TV Ratings: 'How I Met Your Mother' finale hits highs, but 'Blacklist' helps NBC win Monday
The series finale of "How I Met Your Mother" delivered big numbers for CBS Monday, helping the network dominate the start of primetime and beating "The Voice." However, low numbers for the [series?] finale of "Intelligence" helped NBC eke out a Monday win among young viewers and also win overall, edging "Dancing"-fueled ABC.
The "How I Met Your Mother" finale drew the biggest overall audience (12.94 million) in the show's history, as well as its best 18-49 rating (5.3), its best 18-34 rating (5.8) and a tie for its best 25-54 rating (5.4).
Even with the big "HIMYM" audience, FOX's "Bones" posted a small week-to-week gain, while The CW's "Star-Crossed" and particularly "The Tomorrow People" were up.
On to the numbers...
Among adults 18-49, NBC averaged a 3.2 rating for Monday night, edging out CBS' 3.0 rating in the key demographic. There was a big drop to ABC's 1.8 key demo rating and to FOX's 1.4 key demo rating. The CW did a 0.4 key demo rating for Monday.
Overall, NBC claimed victory with an estimated 11.85 million viewers and a 7.2 rating/11 share for Monday primetime, outdrawing ABC's 11.59 million, though ABC did a 7.7/12. CBS was well back in third with 8.7 million viewers and a 5.3/8, far ahead of the 4.93 million viewers and 3.1/5 for FOX. The CW averaged 1.11 million viewers and a 0.7/1 for the night.
8 p.m. - ABC started the night in first overall with 13.08 million viewers for "Dancing with the Stars," coming in third with a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49. CBS was a close second with 12.94 million viewers for the "How I Met Your Mother" finale, which averaged an impressive 5.3 rating in the key demographic. [Viewers were curious about the end of "HIMYM," but the comedy finale's second half-hour still averaged 13.11 million viewers to the 13.12 million for "Dancing."] NBC was third overall with 11.525 million viewers and second with a 3.1 key demo rating for "The Voice," both down from the comparable hour last week. FOX's "Bones" averaged 5.63 million viewers and a 1.5 key demo rating in fourth. On The CW, "Star-Crossed" rose to 1.1 million viewers and a 0.4 key demo rating.
9 p.m. - "Dancing with the Stars" rose to 14.29 million viewers to commandingly win the 9 p.m. hour for ABC, but stayed third with a 2.3 rating among adults 18-49. NBC's "The Voice" was second with 12.64 million viewers and won the hour with a 3.6 key demo rating, but remained down from last week. CBS was third overall and second in the key demo with the "HIMYM"-inflated premiere from "Friends With Better Lives" (7.985 million and a 2.7 key demo rating) and "Mom" (7.24 million and a 2.2 key demo). FOX's "The Following" was flat with 4.23 million viewers and a 1.4 key demo rating. On The CW, "The Tomorrow People" averaged 1.11 million viewers and a 0.5 key demo rating, both up from last week.
10 p.m. - "The Blacklist" ruled the 10 p.m. hour for NBC with 11.39 million viewers and a 2.8 rating among adults 18-49, up from last week in viewers, but down 0.1 in the key demo. ABC's "Castle" repeat was second with 7.41 million viewers and third with a 1.1 key demo rating. CBS' "Intelligence" finale drew its usual 5.545 million viewers and 1.2 key demo rating.
[UPDATE: The Final Live+Same Day numbers for the "How I Met Your Mother" finale ticked up to a 5.4 rating among adults 18-49 and to 13.13 million viewers overall. "Friends with Better Lives" ticked down only slightly to a 2.6 key demo rating and 7.63 million viewers.]
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.