'Idol' Falls, 'Bang' Leads Thursdays

American-Idol-Candice-The TV broadcast network environment is definitely shifting -- as evidenced by the last major night of the broadcast season, Thursday, where a number of high-profile season and series finales aired.

The final episode of the season for Fox's "American Idol" expectedly took a steep dive -- down 44% to a Nielsen preliminary 3.6 rating/11 share. Total viewer numbers for the show's episode were also hit hard -- settling at 14.3 million viewers, down from its typical 20 million+ number for virtually all of its 11 previous seasons.

This capped a season for "Idol" -- formerly the No. 1 TV show for over a decade -- where shows such as "Big Bang Theory" and "Modern Family" could be found topping the singing competition.

On the "Idol" season finale, CBS' "Big Bang Theory" posted a night-leading 4.4 rating/16 share and 14.8 million for its season finale. "Bang" was actually down from the week before, which earned a 4.9 rating. Still, "Bang" was even with its last year finale at a 4.4 rating.

"Bang" did well for CBS -- a rerun on the night, at 8:30 p.m. It was the third-best-rated show of the night,at  a 3.2/10 and 11.6 million viewers. Right behind was ABC's surprising "Scandal" at 10 p.m. -- a season finale, with a 3.2/9 and 9.1 million viewers -- good for fourth place on a busy night.

At 9 p.m. two shows were strong. NBC's series finale of "The Office" came in with a 3.0/8, its best numbers in more than a year. ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" also scored 3.0/8, down one-tenth of a rating point from the week before.

CW had two season finales: "The Vampire Diaries" at 1.0/3 and "Beauty And The Beast" with 0.5/1 -- both matching their respective previous episodes' results.

Fox won the night among 18-49 viewers with a 3.4/11, followed by CBS with a 2.6/8, ABC at a 2.4/7, NBC with a 2.2/6; Univision at a 1.4/3, and CW with a 0.8/2.

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