A softer lead-in and a week off seemed to impact same-night ratings for the finale of “Mr. Robot,” but the first new USA drama in years to have pop culture buzz still had a solid finish and ends summer among the top-rated new cable series in key advertising demos.
USA is expected to release additional ratings info next week when three-day DVR playback tallies are included, but Wednesday’s 74-minute finale of “Mr. Robot” averaged a 0.46 rating in adults 18-49 and 1.21 million viewers overall in Nielsen’s “live plus same-day” estimates. It was the No. 1 scripted original on cable Wednesday in 18-49 and 25-54.
In 18-49, it matched its June 24 premiere and was a bit below both its prior episode of two weeks ago (0.49) and its season average (0.48).
The “Robot” finale had been delayed a week by USA because the episode includes a scene with similarities to the real-life murders that occurred Aug. 26 on live TV in Virginia. Last night, it followed a repeat of “Law & Order: SVU” because “Suits,” which had served as the lead-in to “Mr. Robot” all summer, ended its season as scheduled last week.
Prior to Wednesday’s finale, “Mr. Robot” was averaging 1.4 million adults 18-49 (1.1 national rating), 1.5 million adults 25-54 (1.3 rating) and 2.8 million total viewers in Nielsen’s “most current” estimates. It ranks as the No. 2-rated new scripted basic cable drama series of the summer (behind AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead”) and No. 3 new scripted basic cable drama series of the year (behind “Fear the Walking Dead” and “Better Call Saul,” also from AMC).
The show has been sampled roughly 17.4 million times across all platforms — including linear, VOD, iTunes, USAnetwork.com and multiple digital outlets. It has also garnered 9.3 million VOD transactions to date and was July’s No. 1 basic cable performer across Comcast’s on-demand platforms.
Specifically on USAnetwork.com, according to the network, “Mr. Robot” recorded the highest engagement rate of any first-season USA original (14 minutes vs. an average of six minutes) and has generated the most video streams for a new USA series in five years (6.5 million season to date).
Starring Rami Malek and Christian Slater, “Mr. Robot” revolves around an anti-social IT whiz who is drafted to work for an underground group of hackers focused on rooting out evil and corruption in corporate America. With another 100% “fresh” score for its finale, it became the first-ever series to earn a perfect score for every episode of a season on online review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
“Robot” was a shot in the arm to USA this summer and contributed to the network’s No. 1 finish among cable networks for the June-August period in key demos. Although it joined other cable networks in showing meaningful year-over-year declines, it held off a rising Discovery in both adults 18-49 and adults 25-54, according to preliminary estimates for the June 1-Aug. 30 ratings period.
Also for USA, “Suits” finished summer as a top 5 basic cable scripted drama among adults 18-49 and in the top 10 in total viewers, and “WWE Monday Night Raw” remained the most-watched, regularly scheduled year-round cable program. On the unscripted front, “Chrisley Knows Best” saw significant growth vs. last year, spiking 43% in 18-49, 68% in adults 25-54 and 58% in total viewers.