The season finale of "American Idol" had 17 percent more total viewers than last season's swan song, while "Cougar Town" signed off for the season with a 29 percent dip in the 18-49 demo compared to last season's finale, according to preliminary numbers.
The "American Idol" tenth season finale, on Fox from 8-10 p.m., was the evening's biggest ratings winner, to nobody's surprise. It took an 8.9 rating/25 share in the adults 18-49 demo, a 9 percent boost over last year's season capper. Its 28.1 million total viewers, meanwhile, represented a 17 percent jump in viewership over last year's finale.
ABC's evening kicked off with the season finale of "The Middle" at 8, which slipped 12 percent compared to last year's finale with a 2.2/7 in the demo and 7.4 million total viewers. A "Modern Family" repeat at 8:30 took a 1.9/5 in the demo and 6 million total viewers, while the show's finale at 9 snagged a 4.1/11 in the demo and 10.2 million total viewers — a 5 percent dip compared to last year's season-ender, but enough to make the show the second-highest rated of the evening. The one-hour "Cougar Town" finale at 9:30 didn't fare as well; the episode's 2.0/5 among adults 18-49 represented a 29 percent dip compared to the previous season's capper. (Wednesday's finale drew 5 million total viewers.) The evening closed out with some good news for the recently faltering freshman comedy "Happy Endings": its finale drew a 1.7/4 in the demo, up 31 percent compared to its last original airing, and 4 million total viewers.
CBS' evening consisted mostly of repeats, with back-to-back reruns of "The Big Bang Theory" at 8 and 8:30 drawing a 1.5/5 and 1.7/5 in the demo, respectively, and 5.8 and 6.1 million total viewers. A "Criminal Minds" repeat at 9 took a 1.6/4 in the demo and 6.4 million total viewers. The network closed out the night with a new "Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior: at 10, which received a 2.0/5 in the demo and 7.5 million total viewers.
NBC ran back-to-back repeats of "Minute to Win It" at 8 and 9, which had a 1.0/3 and 1.1/3 in the demo, respectively, and 3.4 and 3.5 million total viewers. "Law & Order: Los Angeles" closed out the evening at 10 with a 1.4/3 in the demo and 5.5 million total viewers.