We’ve been warming up on the season finales this May sweep, but last night the floodgates opened wide as almost everyone of the Big 4 was saying au revoir – some with unthinkable losses and cliffhangers. Yes, that’s you I’m talking about NCIS (1.9/7) this fine morning of CBS’ Upfronts presentation in NYC. With the title of “Neverland,” the Season 12 ender of the special agents procedural went out with a bang on Tuesday to set everything up for its 13th cycle in the fall. Unfortunately for the Mark Harmon-led NCIS, while slipping just 5% from last week, that bang was also indicative of a ratings hit. While the series low of the fast nationals could see an adjustment later, there is no way of getting around that NCIS fell to a series finale low last night. In fact, compared to its Season 11 ender of May 13, 2014, Tuesday’s S12 finale fell a hard 26% among adults 18-49. Second in its 8 PM time slot among the key demo, NCIS was the most watched show of the night with an audience of 14.74 million. Still, last night’s NCIS was down 12% viewershipwise from the S11 finale of last year.
The season finale of NCIS: New Orleans (1.7/5) saw the freshman spinoff bopping up 6% from last week. A special Tuesday airing of CSI Cyber (1.2/4) was tied with the low of last Wednesday’s episode. All in, CBS was tied with NBC for the highest-rated network of the night with a 1.6/5. When it came to the most watched network of the night, CBS was the clear and easy winner with 12.32 million viewers. NBC was in second place with 6.58 million tuning in.
It was actually a fairly steady night for NBC with The Voice (2.1/7) rising 5% from last week and the season finales of Undateable (1.3/4) and Chicago Fire (1.5/5) even and dipping 6% respectively from last week. Finale-to-finale, the Season 2 end of the renewed Undateable was up 117% from last year’s Season 1 finale on the Thursday of July 3, 2014. Last night’s Undateable matched the 2-hour Season 2 finale of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1.3/4), which was down 35% from its Season 1 finale of May 13, 2014 and tumbled 13% from last week to what is currently a series low in preliminary numbers. After a season that saw the renewed superspy show find some ratings traction, the hope for ABC must be that S.H.I.E.L.D.’s strong DVR life kicks in for Live + 3 and Live + 7 numbers. The Season 3 finale of Chicago Fire did not burn so bright as its Undateable lead-in, despite an appearance by Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen. The Dick Wolf-produced series was down 21% from its Season 2 finale of May 13 last year.
The only network without a finale or two last night was Fox – though they are very close to one. Opening with Hell’s Kitchen (1.2/4), which was even with last week, Fox saw the second to last American Idol (1.2/4) of the once predominant competition series’ second to last season. Lacking the rising interest of past seasons, Part 1 of Idol’s Season 14 finale was down 14% among the 18-49s from its May 6 show of last week and last among the Big 4 in its 9 PM time slot. Compared to Season 13’s penultimate telecast of May 20 last year, last night’s Final 2-performance show face planted 29%. The Season 13 finale of last year was the all-time season-ender low for Idol. Last night also saw Univision tied with Fox in the demo with a 1.2/4 rating.
While S.H.I.E.L.D. had a rough night, there was a brighter light on ABC with Dancing With The Stars (1.5/5). The results show of DWTS rose 7% from its May 5 show.Even with some superguest appearances, there was no jump ahead for The Flash (1.4/5) last night as the 8 PM superspeedy superhero show was even with last week. It was a better night for iZombie (0.7/2) with the midseason newbie up 17% from its May 5 show.