Ratings: ‘American Idol’ Finale Ends on Low Note

A few days after Fox announced that next season would be the last for “American Idol,” the long-running music competition wrapped its 14th season with its lowest-rated finale to date — losing out to the night’s top three shows, “Modern Family,” “Survivor” and “Black-ish.”

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “American Idol” averaged a 1.6 rating/5 share in adults 18-49 and 7.7 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., with these numbers expected to rise in the nationals since they don’t include the final six minutes of the program. Once one of the highest-rated telecasts of the season, this year’s “Idol” finale was down sharply from last year’s conclusion (2.6/9 in 18-49 and 10.53 million viewers overall). “Idol” was the night’s third most-watched program overall, with the net’s nightly average ranking No. 1.

Among the programs that topped “Idol” was CBS’ own reality veteran, “Survivor” (2.2/8 in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall), which was up a tick from last week with the season’s penultimate episode. It was followed on the Eye by back-to-back original episodes of “CSI: Cyber” at 9 (1.2/4 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall) and 10 (1.2/4 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall).

ABC, which won Wednesday in adults 18-49, was led by the season finale of “The Middle” (1.7/7 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall), which was on par with last week and down about 12% from last year’s hourlong finale. It was followed by the second-season conclusion to “The Goldbergs” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 6.7 million viewers overall), which also matched its week-ago score but surged 43% above its year-ago finale score on Tuesday (1.4). For the season, “Goldbergs” improved vs. last year by 27% (2.8 to 2.2) and bettered the Wednesday 8:30 p.m. time period for ABC by 56% (2.8 vs. 1.8).

Modern Family,” which wraps its season next week, followed at 9 p.m. with a season-low 2.7/9 in 18-49 and 8.1 million viewers overall, down 0.2 from last week. And “Black-ish” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall) was down a tenth from last week and won its time period in demos.

NBC placed fourth on the night in 18-49 but closed the gap thanks to week-to-week gains for its dramas “The Mysteries of Laura” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 6.1 million viewers overall), “Law & Order: SVU” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall) and “Chicago PD” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall). “SVU,” whose primary competition (CBS’ “Criminal Minds”) was off, shot up the most: 25%. “Chicago PD” matched its highest rating for a non-crossover episode since mid-February and beat its ABC and CBS competition for the 11th straight time it aired an original episode.

At CW, the season finale of “Arrow” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.8 million viewers overall) held steady and was up a tenth from its year-ago finale. “Supernatural” also had a good night (0.8/2 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall), up 33% (0.2) from last week.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 1.8/6; Fox, 1.6/5; CBS, 1.5/5; NBC, 1.4/5; Univision, 1.1/4; CW, 0.9/3; Telemundo, 0.6/2.

In total viewers: Fox and CBS, 7.7 million; NBC, 6.6 million; ABC, 6.2 million; Univision, 2.9 million; CW, 2.5 million; Telemundo, 1.4 million.

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