On a low-rated final night of the 2012-13 season, ABC's "Modern Family" was the top-rated show despite having its lowest-rated season finale to date. ABC and CBS tied for first in the ratings, and CBS won in total viewers, as CBS's "Criminal Minds" and NBC's "Law & Order: SVU" also hit season finale lows.
CBS, which had a 2.2 rating/7 share in the key 18-49 demographic and averaged 9 million total viewers, followed reruns in the 8 p.m. hour with the two-hour "Criminal Minds" season finale at 9. It earned a 2.7/8, making it the second-highest rated show in the demo Wednesday, and had 10.8 million total viewers, making it the most-watched show overall. But it was down 25 percent from last year's two-hour finale for its lowest-rated season finale so far.
ABC also had a 2.2/7 rating, and was second in total viewers with 6.9 million. At 8, "The Middle" season finale had a 2.0/7, even with last season’s finale, and had 7.5 million total viewers, making it Wednesday's third-most watched show. After a "Modern Family" repeat at 8:30, the show's season finale at 9 had a 3.6/11, down 12 percent from last season’s finale, and 9.9 million total viewers, which made it the second-most watched show of the night. At 9:30, "How To Live with Your Parents" climbed 10 percent from last week to a 2.2/6, and had 6.3 million total viewers. The "Nashville" season finale at 10 went up 12 percent from last week to a 1.9/5 and had 6.1 million total viewers.
Fox was a close third in the ratings with a 2.1/7 in the key demo and fourth in total viewers with 5.2 million. The "Masterchef" premiere at 8 had a 2.0/7, down 13 percent from last summer's 9 p.m. premiere, but it was steady in total viewers with 5.1 million. In its 9 p.m. airing, it had a 2.2/9, down 4 percent from last summer's premiere, but it was up 6 percent in total viewers with 5.4 million.
NBC was fourth in the ratings with a 1.6/5 and third in total viewers with 6.3 million. At 8, "Dateline" had a 1.4/5 and 6.2 million. At 9, "Law & Order: SVU" fell 20 percent from last year's season finale to a 1.6/5, its all-time season finale low, and 6.7 million total viewers. At 10, the "Chicago Fire" season finale had a 1.7/5 and 6.2 million total viewers.
Univision was fifth in the ratings and in total viewers with with a 1.3/4 and 3.2 million.