TV ratings: 'The Office' finale scores a season high, 'American Idol' finale way down Thursday [Updated]

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the-office-finale-ratings.JPGFast National ratings for Thursday, May 16, 2013

A big night for finales brought mixed results for the broadcast networks. On the plus side, the series finale of "The Office" scored the show's biggest ratings in more than a year. "Scandal" brought in its largest total audience ever and matched last week's series high in adults 18-49.

On the negative side, the "American Idol" finale plummeted for a second straight year, losing more than 6 million viewers and 44 percent of the 18-49 audience compared to last year's conclusion. "The Big Bang Theory" ended its season slightly down from last week for CBS. "The Vampire Diaries" and "Beauty and the Beast" were about even with last week for The CW.

(Note: Updated averages for FOX now include the seven-minute runover out of primetime.) FOX did still lead the night, averaging 13.6 14.3 million viewers and an 8.3 rating/14 share in households in primetime. CBS (10.35 million, 6.5/11) came in second, finishing comfortably ahead of ABC (7.2 million, 4.8/8). NBC took fourth with 4.4 million viewers and a 2.7/4. The CW (1.8 million, 1.2/2) trailed.

FOX posted a 3.4 3.6 rating among adults 18-49 to lead the demographic race. CBS was second with a 2.6, beating out ABC, 2.4, and NBC, 2.2. The CW came in at 0.8.

Thursday hour by hour:

8 p.m.

CBS:
"The Big Bang Theory" season finale (14.8 million viewers, 9.3/16 households)/"The Big Bang Theory" rerun (11.6 million, 7.2/12)
FOX: "American Idol" season finale (12.3 million, 7.6/13)
NBC: Special - "The Office Retrospective" (4.4 million, 2.7/5)
ABC: "Wipeout" (3.8 million, 2.4/4)
The CW: "The Vampire Diaries" season finale (2.2 million, 1.5/3)

18-49 leader: "The Big Bang Theory" (4.4)

9 p.m.

FOX:
"American Idol" (14.9 million, 9.0/14)
CBS: "Elementary" season finale (9.1 million, 5.7/9)
ABC: "Grey's Anatomy" season finale (8.6 million, 5.8/9)
NBC: "The Office" series finale (5.4 million, 3.2/5)
The CW: "Beauty and the Beast" season finale (1.3 million, 0.8/1)

18-49 leader: "American Idol" (3.9)

10 p.m.

ABC:
"Scandal" season finale (9.1 million, 6.2/10)
CBS: "Elementary" season finale (8.75 million, 5.5/9)
NBC: "The Office" series finale/"Hannibal" (3.5 million, 2.2/4)

18-49 leader: "Scandal" (3.2)

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: NBC