"Big Bang Theory" season finale is top-rated and most viewed
Update: "American Idol" inched down further in the final numbers, posting a 3.6, but increased slightly in total viewers with 14.3 million. "The Office" finale, meanwhile, ticked up to a 3.0. Numbers are adjusted below.
Fox's "American Idol" fell to an all-time season finale low Thursday as CBS's "The Big Bang Theory" season finale won the night in the key demographic and total viewers. Despite slipping, "Idol" still delivered Fox an overall win for the evening.
The series finale of NBC's "The Office," which aired from 9 to 10:15 p.m., drew a 3.0 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demo — the series' best performance since January 2012 — and drew 5.7 million total viewers.
Fox's "Idol" has received lower ratings throughout this season, its 12th on the air. With a 3.6 rating, "Idol" was down 44 percent in the key demo Thursday from last season's finale, and fell to 14.3 million total viewers from last season's 21.5 million.
Still, Fox drew first place in ratings and total viewers with a 3.6 and 14.3 million, according to preliminary numbers.
CBS was second in ratings and total viewers with a 2.6/8 and 10.4 million. The season finale of "The Big Bang Theory" at 8 drew even with last year's finale, drawing the night's top ratings with a 4.4/16 and scoring the night's largest audience with 14.8 million total viewers. Following a "Big Bang Theory" repeat at 8:30, the two-hour season finale of "Elementary" inched up from last week's episode with a 2.0/6 and 8.9 million total viewers.
ABC currently holds third place in ratings and total viewers with a 2.4/7 and 7.2 million. "Wipeout" at 8 slid 23 percent to a series low of 1.0/3 with 3.8 million total viewers, while the season finale of "Grey's Anatomy" inched down from last week — and slid 27 percent from last season's finale — for a 3.0/8 with 8.6 million total viewers. "Scandal" at 10 closed its season with a 39 percent jump compared to last year's finale, grabbing a 3.2/9 and 9.1 million total viewers.
NBC's early numbers are unreliable due to the unusual time periods for the "Office" finale and "Hannibal," but the network holds fourth place in ratings and total viewers with a 2.2/6 and 4.4 million in preliminary numbers. A clip show of "The Office" at 8 p.m. posted a 2.0/7 and 4.4 million total viewers. The "Office" season finale had a 3.0 rating — up 30 percent from both last week's episode and last year's finale — and 5.7 million total viewers. "Hannibal" at 10:15 had a 1.1/3 and 2.5 million total viewers.
At the CW, which averaged a 0.8/2 and 1.8 million total viewers for the night, the season finale of "The Vampire Diaries" at 8 drew even with last week's series low and fell 17 percent from last year's finale for a 1.0/3 and drew 2.2 million total viewers. The "Beauty and the Beast" finale the following hour was also even with last week and tied a series low, posting a 0.5/1 with 1.3 million total viewers.