It was almost a full house network-wise on Friday with a finale here, a real heating-up there and a high. The season finale was over on ABC, where Last Man Standing (1.3/5) wrapped up its third cycle. While bopping up 8% from last week’s show, the yet-to-be-renewed Tim Allen comedy was down 19% among adults 18-49 from its Season 2 ender on March 22, 2013. Garnering a 1.6/6 rating and 7.85 million in its 8 PM slot, the half-hour show’s finale was also up against Night 2 of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament last year. Last night’s LMS finale pulled in 5.85 million viewers. And what a difference a month can make: TV usage levels were 13% higher on March 22 last year than they were last night.
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ABC’s only other original of the night, Shark Tank (1.7/6), was the highest-rated show of the night and even with its April 18 result. Being that the entrepreneurial reality series tends to see a rise of a tenth at least in the final numbers, expect this morning’s preliminary result to be adjusted. With that in mind and as the only network not to be putting out a full schedule of originals last night, ABC won primetime among the key demo for the fourth Friday in a row. The network had a 1.4/5 rating, with CBS coming in second with a 1.2/4. CBS won the night in total viewers with 9.19 million watching.
Speaking of CBS, the viewership may have been tops on Friday, but the demo ratings were tepid. Unforgettable (0.9/4) was even with last week’s show while Hawaii Five-0 (1.2/4) and Blue Bloods (1.3/4) were both down a tenth from their last originals on April 11. Unsurprisingly, the Tom Selleck-led police drama was the most-watched show of the night with an audience of 10.81 million, down just a tad from the 10.97 million who tuned in two weeks ago.
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Over on Fox’s Kitchen Nightmares, Gordon Ramsay tried to help turn around a flailing Italian joint by cutting down on its prodigious pasta production on the one hand and staging a pasta-eating contest on the other. The end result was a very welcoming one for Fox after the double-digit drops that KN had last week. Preliminary ratings have the 8 PM (1.0/4) episode of third week of the sixth season of the reality show even with last week. But the real business was the 9 PM (1.2/4) episode, which heated up 33% its April 19 broadcast. End of lesson – more pasta please, Mr. Ramsay.
And in the vein of “more, please,” that’s what NBC got last night with Hannibal (1.0/3). The often bloody and sometimes ratings-unsteady show saw another week of double-digit growth, this time up 25% over its April 18 show. Part of that leap undoubtedly came from the return of Grimm (1.3/4). Back after two weeks, the procedural fantasy drama rose 18% from its April 11 broadcast. Pre-empted in the Portland market due to NBA Playoffs, NBC kicked off its might with Dateline (1.2/5), which was even with last week.
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