In this category were two series that ended their runs: Fox's "24" and NBC's "Law & Order." NBC's "Chuck" also drifted down. Typically, finales are the best-rated shows of the year for any network.
Season -- and series finale -- ratings for Fox's longtime "24" sank to a Nielsen preliminary 2.8 rating/8 share, down from a 2.9 rating the week before. On Sunday, some of Fox's comedy finales also grabbed lower viewer results versus their previous week's episodes.
At NBC, some mixed messages: a special two-hour "Chuck" sank to a season-low 1.8/5. It returns next year. The two-decade-long NBC veteran "Law & Order" went to a 1.9/5. The show might have a chance of returning on TNT, or possibly a two-hour movie on NBC.
Admittedly, Monday night pitted a number of big season finales against each other.
CBS resumed its power position on Monday with the best ratings overall. Its comedies continued to wipe the floor with everyone: "Big Bang Theory" climbed to a 5/2/13, for the best-rated finale of the night.
Almost as strong, "Two and A Half Men" rose to a 5.0/13; earlier in the night, while "How I Met Your Mother" earned a 3.5/11. Both "Men" and "Mother" were down versus last year's finales.
In the face of tough competition, ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," not yet at its finale, was beaten up a bit -- down to a 4.0/12, its worst performance show this season.
CBS was top dog among 18-49 viewers on Monday, at a 3.9/11; ABC came in at 3.2/9; Fox earned a 2.7/8; NBC scored a 1.8/5; Univision took a 1.7/5; and CW (in reruns) earned a 0.3/1.