ABC Drama Trio, CBS’ ‘The Mentalist’ Edge Up on Sunday

Eye's 'Amazing Race' finale is top broadcast series in demos, but is down from last year

Red Widow

The networks continue to produce lackluster Sunday ratings this spring, though the finales of ABC’s “Red Widow” and CBS’ “The Mentalist” managed to score week-to-week gains. The Alphabet’s “Once Upon a Time” and “Revenge” also grew one week from their season-enders.

Fox used a NASCAR overrun to narrowly win the night among young adults, with CBS prevailing in other categories, according to Nielsen preliminary estimates.

At CBS, “60 Minutes” (1.2 rating/4 share in adults 18-49, 10.5 million viewers overall) was down from last week but remained the night’s most-watched program overall. It was followed by the two-hour finale of the 22nd edition of “The Amazing Race” (2.3/6 in 18-49, 8.9 million viewers overall), which was in line with last week in the demo and came in down more than 10% from last year. Still, “Race” was the top Big Four program of the night in 18-49 and 25-54 (3.1/7).

And closing out the night, “The Mentalist” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 9.2 million viewers overall) was up a tick from last week to lead among the broadcasters in 18-49, 25-54 and total viewers, but lost nearly a third of the young-adult audience from its season finale of last year on a Thursday.

At ABC, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 5.9 million viewers overall) was down a bit from last week, but dramas “Once Upon a Time” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall), “Revenge” (1.8/5 in 18-49, 6.2 million viewers overall) and “Red Widow” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 3.5 million viewers overall) all gained either one or two-tenths from last week as the net had its best Sunday in six weeks. “Once” and “Revenge” have their finales next week.

Fox’s numbers are subject to significant revision due to a NASCAR overrun until about 8:25 p.m. ET, pushing the start times of the net’s 8-10 p.m. animation block back by nearly half an hour in most of the country. In the affiliate-based prelims, the 8:30 p.m. half-hour (mostly “The Simpsons”) averaged a 1.7/5 in 18-49 and 4 million viewers overall, while the 9 p.m. half-hour (mostly “Bob’s Burgers”) did a 2.0/5 in the demo and 4.4 million viewers and the 9:30 p.m. slot (mostly “Family Guy”) pulled a 2.1/5 in 18-49 and 4.6 million viewers overall.

NBC started the night quietly with a repeat of “The Voice” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall) before rising at 9 with “The Celebrity Apprentice” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall), though it hit a season low and seemed affected by the extra reality competition this week from “The Amazing Race.”

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 2.1/6; CBS, 1.9/5; ABC, 1.6/5; NBC, 1.2/3; Univision, 0.9/3.

In total viewers: CBS, 9.4 million; Fox, 5.9 million; ABC, 5.8 million; NBC, 4.0 million; Univision, 2.4 million.