Fox’s “Wayward Pines” opened modestly on Thursday opposite a pair of season finales — ABC’s “Scandal” and NBC’s “The Blacklist” — that finished with upticks but were down sharply from last year. Overall, it was fairly sluggish for a final Thursday of the television season, with a high-rated NBA playoff game on ESPN at least partly to blame.
According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, ABC’s season finales of “Scandal” (2.3 rating/8 share in adults 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall) and “Grey’s Anatomy” (2.2/8 in 18-49, 8.3 million viewers overall) stood as Thursday’s top two series in 18-49. While each was up a tick from last week, they were down 32% and 15% respectively vs. last year’s season-enders. “Grey’s,” for a show in its 11th season and in an earlier timeslot, is still performing admirably, but anchor “Scandal’s” decline this spring and must be sending off some alarm bells at the Alphabet. The shows will return as a combo in the fall, followed by “How to Get Away With Murder.”
In the 10 p.m. hour last night, the season finale of “American Crime” did a 1.0/3 in 18-49 and 4.3 million viewers overall, holding steady week to week. ABC won the night in 18-49, meaning it took three of the May sweep’s four Thursdays in the demo.
Over at NBC, “The Blacklist” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall) was up for a second straight week as its wrapped season two. While it has given the network’s Thursday a nice boost — and does very well in DVR playback — “Blacklist” finished down about 40% from last year’s finale (2.6), which aired after “The Voice” on Monday. It nearly doubled its lead-in from a repeat “Law & Order: SVU” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall), and was followed at 10 p.m. by “Dateline” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 5.0 million viewers overall), which was up 0.2 from last week for its best delivery during the May sweep.
At Fox, “Bones” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 4.6 million viewers overall) was followed by the premiere of limited series “Wayward Pines” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall); while a modest bow, “Wayward” did have to face the finales of two of TV’s top dramas among young adults. The project from M. Night Shyamalan was up 11% over Fox’s late-May bow a year ago of “Gang-Related,” which didn’t have to face any big finales. Fox is expected to announced global viewing estimates for the show, whose debut was the world’s largest day-and-date launch ever for a scripted series.
CBS surrounded the season finale of “The Odd Couple” (1.8/7 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall) with repeats of “The Big Bang Theory” at 8 (2.0/8 in 18-49, 9.6 million viewers overall), 9 (1.9/6 in 18-49, 8.0 million viewers overall) and 9:30 (1.8/6 in 18-49, 7.9 million viewers overall). The first-year half-hour, which was renewed for a second season, managed to match last week’s rating when it followed the big season finale of “Big Bang.” Closing the night for CBS was the season finale of “Elementary” (1.2/4 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall), which was up a tenth from last week. For the night, CBS was a competitive second to ABC in 18-49 while edging out the Alphabet in 25-54 and winning in total viewers.
CW’s “The Vampire Diaries,” which featured the final episode for Nina Dobrev, was up a tenth with its season-ender (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.5 million viewers overall). “Reign” (0.4/1 in 18-49, 0.9 million viewers overall) was in line with last week.
Total-viewer estimates weren’t available for ESPN’s telecast of Game 6 of the NBA Playoffs series between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls, but the contest averaged a 5.2 overnight household rating — comparable to NBC’s “The Blacklist.” The 5.2 rating matches the highest first or second-round game on ESPN in three years (Miami-Indiana did a 5.4). In Cleveland, its 29.9 rating is the highest ever for an NBA playoff game (except for the Finals) on any ESPN network.