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‘Mole’ finale lifts ABC out of darkness

CBS 'Friends' bows with sluggish start

ABC’s “The Mole” and Fox’s “Temptation Island” delivered big numbers with their season finales on the final night of sweeps Wednesday, with the two rating as their respective nets’ top series among adults 18-34.

According to Nielsen, “The Mole” won its hour by most measures, including total viewers (15.41 million), adults 18-49 (6.0/16) and adults 18-34 (6.5/18) — all season highs. Although not a huge score in 18-49 — three episodes of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” have done better in the hour this season — it was enough to secure a third-place sweeps tie for the Alphabet in adults 18-49.

ABC and CBS tied for the month with a 4.4/11.

“The Mole,” which has been picked up for a second edition next fall, ended its initial run as the Alphabet’s No. 1 entertainment series among adults 18-34 (5.8/17) and its No. 1 series overall among women 18-34 (6.6/17). In its regular Tuesday timeslot, it boosted the net’s circulation among adults 18-34 by 36% (5.7/16 vs. 4.2/13).

Fox’s “Temptation Island,” meanwhile, dominated its hour in adults 18-49 (9.6/22) and adults 18-34 (12.7/31). These are the second-best scores of the series’ six-week run, but its best opposite all-original programming.

The controversial reality skein, which Fox announced on Thursday will be returning for a second season, has become the net’s top-rated series of all time (albeit with just six episodes) in several demos.

Auds cool on ‘Best Friends’ bow

Elsewhere on Wednesday, new CBS laffer “Some of My Best Friends” (7.09 million viewers) got off to a sluggish start in a tough time period Wednesday. The Paramount comedy about mismatched roommates finished a distant fourth by all measures at 8 p.m., although its 18-49 rating (2.9/8) tops five of the last six episodes of “Bette” to air in the slot.

“Bette” (7.11m, 2.9/7 in A18-49), meanwhile, looked a little stronger at 8:30. It matched its “Best Friends” lead-in for its second-best demo score since November.

NBC moved ahead of ABC in total viewers for the month (12.65m to 12.59m) by winning Wednesday (16.2 million to 13.6 million). “The West Wing” (18.09m) and “Law & Order” (18.88m) each won their hours.

Fox won the night in adults 18-49 (7.4/18), followed by NBC (6.4/16) and ABC (5.4/13).

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