• “Dancing With the Stars” Rating Drops, Still Tops Viewership

    HOLLYWOOD (CNS) – Viewership for the “Dancing with the Stars” season finale dropped 14 percent from the previous spring, but last week’s only prime- time television program to come within four million viewers of its audience was the final competition episode of the season, figures released today show.

    An average of 15.2 million viewers watched May 21 as country singer Kellie Pickler was selected as the champion, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen. The 2012 spring finale, when then-Green Bay Packers receiver Donald Driver was the winner, averaged 17.75 million viewers.

    The season’s final competition episode on May 20 was second for the week, averaging 14.97 million viewers, followed by the CBS drama “Criminal Minds,” which averaged 11.01 million.

    In a week that mixed the final three days of the official television season and the first four days of the summer season, ABC was the most-watched network, averaging 6.45 million viewers.

    CBS was second, averaging 6.25 million after winning each of the previous 12 weeks. It had seven of the eight most-watched scripted series.

    Fourth- and fifth-place finishes by “The Voice” helped NBC finish third, averaging 5.02 million viewers. Fox was fourth, averaging 4.33 million. Its most-watched program was Sunday’s NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 auto race, which finished 19th for the week with 7.13 million viewers.

    ABC, Fox and NBC tied for first among viewers ages 18-49, the group they target and advertisers covet because it watches less television and is harder to reach.

    The season finale of the ABC comedy “Modern Family” was the week’s most-watched broadcast program among the group, followed by the Monday and Tuesday episodes of “The Voice,” “Criminal Minds” and the “Dancing with the Stars” results and competition episodes.

    ABC led among viewers ages 12-17 and 25-54, while Fox and NBC tied for first among viewers ages 18-34.

    ABC’s Canadian police drama “Motive” was the most-watched of the week’s four premieres, averaging 6.52 million viewers following the final “Dancing with the Stars” competition program.

    “Motive” finished second in its Monday 10-11 p.m. time slot and 23rd among the week’s prime-time broadcast and cable programs. A second episode averaged 6.06 million viewers, putting it 29th for the week and second in the Thursday 9-10 p.m. time slot.

    Among the other premieres, 3.18 million tuned in for the NBC comedy “Save Me”; 3.02 million for the Fox competition program, “Does Someone Have To Go?”; and 1.61 million for the Fox comedy “The Goodwin Games.”

    In a week when each of the five most-watched cable programs were NBA playoff games on TNT or ESPN, TNT’s coverage of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers was the week’s most- watched cable program. With 8.25 million viewers, it was ninth among all prime- time broadcast and cable programs.

    NBA playoff coverage made TNT the most-watched cable network in prime time for the fifth consecutive week, as it averaged 3.16 million viewers.

    The week’s most-watched Spanish-language program was the Monday episode of the Univision telenovela “Amores Verdaderos” (“True Love”), which averaged 5.07 million viewers, finishing 42nd among all prime-time broadcast and cable programs.

    As usual, Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network, averaging 3.45 million viewers for its prime-time programming, followed by Telemundo (1.58 million), UniMas (440,000), Estrella TV (210,000), Azteca America (140,000) and MundoFox (70,000).

    The “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” was the most-watched network nightly newscast for the 193rd consecutive week and 240th time in the past 241 weeks, averaging 8.04 million viewers, followed by ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer” (7.35 million) and the “CBS Evening News” (6.01 million).

    The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars: The Results Show” and “Dancing with the Stars”; CBS’ “Criminal Minds”;  the Monday and Tuesday episodes of NBC’s “The Voice”; ABC’s “Modern Family”; CBS’ 8 p.m. Thursday episode of “The Big Bang Theory” and “Hawaii Five-0″; TNT’s coverage of Game 1 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals; and the NBC News special, “Devastation in Oklahoma.”

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