TV Ratings: Lackluster 'American Idol' finale still dominates season-ending Wednesday
'Revenge,' 'Apt. 23,' 'Modern Family' get finale bumps for ABC
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The finale of the 11th season of FOX's "American Idol" is likely to go down as the show's least-watched finale since 2002, but it still had plenty of juice to dominate the last night of the 2011-12 television season (and to comfortably beat the recent finales for "The Voice" and "Dancing with the Stars").
While "Idol" ate up the majority of the Wednesday audience, there were still enough viewers for all of ABC's finales to get variable-sized bumps.
[Remember with these numbers that the "Idol" finale ran though 10:07, but the last seven minutes, including the announcement of the winner, isn't part of these primetime figures for FOX, so the actual finale averages will be slightly higher than FOX's averages for primetime.]
For the night, FOX averaged a 6.1 rating among adults 18-49. That easily beat the combined key demographic totals for ABC (2.6 rating), CBS (1.5 rating), NBC (1.4 rating) and The CW (0.4 rating).
Overall, FOX averaged an estimated 20.71 million viewers and an 11.8 rating/19 share for Wednesday primetime. ABC was a distant second with 7.3 million viewers and a 4.7/8. CBS' 3.9/6 and 5.875 million viewers and NBC's 5.38 million viewers and 3.5/6 followed. The CW averaged 891,000 viewers and a 0.6/1 for the night.
[Univision averaged 4.95 million viewers and a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49 for Wednesday night.[
8 p.m. - The first hour of the "American Idol" finale ruled the 8 p.m. hour for FOX with 18.97 million viewers and a 5.5 rating among adults 18-49. ABC was second with the season finale of "The Middle" (6.505 million viewers and a 2.0 key demo) and a repeat of "Modern Family" (6.03 million and a 2.0 key demo). NBC's "Betty White's Off Their Rockers" was third with 5.4 million viewers and a 1.5 key demo rating, edging out the 5 million viewers and 1.4 key demo rating for repeats of "The Big Bang Theory" and "Two and a Half Men." The CW's repeat of "America's Next Top Model" averaged 865,000 viewers and a 0.3 key demo rating.
9 p.m. - The second hour of the "American Idol" finale rose to 22.45 million viewers and a 6.7 rating among adults 18-49 for FOX. ABC was second with finales for "Modern Family" (9.99 million viewers and a 4.0 key demo) and "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23" (5.74 million and a 2.5 key demo), with an especially big bump for the latter comedy. CBS' "Criminal Minds" repeat averaged 6.38 million viewers and a 1.6 key demo rating, beating the 3.77 million viewers and 0.9 key demo rating for NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" repeat. The CW's "America's Next Top Model" highlight show averaged 917,000 viewers and a 0.4 key demo rating.
10 p.m. - ABC closed primetime in first with 7.76 million viewers and a 2.4 rating among adults 18-49 for the season finale of "Revenge." NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" finale was second with 6.98 million viewers and a 1.9 key demo rating. CBS' "Criminal Minds" repeat was third with 6.25 million viewers and a 1.6 key demo rating.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.