×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘The Big Bang Theory’ Finale Scores Huge Ratings, 18 Million Viewers

The finale of CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” went out with a bang in Thursday’s ratings.

The hourlong airing of back to back episodes garnered a substantial 3.1 rating in the key 18-49 demographic and was watched by just under 18 million total viewers. For comparison, the “Big Bang” spinoff “Young Sheldon” came in second on Thursday night with a 2.2 rating and 13.7 million viewers for its season finale, followed by a large drop-off to the “Grey’s Anatomy” season finale, which drew just under 6 million total viewers and a 1.3 rating. The finale also topped the other main demographic of 25-54 (4.7).

That initial rating is the show’s highest since January, 2018, and represents the highest-rated episode of “Big Bang”‘s twelfth and final season by far, while the total viewership figure is the highest the show has produced since September, 2015. The previous season 12 high was 2.57 for the February 7 episode, and the average for the season to-date was 2.2 prior to last night’s finale.

“Big Bang Theory” is the first show to end its run as TV’s top series since the final season of “Seinfeld” aired in 1998.

The “Big Bang Theory” farewell special which aired after “Young Sheldon” at 9:30 p.m. also did extremely well for CBS, coming in at a 1.8 rating and 11.8 million total viewers.

The finale also delivered a 12.2 household rating and 22 share, an impressive live turnout by today’s linear TV viewing standards. It marked a 34% increase in the show’s metered market average for the season.

The “Big Bang” bump boosted “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to a blockbuster 3.8 household rating for the night. Colbert’s featured an extended interview with the cast of “Big Bang.”

“Big Bang”‘s massive ratings helped CBS to a handy victory on the night. The network finished with an average rating of 2.0, more than doubling its competitors figures, as ABC came in at a 0.8 across the night and NBC at a 0.6.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel WME

    Endeavor Targets Sept. 27 for Stock Debut, IPO Video Tells Company's Origin Story

    After years of preparation, Endeavor is set to make its formal Wall Street debut on Sept. 27, when its stock will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Endeavor has targeted Sept. 26 for the final pricing of its shares. The stock will trade publicly the following day. Earlier this week, Endeavor said its [...]

  • A LITLLE LATE WITH LILLY SINGH

    TV Review: 'A Little Late with Lilly Singh'

    Lilly Singh is well aware of her unique place in late night. After kicking off her first episode with a rap dedicated to the fact that she is not, unlike every other network late-night host, a straight white man, Singh walks out onto her own stage and addresses it with her audience directly. “I get [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Peter Coyote Riffs on 'Country Music' and How He Admires and Challenges Ken Burns

    Though an instantly recognizable face from films such as “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “A Walk to Remember” and “Erin Brockovich,” it is Peter Coyote’s voice — a coolly authoritative baritone with a Zen master’s holy roll — that has endeared him to documentary lovers and makers. Alrhough director-writer Alex Gibney used Coyote’s wisened narration for “Enron: [...]

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 19:

    Emmys 2019: Inside All the Hottest Pre-Parties

    It’s (Emmys) party time! Before the 71st annual Emmys go live on Sunday, stars and execs are keeping busy by party-hopping in the days leading up to the big show. Here, Variety gives you the inside details on who was where and what they were doing. Keep checking back right here throughout the weekend for [...]

  • Atmosphere71st Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations Announcement,

    Emmys: Looking Ahead to 2020, Here Are Some of the Rules That the TV Academy Should Address

    When this year’s Emmy nominations were announced in July, Netflix’s gripping and powerful “When They See Us” earned several well-deserved nods, including limited series, as well as actor (Jharrel Jerome) and directing (Ava DuVernay) for limited series or a movie. It also cleaned up in the limited series supporting actor and actress categories — but [...]

  • Prodigal-Son

    TV Review: 'Prodigal Son'

    Darkness on network TV can feel a bit by-the-book; in order to impress us with how edgy they’re able to be within stricter boundaries than cable and streaming, dramas lard on violence and evil that can feel a bit unmotivated. Which is why “Prodigal Son,” a new Fox drama, is in its first three episodes [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content