UPDATE: Here are the final Live+Same Day ratings for the How I Met Your Mother series finale: 5.4 rating among adults 18-49, up a tenth from the fast national, and 13.13 million total viewers. The Friends with Better Lives premiere was adjusted down a tenth to a 2.6 in 18-49. ABC’s Dancing With the Stars inched up to a 2.3.
PREVIOUS: How I Met Your Mother may have divided fans but it sure brought them to TV in a big way — especially the series’ core younger demographics. Last night’s hourlong farewell episode of the long-running CBS comedy series set across-the-board series highs, drawing 12.94 million total viewers, a 5.3 rating in adults 18-49 (up 51% from last week), and a 5.8 in 18-34, with its ratings certain to go even higher in the finals. Given how rare such beloved comedy series are these days, it was somewhat surprising that CBS didn’t make an event of its farewell. For instance, the finales of NBC’s Friends and The Office and CBS’ Everybody Loves Raymond all were preceded by retrospective specials, goosing up the numbers for the closing episodes. Instead, the HIMYM finale was a self-starter at 8 PM.
After such an emotional experience from 8-9 PM, many HIMYM fans admitted online that it was hard for them to stick around for the premiere of CBS’ Friends With Better Lives. Under the circumstances, the new comedy got OK sampling, drawing 8 million viewers, a 2.7 in 18-49 and 2.5 in 18-34. (Its numbers may be adjusted down in the finals because of a minute of a HIMYM overrun.) Its real test will be when it debuts in its regular time slot behind 2 Broke Girls. Unfortunately, that won’t happen for two weeks as the network’s Monday lineup is preempted next week. At 9:30 PM, Mom (7.2 million, 2.2) was up 16% in 18-49, while Intelligence (1.2) was up a tenth. Against the HIMYM finale, NBC’s The Voice (3.4) extended its downward trend, down 6% from last week’s fast national. The Blacklist (2.8) was down a tenth from the fast national, even with the final. The network still won the night in 18-49. Fox’s Bones (1.5) was up 7% from last week, The Following (1.4) was flat. Dancing With The Stars (2.2) matched its fast national from last Monday. The CW lineup posted gains: Star-Crossed (0.4) was up a tenth (33%) from last week to match a series high, while The Tomorrow People (0.5) was up 0.2 (67%) to post the network’s highest 18-49 rating with regularly scheduled programming in the Monday 9 PM hour in 15 months.