TV ratings: 'How I Met Your Mother' finale scores series highs, 'Friends With Better Lives' has OK start

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how-i-met-your-mother-series-finale-ratings.jpgFast National ratings for Monday, March 31, 2014

The series finale of "How I Met Your Mother" went out on a ratings high, scoring the biggest total audience and best adults 18-49 rating in its nine-year history. It dominated NBC's "The Voice" in their common hour in the 18-49 demographic.

"HIMYM" also helped new comedy "Friends With Better Lives" get off to a decent start. It fell off significantly from its lead-in but still drew solid numbers. Elsewhere Monday, "Dancing With the Stars" dipped a little for ABC, while "Bones" ticked up opposite "HIMYM." "The Blacklist" was steady for NBC.

NBC snagged the night's top spot among viewers with 11.85 million and a 7.2 rating/11 share in households. ABC (11.6 million, 7.7/12) was a close second, and CBS (8.7 million, 5.3/8) came in third. FOX took fourth with 4.9 million viewers and a 3.1/5. The CW (1.1 million, 0.7/1) trailed.

Despite the big "HIMYM" numbers, CBS couldn't overtake NBC for the lead among adults 18-49, pulling a 3.0 rating to NBC's 3.2. ABC finished third with a 1.8, followed by FOX, 1.4, and The CW, 0.4.

Monday hour by hour:

8 p.m.

ABC:
"Dancing With the Stars" (13.1 million viewers, 8.6/13 households)
CBS: "How I Met Your Mother" series finale (12.9 million, 7.6/12)
NBC: "The Voice" (11.5 million, 7.0/11)
FOX: "Bones" (5.6 million, 3.5/6)
The CW: "Star-Crossed" (1.1 million, 0.8/1)

18-49 leader: "How I Met Your Mother" (5.3)

9 p.m.

ABC:
"Dancing With the Stars" (14.3 million, 9.4/14)
NBC: "The Voice" (12.6 million, 7.5/11)
CBS: "Friends With Better Lives" series premiere (8 million, 4.9/7)/"Mom" (7.2 million, 4.6/7)
FOX: "The Following" (4.2 million, 2.7/4)
The CW: "The Tomorrow People" (1.1 million, 0.7/1)

18-49 leader: "The Voice" (3.6)

10 p.m.

NBC:
"The Blacklist" (11.4 million, 7.0/11)
ABC: "Castle" rerun (7.4 million, 5.1/8)
CBS: "Intelligence" (5.55 million, 3.6/6)

18-49 leader: "The Blacklist" (2.8)

Ratings information includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are preliminary and subject to change. Source: The Nielsen Company.

More ratings at Zap2it
Photo/Video credit: CBS