Nellie Andreeva

The Maya Rudolph Show - Season 2014The broadcast networks have long been looking to crack the primetime variety series genre. NBC tried with The Rosie O’Donnell Show several years ago. Now it is venturing into the space with Saturday Night Live alumna Maya Rudolph. The Maya Rudolph Show special/backdoor pilot drew a 2.2 rating in adults 18-49 to top the 10 PM hour last night. It did OK following The Voice performance finale (3.1, up a tenth from last week but down from last year). Its lead-in retention was 71% vs. 73% for the preview of Believe in the time period earlier this spring.

With drummed-up drama over pro Mark Ballas’ injury, the 90-minute performance finale of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars drew a 2.5 rating in adults 18-49, up +9% from last week. It was flat with last spring’s performance finale while posting the highest-rated Monday finale among adults 18-34 (1.7) in five cycles. Following Dancing was the 90-minute season premiere of The Bachelorette (1.9), which was even with last season’s debut. But last season, The Bachelorette aired at 8 PM with no lead-in, and the 1.9 is tied as the series’ lowest premiere rating.

The season finale of Fox’s Bones (1.6) was down a tenth from last week. Alarming second consecutive double-digit drop for 24: Live Another Day (1.7, -15%). CBS’ freshly cancelled freshman comedy Friends With Better Lives (1.6) is not going away quietly, inching up from last week’s fast national and significantly building onto its repeat lead-in for a second straight week. It was followed by the season finale of Mike & Molly (1.9), which was down 5% from last week and down 21% from last season’s closer.

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.