Viewers may have shown up in latenight for David Letterman’s latenight farewell, but it was a rather subdued final night of the television season on the broadcast networks. Though ABC’s new gameshow “500 Question” had a decent bow, the net’s comedies “Modern Family” and “Black-ish” ended their seasons with lows, and none of the night’s other finales — including CBS’ “Survivor” and NBC’s dramas — really popped.
According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “500 Questions” opened on ABC with a 1.2 rating/5 share in adults 18-49 and 5 million viewers overall — on par in the demo with Fox’s premiering “MasterChef” and second for the hour to reality vet “Survivor.” The gameshow, which pits geniuses against each other and is scheduled for a seven-night run, should get a chance to build its audience tonight when it expands to two hours and faces lesser competition.
One week after “The Middle” and “The Goldbergs” wrapped their seasons, ABC’s anchor comedy “Modern Family” seemed to suffer with a change of lead-in. It fell to easily its lowest scores of the season (2.2/8 in 18-49, 7.1 million viewers overall) and led into lows for “Black-ish” as well (1.6/5 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall) as it concluded its first season. The previous low for any original of “Modern Family” over the years had been a 2.5 it did on Thanksgiving Eve in its first season. Even with an expected uptick in the nationals to a 2.3, “Modern Family” will finish down more than 1 full point from last year’s 3.7. “Black-ish” at least was able to improve on last year’s “Mixology” (1.3), which wasted that 3.7 lead-in.
Closing out the night for ABC was the premiere of summer series “Celebrity Wife Swap” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall), which matched its year-ago premiere when it bowed Tuesday at 10 in April.
Elsewhere, “Survivor” (2.2/8 in 18-49, 9.7 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m.) was on par with recent weeks as it wrapped its 30th edition; it figures to rise to about a 2.4 in the nationals once its full duration is included (it ended around 10:15 p.m.), and this would leave it down a bit from last spring’s finale (2.6). The post-finale reunion special averaged a 1.8/6 in 18-49 and 7.5 million viewers overall in the prelims, though this may come down as this score includes about 15 minutes of the actual finale. For the night, CBS dominated in 18-49 and 25-54, with “Survivor” the No. 1 show in the latter (2.9/9), and the Eye won the night in total viewers.
At NBC, which aired finales of its drama lineup that returns intact in the fall, “The Mysteries of Laura” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) was up a tenth for its best score since February, while “Law & Order: SVU” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall) and “Chicago PD” (1.4/5 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall) were in line with last week.
Fox saw a quiet start for “MasterChef” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 3.3 million viewers overall), which did the same 1.2 rating in all four half-hours from 8 to 10. A year ago, the vet opened with a 1.5 and then grew from there and closed its season strong.
CW’s “Supernatural” was steady (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.8 million viewers overall) as it wrapped its season, leaving it down rather sharply from last year (1.1 in 18-49, 2.3 million) when it aired on Tuesday.
Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: CBS, 2.1/7; ABC, 1.4/5; NBC, 1.3/5; Fox, 1.2/4; Univision, 0.8/3; Telemundo, 0.7/2; CW, 0.5/2.
In total viewers: CBS, 9.0 million; NBC, 7.2 million; ABC, 4.9 million; Fox, 3.3 million; Univision, 2.2 million; Telemundo, 1.5 million; CW, 1.4 million.