Fast National ratings for Monday, March 31, 2014.

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.

A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.