The TV term “season low" for a network TV show usually can’t be found in the same sentence as “series finale.” But TV is changing.
In most usual scenarios for a TV network show, a viewership builds throughout the year, culminating in more viewers as it reaches a big moment in its story line.
CBS’ “The Good Wife” may claim both ends of this. For its season ender, it dipped 11% to land at a Nielsen preliminary live-plus-same-day 1.7 rating/4 share among key 18-49 viewers. “Wife,” however, did win the night in overall viewers -- 9.83 million.
Analysts say increased time-shifting activity for many shows -– especially some dramas -- have led to viewer changes. Other network shows gone the same route. A year ago, NBC’s now-departed “Chuck,” for example, sank to its season-low among 18-49 viewers at its series finale. It also had a high percentage of its viewers watching the show on a time-shifted basis.
“Wife” was up against some strong competition -– an original episode of Fox’s “Family Guy,” which scored the second-best ratings of the night: a 2.8/7. There was also a fresh ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” at a healthy 2.5/6. “Guy” was 12% higher from its last original episode outing; “Housewives” was down a tick from its last original.
CBS had better luck earlier in the night: “Amazing Race” was at a 2.2/6, although down 15% from the week before. CBS’s midseason show, “NYC 22” at 10 p.m., went lower to a 1.2/3.
ABC’s “Once Upon A Time” continued as the top-rated Sunday show, earning a 2.9/8. At 10 p.m., ABC had “GCB” at a 1.9/5. “Time” was down a bit from last week, but “GCB” gained some 30% from its last original outing.
Two hours worth of “Celebrity Apprentice” gave NBC a 1.9/5 between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., down two-tenths of one rating point from a week before.
Fox’s animated comedies -- apart from higher “Family Guy” numbers -- were steady versus a year ago.
ABC won the night with a 2.2/6 among key 18-49 viewers; Fox scored a 1.9/5; CBS took a 1.6/4; NBC earned a 1.4/4; and Univision had a 0.9/3.