A hologram of the late Michael Jackson reminded the kids how it was really done, Justin Timberlake thanked “everyone on Earth” except LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, Kendall Jenner dropped the ball and Lorde wowed the crowd at the 2014 Billboard Awards (3.5/10) last night. Unsurprisingly, it was a mix of the awards show and finales galore on the last Sunday of the 2013-2014 TV season. Taking over ABC’s schedule, the live show produced by dick clark productions show was even with last year’s big surge and hence tied an 11-year high. While even in preliminary numbers among adults 18-49, the three-hour show was up 10% in total viewers to 10.5 million, a 13-year high for the show, which wasn’t televised from 2008-2011, and the best it has ever done on ABC since the network revived it (it previously was on Fox). America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.6/6) started the night for ABC steady with last week’s show. With the musical heavyweights doing so much lifting with the night’s highest-rated and most-watched show, it is no surprise ABC won Sunday in the demo (3.0/9) and total viewers (9.49 million).
It was almost nothing but finales on CBS last night. The 9 PM Season 5 closer of The Good Wife (1.2/3) didn’t see any major character die – unlike the sudden demise of Josh Charles’ Will Gardner character earlier this cycle – but there were cliffhangers. With the Billboard Awards on ABC, the legal drama remained even with last week but took a 25% dive from its Season 4 ender on April 28, 2013. With 60 Minutes (1.3/5) as its lead-in, the all-star edition of The Amazing Race (1.7/5) wrapped the veteran franchise’s 24th season. The news mag show was up 18% from its May 11 show while the unscripted series was even with last week but down 29% from its last finale on May 5, 2013. The recently renewed The Mentalist (1.5/4) ended its sixth season and CBS’ Sunday primetime with some serious traction — on one level. While up 25% from last week’s show, the procedural stumbled 12% from last year’s finale on May 5, 2013.
Fox had finale fever too with Bob’s Burgers (0.9/4), American Dad (1.2/4), The Simpsons (1.6/5) and Family Guy (2.0/5) ending their seasons last night. Bob’s and American Dad were both even with last week. With a silent character briefly vocal, the Matt Groening-created series ended its 25th season also even with last week, while, with a bit of time travel, Family Guy wrapped its 12th season with a 5% slip from it May 11 show. Bob’s cratered 43% from last year’s finale on May 12, 2013, while American Dad went down 36%. Finale-to-finale, Family Guy was down 20% from last year while The Simpsons fell 23%. Science docu series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (1.1/3) ended the night for Fox. While not the finale of the Seth MacFarlane co-produced series, Cosmos was even with last week’s episode.
NBC had some music of its own Sunday with the Coldplay: Ghost Stories (0.4/2) special kicking off primetime. The special was down 20% from American Dream Builders‘ average in the hour. Coldplay was followed by ADB (0.4/1) in the 8 PM slot, which crumbled 20% from its last original May 4 at 7 PM to hit a new low for the show. NBC ended the night with two-hour special Women Of SNL (0.8/2).