Ratings: ‘Big Bang Theory’ Series Finale Blows Up Thursday With 3-Year High of 18 Million Viewers

Long-running sitcom also comes to an end with its highest key demo rating since January 2018

Last Updated: May 17, 2019 @ 6:11 PM

“The Big Bang Theory” ended with, well, a bang Thursday night: The long-running CBS sitcom’s hour-long series finale scored a 3.1 rating in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic and 18 million viewers, according to overnight Nielsen data.

That key demo rating is the best the Chuck Lorre-created comedy has seen since it landed its last 3.1 in January 2018. The two-part finale’s total viewer tally marks a more than 3-year high in “BBT’s” overall-eyeballs count, with the previous winner being the Season 9 premiere in 2015, which scored 18.2 million total viewers. CBS won Thursday primetime outright, thanks to those gaudy numbers.

CBS was first in ratings with a 2.0 rating/10 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and in total viewers with an average of 12 million, according to preliminary numbers. From 8-9 p.m., “The Big Bang Theory” series finale landed that previously mentioned 3.1 and 18 million viewers, plus a 16 share. At 9, the second season finale of “Young Sheldon” earned a 2.2/10 and 13.7 million viewers. At 9:30, the “Big Bang Theory” farewell special put up a 1.8/8 and 11.8 million viewers. The “S.W.A.T.” finale at 10 received a 0.9/4 and 6 million viewers.

ABC was second in ratings with a 0.8/4 and in viewers with 4.4 million. At 8, “Grey’s Anatomy” ended its season with a 1.3/7 and 5.9 million viewers. At 9, the “Station 19” Season 2 finale got a 0.8/4 and 4.9 million viewers. The “For the People” series finale at 10 managed a 0.5/2 and 2.6 million viewers.

NBC was third in ratings with a 0.6/3 and in viewers with 2.5 million. At 8, “Superstore” had a 0.6/3 and 2.4 million viewers. The comedy’s season finale at 8:30 got that same rating and share but fell to 2 million viewers. At 9, the first episode of the “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” Season 6 finale took a 0.5/3 and 1.7 million viewers. At 9:30, the second episode also got a 0.5/2, but fell to 1.5 million viewers. “Law & Order: SVU” at 10 earned a 0.7/4 and 3.5 million viewers.

Telemundo and Univision tied for fourth in ratings, both with a 0.4/2. Telemundo was fourth in total viewers with 1.3 million and Univision was sixth with 1 million viewers.

Fox was sixth in ratings with a 0.3/2 and fifth in viewers with 1.1 million. Those numbers, plus a 2 share, were brought in by “Paradise Hotel,” which aired from 8-10 p.m. and filled the network’s entire primetime block.

The CW was seventh in ratings with a 0.2/1 and in viewers with 568,000. At 8, “iZombie” had a 0.2/1 and 615,000 viewers. At 9, “In the Dark” saw a 0.2/1 and 521,000 viewers.