There was big drama both on and off the stage for American Idol (2.8/9) last night after longtime judge Randy Jackson announced he was leaving earlier in the day and the finalists were voted down to the final two. Now Kree Harrison and Candice Glover will face off in next week’s Season 12 finale along with, according to Ryan Seacrest, a “surprise duet” performance featuring Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert. Coming off a string of all-time lows, Idol was up last night from last week’s results show. The Fox series rose 12% from its May 2 fast nationals and 8% from last week’s final numbers. ABC’s Scandal (3.2/9), meanwhile, surged up 23% from its May 2 show to not only beat Idol again in the key demo in fast nationals but also hit a series high for the political drama.
Elsewhere, there were finales galore and one reality debut Thursday. ABC’s Wipeout (1.2/4) returned for its sixth season last night, with the obstacle course show down 56% from its January 5, 2012 Season 5 debut to hit a premiere low. With Idol as a lead-in, Glee (2.1/6) wrapped its fourth season with the New Directions gang heading to regionals, an admittance to MIT, a wedding and a very soulful baby daddy’s ID revealed. The series was up 11% from last week’s show but fell a hard 28% from its Season 3 finale on May 22, 2012.
CBS had two seasons come to a close last night with Two And A Half Men (3.4/11) and lead-out Person Of Interest (2.4/7). The recently renewed Chuck Lorre comedy ended its 10th season up 6% from last week’s show but down 13% from its last season-ender on May 15, 2012. Following Men, Person Of Interest ended its second cycle even with last week’s series-low tie. The crime drama was the second-most-watched show of the night with 12.98 million viewers. CBS won the night in overall viewers with 12.094 million and in the demo.
After a struggling season full of lows, NBC’s Community (1.3/5) brought its fourth cycle to a close starting at 8 PM. Still on the bubble for a renewal, the comedy rose 8% from its May 2 show and ended even with its last season finale in the 9:30 PM slot on May 17, 2012.
After Community, NBC had a The Office (1.1/3) encore and a new 1-hour and 1-minute The Office (2.3/6) at 9 PM. Heading to next week’s 1 hour and 15 minute series finale, the show soared 28% from last week. Freshman drama Hannibal (1.1/3) did not get such favor, ending even with last week. The Big Bang Theory (4.6/16) was the most-watched and highest-rated show of the night, pulling in 15.70 million viewers but dipping 6% from last week. Elementary (1.8/5) fell 10% from last week’s season low tie to hit a new season low. Over on ABC at 9 PM, Grey’s Anatomy (2.9/8) slipped 3% from last week.
The CW had The Vampire Diaries (0.9/3) and Beauty And The Beast (0.5/1). The former was down a tenth from last week while the latter was even with its May 2 episode.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.