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TV Ratings: ‘Big Bang Theory’ Ends its Season at No. 1

As TV season draws nearer to a close, several series finished strong in their season finales.

“The Big Bang Theory” was the highest-rated show of the week, pulling in 14.6 million viewers in its season-ender. While good enough for the top spot in the rankings, the turnout was actually down 2 million from last year’s season finale, according to Nielsen estimates.

CBS had two other series in the top 10 with high-performing season finales. “Criminal Minds,” whose spinoff “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” will air on CBS next season, drew 9.6 million viewers to end its tenth season, making it the seventh most-watched show of the week. It was followed by “The Good Wife” with 9.3 million viewers, the Julianna Margulies drama’s largest audience since January.

The Eye had two more season finales in the top 20, with “Hawaii Five-0” and “Person of Interest” each drawing more than 8 million viewers.

Not every series was enjoying a positive send-off, though. Many series have gotten the ax over the past few days as the networks announce their schedules for next season, thereby revealing which shows will not be returning.

One of those doomed series is Fox’s “American Idol.” Despite its healthy ratings during the run of “Empire” earlier this year, the competition show has failed to generate high numbers lately. Pulling in 6.9 million viewers last week, “Idol” couldn’t crack the top 20. CBS’ “Battle Creek” was another victim of Upfronts. The series was cancelled after one season, drawing 6.3 million viewers last week.

ABC’s “Revenge” ended its four-season run with a larger audience than usual; its 4.8 million viewers represented a four-month high.

The CBS special devoted to David Letterman, “Letterman: A Life on TV,” made it into the top 20, with more than 8 million viewers tuning in for the tribute to the late night giant prior to his final show on May 20.

CBS won the broadcast race for the 11th straight week. The Eye averaged 8.1 million viewers per evening, outstripping ABC’s 6.6 million, NBC’s 5.4 million and Fox’s 3.2 million averages.

Cable programming was reigned over by HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” which pulled in 6.56 million viewers. The fantasy/drama juggernaut has consistently drawn north of 6 million viewers since its fifth season bowed in April.

For the week of May 3 to May 10, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 14.6 million; “NCIS,” CBS, 14.5 million; “NCIS: New Orleans,” CBS, 13.3 million; “Dancing with the Stars,” ABC,12.4 million; “DWS: The Results Show,” ABC, 10.3 million; “The Voice,” NBC, 9.9 million; “Criminal Minds,” CBS, 9.6 million; “The Good Wife,” CBS, 9.3 million; “Survivor,” CBS, 9.2 million; “The Voice – Tuesday,” NBC, 9 million.

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