With less than a week to go before the Oscars, we have a winner – on The Celebrity Apprentice (1.6/4) that is. The two-hour Season 14 finale of NBC’s Donald Trump fire-and-hire series came down to two TV hosts – Geraldo Rivera and Leeza Gibbons. In a show that featured an appearance by Melissa Rivers and a tribute to her mother Joan, the former Entertainment Tonight co-host got the nod in what was actually one of the fiercest competitions the show has seen. That translated into results for NBC, with the show bopping up 7% among adults 18-49 from the Season 13 finale of May 19, 2013 — which was a Sunday and saw the show facing the Billboard Music Awards on ABC. Last night’s Celebrity Apprentice also rose 14% from the season low of last week’s one-hour episode.
Celebrity Apprentice wasn’t the only finale on NBC last night. Struggling freshman State Of Affairs (1.0/3) wrapped its first cycle and finished the network’s primetime on Monday too. Despite an uptick for its lead-in, the unlikely-to-be-renewed Katherine Heigi-starrer was even with its February 9 episode.
In the second recent installment of its emerging post-Grammy tribute specials, CBS gave most of the night over to Stevie Wonder: Songs In The Key Of Life – An All Star Grammy Salute (1.4/4) on Monday. Like last year’s The Beatles: The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute, the LL Cool J-hosted show featured scores of acts paying tribute to a musical giant. Ed Sheeran and Pharrell Williams, both of whom performed at the tribute to the Fab Four, were onstage at the event filmed two days after this year’s Grammys, as was Lady Gaga with Tony Bennett, Jill Scott, Janelle Monae and India Arie, among others. There was a killer show-stopping melody from Beyoncé, Paul McCartney showed up in a video tribute and, of course, Mr. Wonder himself played. Unlike the Beatles tribute, the Stevie celebration did not run on a heavily watched Sunday, which many be part of the reason the 9-11 PM special was down 33% from the 8-10:30 PM show on February 9 last year. Viewershipwise, the Stevie special drew 7.49 million viewers compared to the 13.95 million the Beatles tribute pulled in on a night that included Olympics competition and the Season 4 winter premiere of The Walking Dead.
The earlier part of CBS’ night saw comedies 2 Broke Girls (2.2/6) and Mike & Molly (2.2/6) slip 4% and stay even with last week, respectively.
Over on ABC, The Bachelor (2.5/7) took a 7% dip from last week but still was the top-rated and most-watched show of the night with an audience of 8.88 million. The two-hour Bachelor plus an even Castle (1.6/5) secured the fourth Monday victory in a row in the key demo for ABC with a 2.2/6 rating. The network also won the night in total viewers with 8.7 million.
ABC was the Monday primetime winner but they must be at least smiling over at Fox with both Gotham (2.1/6) and Sleepy Hollow (1.4/4) up 17% in the demo from last week’s lows. On The CW, The Originals (0.6/2) was up 20% from last week’s big fall while Jane The Virgin (0.6/2) was even with its February 9 episode.