UPDATE: In updated Nielsen estimates released Tuesday afternoon, the finale of “How I Met Your Mother” rose to a 5.4/16 in adults 18-49 and 13.13 million viewers overall, both series highs. The net’s premiere of “Friends With Better Lives” was adjusted down a tenth (2.6/7 in 18-49, 7.63 million).

ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” was adjusted up as expected (2.3/6 in 18-49, 14.10 million), matching its demo score of the previous week and closing the gap with NBC’s “The Voice” to 4 shares in adults 18-49 and just 2 shares in adults 18-34.

There were no adjustments for any programs on NBC, Fox or CW.


CBS comedy “How I Met Your Mother” surged more than 50% week-to-week in key demos Monday as it wrapped its nine-season run with the show’s best-ever young-adult delivery as well as its largest overall audience.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “How I Met Your Mother” averaged a 5.3 rating/16 share in adults 18-49 and nearly 13 million viewers overall. It was easily the night’s top program in adults 18-49, 25-54 and other key demo categories.

Its 18-49 score— a 51% spike from last week’s 3.5 rating — is the second highest for any regularly scheduled comedy this season, just a bit behind the 5.5 that CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” delivered for its season premiere last September. “Mother” also swelled its overall audience week-to-week, rising more than 40% above last week’s 9.04 million.

The “HIMYM” numbers are in line with the series finale of “The King of Queens” on CBS in May 2007 (5.2 in 18-49 and 13.6 million total viewers) — an impressive feat given the changes in the TV landscape in those seven years.

By comparison, NBC’s “The Office,” wrapped last May with a 3.0 demo rating and about 6 million viewers. The Peacock’s “Friends” did a monster 24.9 rating in 18-49 and 52.5 million total viewers when it concluded 10 years ago, numbers that will be hard for any comedy to eclipse.

“Mother” was the rare sitcom that went out while still a strong ratings performer. For the season, it ranked third among all comedies on television in adults 18-49 — behind only “The Big Bang Theory” and “Modern Family.”

The Gotham-set “How I Met Your Mother” dominated the New York ratings race in Monday’s opening hour, with its 6.9 rating/20 share in adults 18-49 topping the combined ABC-NBC-Fox-CW tallies.

CBS used the “How I Met Your Mother” finale to introduce new comedy “Friends With Better Lives” (second-place 2.7/7 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall), which was up nearly 25% from last week’s “Mike & Molly.” Starting next week, it will air at 8:30 p.m., behind “2 Broke Girls.”

The big “HIMYM” finale didn’t seem to take away from competing programs, most of which were in line with, or actually up from, last week.

At NBC, which still prevailed over CBS for the night in 18-49 and 25-54 and also won in total viewers, “The Voice” (3.4/9 in 18-49, 12.1 million viewers overall) was down 8% from last week for this cycle’s low, but dominated its second hour in demos. And “The Blacklist” (2.8/8 in 18-49, 11.4 million viewers overall) matched its strong perf of last week to win across the board at 10 o’clock.

CBS followed “How I Met Your Mother” and “Friends With Better Lives” with “Mom” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall), which was up 16% from last week, and the finale of “Intelligence” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 5.5 million viewers overall), which was up a tenth.

ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” (2.2/6 in 18-49, 13.7 million viewers overall) continues to look healthier this cycle, as it figures to edge up a tick in the nationals to match last week’s 2.3 demo score (despite the “HIMYM” finale) and slightly outperform the comparable night a year ago (2.2), when “HIMYM” and other CBS comedies were in repeats. It also pulled to within 1.2 ratings points of “The Voice” in 18-49 for its closest finish this spring. In total viewers, it beat out “HIMYM” to stand as the night’s No. 1 program.

A repeat “Castle” closed the night for ABC (1.1/3 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall).

At Fox, “Bones” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 5.6 million viewers overall) was up a tick from last week, while “The Following” was flat (1.4/4 in 18-49, 4.2 million viewers overall); both ranked fourth among the Big Four in 18-49.

CW ‘s “Star-Crossed” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 1.1 million viewers overall) and “The Tomorrow People” (0.5/1 in 18-49, 1.1 million viewers overall) were both up from last week, giving the network its most-watched Monday night since February of last year. “Star-Crossed” drew its largest overall audience in four weeks and matched series highs in key demos, and “Tomorrow” spiked 40% or more in most categories, and doubled its 18-34 rating from the previous week (0.4 vs. 0.2).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 3.2/9; CBS, 3.0/8; ABC, 1.8/5; Fox, 1.4/4; Univision, 1.2/3; CW and Telemundo, 0.4/1.

In total viewers: NBC, 11.9 million; ABC, 11.6 million; CBS, 8.7 million; Fox, 4.9 million; Univision, 2.8 million; CW and Telemundo, 1.1 million.