‘Big Bang Theory’ Series Finale Is Now Season’s Most-Watched Show, Not Counting Sports

The one-hour series closer swelled to 24.4 million viewers after three days of delayed viewing

The Big Bang Theory

“The Big Bang Theory” went out with a, well, a pretty big bang for CBS last week, and three days of delayed viewing only saw the ratings for the May 16 series finale increase.

The series capper for Leonard, Sheldon and Penny drew 23.44 million viewers, according to Nielsen’s live-plus-three ratings, which factors in three days of delayed viewing. That makes “The Big Bang Theory” finale the most-watched non-sports program of the 2018-19 season on any network or streaming platform. The 23.44 million is only for the May 16 broadcast and does not include Monday’s encore run of the finale.

The 23.44 million improves upon the 18 million viewers that the May 16 series finale drew in the overnight ratings.

In the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic, three days of delayed viewing lifted the show’s rating from a 3.2 in the overnights to a 4.6. That made the one-hour finale the highest-rated non-sports show other than this year’s Oscars.

“The Big Bang Theory” wrapped with its 279th episode, which made it the longest-running multi-camera series in television history.

It’s been among the top 3 most-watched series on TV for the last seven years, earning 10 Emmy wins, including four consecutive Best Actor in a Comedy wins for star Jim Parsons. The show’s soundstage — Stage 25 at Warner Bros. Studios — was even renamed as “The Big Bang Theory Stage,” only the fifth time Warner Bros. has dedicated a specific sound stage.

Next season, “Big Bang Theory” spinoff, “Young Sheldon” will inherit the Thursday, 8 p.m. time slot.