to edge up to hit a five-month high in the nationals) while drawing its largest overall audience since mid-November.

ABC fell off from there, with “Mixology” seeing no bump for its finale (1.3/4 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall), and summer crime drama “Motive” opening its season quietly (0.9/3 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall).

NBC’s finales of “Revolution” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall), “Law & Order: SVU” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 6.3 million viewers overall) and “Chicago PD” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall) were all close to last week’s levels. “SVU” drew its largest overall audience since April 9, and “Chicago” hit a three-week high in 18-49.

At CW, “The 100” (0.5/1 in 18-49, 1.4 million viewers overall) held up pretty well, down just a tenth from last week when it had a firstrun lead-in from “Arrow.” A special repeat “The 100” kicked off last night for the net (0.2/1 in 18-49, 0.8 million viewers overall).

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