UPDATE 2:34 PM: The final numbers are in and the tied top two finales of Wednesday night both saw a move upward – though they are still even with each other. Both the Season 30 ender of Survivor and the Season 6 finale of Modern Family rose a tenth to a 2.3 rating among adults 18-49. For the ABC show that means that last night’s ratings not only a finale low but an all-time low for the series, which had newbie game show 500 Questions as a lead-in. With the adjusted result Modern Family is now down 38% from its May 21, 2014 Season 5 ender and 14% from last week. With its adjustment, the veteran CBS reality show was down 12% from its Spring 2014 finale but even with its May 13 airing. The Survivor Reunion show was also adjusted up a tenth to a 1.8, which now leaves it pretty steady with last year with just a 5% dip.
PREVIOUS, 10:05 AM: As the 2014-15 television season officially came to an end and the 30-year late night stint of David Letterman wrapped up too, it was season finales galore on primetime last night plus a trio of debuts. The season enders of two veterans in particular were tied for the top spot among adults 18-49 on Wednesday with both Survivor (2.2/7) No #1 in unscripted and Modern Family (2.2/8) taking the Gold among the scripted crowd on a night that saw TV usage down 4% in the demo from last week.
While CBS easily grabbed both the top spot in the key demo and in total viewers with a 2.1/7 rating and 8.98 million watching, it didn’t come with out a cost. Slipping a mere 4% from last week, the 2-hour Season 30 finale of Survivor took a tumble of 15% in fast nationals from the final numbers of its May 21, 2014 Season 28 ender, which was up against American Idol and the Revolution finale. With the winner announced around 10:15 PM, expect some adjustments in Survivors’ numbers. Compared to the Season 29 finale of December 17 last year, last night’s finale was down 12% among adults 18-49. With past participants for seasons of yore were announced as the fan voted in contestants for the next installment of the Mark Burnett produced show last night too, the 1-hour live Survivor Reunion (1.7/6) was down 11% from the May 2014 airing and 5% from the December 2014 version.
With new and untested game show 500 Questions (1.2/5) as a lead-in, Modern Family’s Season 6 finale took a big fall with its usual comedy Wednesday openers. The sitcom was down 19% from last week’s 9 PM airing after the Season 2 finale of The Goldbergs. Modern Family took a hard 41% hit from its Season 5 ender of May 21 when it played at 9 PM after the 1-hour Season 5 finale of The Middle. While we coiuld see adjustments in the final numbers, last night’s result is a finale and a series low for the Emmy winning Modern Family in early numbers. The previous low for the ABC series was the 2.4/7 it got back on the November 25, 2009 during its debut season on the night before Thanksgiving.
While doing Modern Family no favors, newbie 500 Questions results were somewhere between soft and solid all things considered last night. Hosted by CNN’s in-house Brit Richard Quest, the new game show was down 14% in the demo from the most recent unscripted debut on ABC, which was February 17th Repeat After Me. However, unlike the Fresh Off The Boat lead-in that the 8:30 PM show had earlier this year, the show from Mark Burnett and WB Unscripted boss Mike Darnell opened up primetime for the net in a very crowded slot, including the Season 6 debut of MasterChef (1.2/4) – which it matched- and NBC’s The Mysteries of Laura (1.1/4) – which it beat. Promoted as an event series, 500 Questions runs for the next six nights, excluding weekend repeats. The rest of ABC’s Wednesday night saw the Season 1 finale of black-ish (1.6/5), which down 20% from last week, and the season premiere of Celebrity Wife Swap (1.0/3), which was even with its last debut of April 14 last year.
Fox had the big premiere of the night with the 2-hour Season 6 debut of MasterChef and the addition of Christina Tosi as one of the judges along with Gordon Ramsey and Graham Elliot. In comparison to last year’s 1-hour Season 5 debut of May 26, 2024, which was a Monday and was head to head with ABC’s The Bachelorette, last night’s MasterChef deflated 20% among adults 18-49.
The CW saw the Season 10 ender of Supernatural (0.7/2), which belly flopped 42% from last year’s finale of Tuesday May 20, 2014.
NBC may have won the 2014-15 in the demo by a small margin but their Wednesday night was all finales and almost all declines. Freshman The Mysteries of Laura was last in its 8 PM slot among the Big 4 but rose 10% from its May 13 show to hit its best result since late February. The Season 16 finale of Law & Order: SVU (1.4/5) saw a regular exit the show. It also saw SVU down 13% both from last week and from its last season ender of May 21, 2014. The Season 2 ender of Chicago P.D. (1.4/5) was also down 13% from its May 13 show and its Season 1 finale of May 21 last year.