UPDATE 2 PM: The final numbers are in and, even with the downward adjustments due to local NFL pre-emptions, the 8:30 PM- 11 PM CBS series ended up posting ratings gains vs. last week, underscoring the critical importance of The Big Bang Theory, which aired an original last night vs. a repeat last Thursday. Big Bang was actually the only series to dip from its last original on Nov. 20 (3.9 in 18-49, down a tenth.) Mom (2.6) was up 30% from last week with an original lead-in to tie a series high in 18-49. Two and a Half Men (2.3) was up +21%, The McCarthys (1.6) was up +14%. Agains anemic competition, repeats of How To Get Away With Murder (0.5) and Blake Shelton special (0.8), Elementary (1.4) was +16% to a season high. The only other series to get an adjustment last night was The Vampire Diaries, which climbed a tenth to a 0.8 for its winter finale, up +29% from last week.
PREVIOUS 9:30 AM: We had a full variety of finale performances last night — with series up, down or even in their final outings for 2014 or ever.
Fox featured the winter finale of Bones (1.2) and series finale of Gracepoint (0.9). Despite the extra publicity for Bones, which marked its 200th episode and whose star Emily Deschanel just announced her second pregnancy, the veteran procedural was down -20% from last week when it faced a repeat Big Bang Theory vs. an original last night. In its conclusion, the Broadchurch remake was flat in 18-49 and logged a +10% uptick in total viewers (4.0 million). The praised British series is returning for a second season on ITV. That is not expected to happen for the Fox version, which was set up as a limited series and did not connect with wider audiences while maintaining a small core base.
Also going against a new Big Bang, the winter finale of the CW’s The Vampire Diaries (0.8) was up +14% from last week. Reign posted a 0.5, +25%, for its winter closer, which was the costume drama’s most watched episode of the season (1.42 million, +17%). TVD‘s audience (1.8 million) also was up, +20%, as the CW hit a Thursday season high in viewers (1.61 million) while matching season high in the demos.
NBC’s cancelled freshman comedies Bad Judge (1.1) and A to Z (0.8) perked up in the final stretch of their 13-episode runs. Bad Judge was up +22% (.2) from its most recent original on Nov. 20, A to Z was up +14% (0.7). At 8 PM, The Biggest Loser (1.1) was even with its most recent original, also on Nov. 20, tying a series low in Live + Same Day. At 10 PM, a repeat of the Blake Shelton’s Not So Family Christmas special did a 0.9.
CBS’ The Big Bang Theory (4.0) was even with the fast national for its most recent original, also on Nov. 20. The ratings for the rest of the network’s Thursday series were seriously inflated by NFL pre-emptions in Phoenix and St. Louis affecting 2.7% of the country, with fast national bumps currently running between +27% and +40%. Listing those numbers is meaningless, I will update with the finals later today. CBS is expected to win the night in 18-49 and total viewers but its current tally also is inflated.