UPDATE, 1:56 PM: The XXX Summer Games has hit TV Gold. With 219.4 million viewers NBC’s broadcast of the 2012 Olympics has become the most-watched event in U.S. TV history. Having hit the second most-watched mark last Thursday, the London Games has now surpassed the 215 million who watched the 2008 Beijing Games. NBCUnivesal broadcasted the Games across its networks of NBC, NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, and Telemundo. Last night’s Closing Ceremony (17.0/27) hit some Olympic highs for the network too. Sunday’s 8:30 – 10:58 broadcast pulled in 31.0 million viewers. That made London’s extravaganza last night the most watched non-U.S. Closing Ceremony since Montreal in 1976. It’s total viewership was 12% more that watched the 2008 Closing Ceremony and 58% more than watched the 2004 Closing Ceremony. In terms of ratings, last night’s Closing Ceremony beat the end of the Beijing Games (15.5/25) by 10% an the 2004 Athens Games (11.9/20) by 43%. In the Olympic aftermath, the 10:58 -11:20 PM commercial-free Animal Practice preview that NBC showed last night averaged a 4.1 among the key demo of Adults 18-49. While the preview left many annoyed that they had to wait until after it and local News aired to see rock legends The Who at the Olympic Closing Ceremony, Animal Practice had 12.8 million viewers overall last night. Over the 17 nights of the London Games, NBC averaged 31.1 million viewers. That number was 12% higher than Beijing and 26% higher than Athens, making London the most-watched non-U.S Summer Games since 1976. The 2012 Games averaged 17.5/30 national household over the 17 nights of the Olympics ties the 1988 Seoul Games as highest rated non-U.S. Summer Games since Montreal.
RELATED: UPDATE: 2012 Olympic Games Are Biggest UK TV Event Ever; Closing Ceremony Gives BBC An 81% Share
PREVIOUS, 8:59 AM: The 2012 Olympics are over and the guitars, dancers, fireworks and athletes have all left the arena. On its last night, the XXX Summer Games (9.1/23) easily earned a Gold last night. Despite criticism over edits, promo interruptions and outages, NBC’s tape delayed primetime 8:30 – 10:58 PM broadcast of the Closing Ceremonies from London was up 32% from the end of the Beijing Games on August 24, 2008. The Closing Ceremony had a total viewership of 30.56 million last night. NBC also ran a 90-minute London Gold (5.7/18) special at 7 PM looking at America’s medal victories at the 2012 Games. Final numbers on the last night of the Games are expected later today. Those numbers should reveal if London 2012 will eclipse Beijing 2008 as the most watched event in American TV history. Based on Friday’s numbers, the 2012 Games had a total audience of 212.7 million compared to Beijing’s 215 million.
After two weeks of mostly repeats, the other networks had some new shows on last night. ABC ran a new episode of Secret Millionaire (1.0/3) at 8 PM. The reality show was up 25% from last week’s broadcast. Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition (0.9/2) followed, up 13% from last week. CBS ran a new 60 Minutes with an interview with the presumptive GOP ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, and a new Big Brother, as well as repeats of Criminal Minds and The Mentalist. The spill of 60 Minutes into Big Brother garnered the reality series a 1.9/6, which is technically down for last week. However, because of overrun of 14 minutes from CBS’s coverage of the PGA Tour pushing the network’s schedule back almost an quarter of an hour, week by week comparisons are invalid until final adjusted numbers come in later. Fox ran a slate of animated repeats.