Dancing With The Stars‘ fall cycle had been tracking lower than last year’s for its entire run, hitting a couple of series lows along the way. So it’s not surprising that the series’ two-hour finale last night (4.1/11, 19.5 million) was down from last fall too, by 23% in 18-49. It was the lowest-rated fall Dancing finale ever, though as usual it posted a season high in 18-49 and total viewers. Dancing faced a somewhat atypical competition, with its opening hour airing against the second hour of Fox’s X Factor. But earlier this month ABC’s CMAs went head-to-head with X Factor on Wednesday and didn’t miss a beat. Dancing fans seem to have tuned to ABC early as the network’s 8-9 PM comedies both got ratings bumps. Last Man Standing (2.7/8) was up 4%, while Man Up! (1.9/5), which won’t produce more episodes beyond the original 13-episode order, was up 12%. ABC (3.5/9, 15.7 million) won the night in 18-49 and total viewers.
All other series suffered declines as the Thanksgiving holiday nears. Fox’s X Factor performance show (3.2/9) was down 18% from last week’s Wednesday airing. The network once again favored Simon Cowell’s reality series over its regular Tuesday lineup featuring Glee and New Girl. After a 3-week run to open the season, Fox benched its Tuesday series for 2 weeks of baseball and 2 weeks of X Factor. After another 3-week run, last night again the network pre-empted its Tuesday comedies for X Factor, presumably not to have the live results show on Thanksgiving night. That puts more pressure on rookie New Girl, which suffered a double-digit ratings drop after the first long hiatus. CBS’ dramas all slipped to season lows. NCIS (3.5/10) was down 13%, NCIS: LA (3.08) down 12% and Unforgettable (2.2/6) down 8%. NBC’s The Biggest Loser (2.0/5) was down 5%, Parenthood (1.9/5) down 5%.