It was wall-to-wall, time slot-to-time slot finales last night in primetime as the 2013-14 season enters into its final days. CBS was the only network to have nothing but finales last night, but its traditionally hard-punching Tuesday lineup’s success has been in part due to seamless flow, so a collective bow for the year made sense. And it did as CBS won the night both in terms of adults 18-49 with a 2.3/7 rating and 14.1 million total viewers. The night was kicked off by NCIS (2.6/9), which wrapped up its 11th season with a tribute to actor Ralph Waite among its usual investigations. Waite, who died February 13 and was best known for his paternal role on The Waltons, had recurred on the procedural since 2008 as the father to lead Mark Harmon. To that end, NCIS was both the highest-rated show of the night and the most watched with a beefy 16.77 million tuning in. The show also topped The Voice (2.5/9) for the first time among adults 18-49, though with the adjustments the NBC singing show usually sees that could change in final numbers. Looking at NCIS’ numbers, compared with last week, last night’s show was up a more-than-respectable 13%, but compared with its Season 10 finale, the vet was down a hard 24% from that May 14, 2013, broadcast.
The same could not be said of lead-out NCIS: LA (2.5/7). While the second-most-watched show of Tuesday’s primetime with an audience of 14.77 million, the spinoff ended its fifth season not only with a 14% rise from it May 6 show but even with its Season 4 ender, also on May 14 last year. The finale-to-finale flat news did not continue for Person Of Interest (1.9/6). The tech thriller was up from last week by 12% but down 21% from its May 9, 2013, Season 2 ender. CBS renewed all of the Tuesday shows for another season each March 13 this year — though NCIS: LA is moving to Mondays while new spinoff NCIS: New Orleans takes its Tuesday spot.
With some uncomfortable alliances and a special appearance from the great Marvel Universe, Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1.9/6) ended its first season last night. Although faltering at times throughout its freshman cycle, the now-renewed show proved muscular on DVR and part of the larger Disney/Marvel synergy strategy. Having said that, S.H.I.E.L.D. was even with last week’s penultimate episode. Then again, the series commonly sees a rise of a tenth or so in the final numbers, so expect an adjustment later today. The season finale of ABC’s freshman comedies saw a rise from last week’s lows as The Goldbergs (1.4/4) bopped up 8% while the newly cancelled Trophy Wife (0.9/3) surged 29% from last week. Ending the night for ABC, Celebrity Wife Swap was even with its May 6 show.
Fox’s only finale of the night was Glee (0.6/2). With the final season looming next year, the Ryan Murphy co-created show was down a stinging 25% from last week to hit a series low. A rough year ratings-wise for Glee was capped by the show also down a whooping 70% from its Season 4 ender on May 9 last year, a Thursday. The end of another year of the former McKinley High gang singing and dancing was followed by the beginning of the Steve Carell and Shine America-produced improve series Riot (0.5/1). With host Rove McManus and a slew of stunts and gags, the France-via-Australia-based show pits two ever-changing crews of celebrities against each other on a vast tilting set. While weak to say the least, Riot was shattered when compared with the debut of fellow midseason celeb game show Hollywood Game Night, which got a 1.4/4 when it launched on NBC on July 12, 2013, a Thursday. That’s a 64% difference and not in Riot’s favor.
Down to a Final 3 going into this season’s finale, The Voice is even with last week right now and hence tied for a series low. A double shot of the recently renewed comedy About A Boy saw the freshman up 13% to a 1.7/5 in its regular 9 PM slot and even with its May 6 show in the 9:30 PM slot with a 1.5/4. That season finale ties it with a low. Even though it was also even with last week, Chicago Fire had more blazing with a 12% rise over its previous season finale on May 22, 2013.
With baseball pre-emptions in NYC and Hartford markets, numbers for The CW’s Tuesday are all over the diamond. However, as the numbers stand now, the season finale of The Originals (0.9/3) shot up 50% from last week’s low while Supernatural (0.9./3) garnered a rise of 13% over its May 6 show.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.