Fans said goodbye to two long-running favorites on Monday, as ABC’s “Castle” hit season highs across the board while CBS’ “Mike & Molly” drew its largest audience in more than a year.
“Castle,” which was canceled last week by ABC after eight seasons due in large part to the departure of leading lady Stana Katic, averaged a 1.3 rating/4 share in adults 18-49 and 7.8 million viewers overall, according to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen. It was up week to week by 18% (0.2) in the demo and by more than 1 million total viewers (from 6.74 million).
The previous season high for “Castle” was a 1.2 in the demo, something it achieved three times last fall, and 6.84 million total viewers (with its season premiere). Monday’s results are the top show since its eighth-season finale a year ago (1.4 in 18-49, 8.44 million total viewers).
“Mike & Molly,” which is ending after six seasons, aired back-to-back episodes at 8 (1.4/5 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall) and 8:30 (1.6/6 in 18-49, 8.3 million viewers overall) and was actually down a bit from the 1.6 and 1.7 it did in the demo last week. But the finale may have brought back some older viewers to the show, as the final half-hour was up about 200,000 from last week for the comedy’s largest overall audience since March 2015 (8.57 million).
NBC won the night in key demos as usual behind “The Voice” (2.0/7 in 18-49, 9.4 million viewers overall), which was down a tick to match its season low. And at 10 p.m., “Blindspot” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.4 million viewers overall) tied for the 18-49 lead with “Castle.”
At CBS, “Mike & Molly” was followed by a repeat “The Big Bang Theory” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 7.2 million viewers overall) and an original “The Odd Couple” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 5.7 million viewers overall), both of which were on par with last week. “Person of Interest” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall) was down a tick opposite the higher than usual “Castle.”
Fox’s “Gotham” (1.3/5 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall) edged up a week from its finale, while “Houdini & Doyle” held at its low number (0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall).
CW’s season finale of “Jane the Virgin” saw a slight uptick in demos (0.4/1 in 18-49, 0.9 million viewers overall). “Reign” kicked off the night with a 0.3 and about 800,000 viewers overall.
TNT was expected to win the night overall with its coverage of Game 1 of the NBA’s Western Conference Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors, which tipped off at 9 p.m. ET.