Finale Ratings: Grey's Hits 19-Week High, Scandal at All-Time High, CBS Dramas Steady

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Grey’s Anatomy wrapped its eighth season with an audience of 11.2 million total viewers and a 3.9 demo rating, rising 14 and 11 percent to hit 19- and 14-week highs. Versus last year’s finale, Grey’s was up 13 and 8 percent.

That teed up the freshman drama Scandal for all-time highs of 7.5 mil/2.4 (up 17 and 26 percent).

Leading off ABC’s night, the Missing series finale drew 6.5 mil and a 1.3, up 18 percent in the demo.

RELATED | Grey’s Boss Opens Up About Finale’s Two Big Exits: ‘It Made Me Sick, It Made Me Sad’

RELATED | Shonda Rhimes Weighs In on Scandal Season 1, the Finale’s Killer Reveal and Fitz’s Future

Of Thursday’s other drama finales, Person of Interest (13.3 mil/2.5) led the 9 o’clock hour in total viewers but slipped a tenth in the demo week-to-week, and The Mentalist (13 mil/2.5) upticked a few percentage points, winning 10 pm on both counts.

On the comedy side, Community‘s triple-header averaged 2.7 mil and a 1.3, matching its all-time low demo rating; Rules of Engagement‘s possibly series finale (7.3 mil/2.1) dropped 17 and 22 percent out of a Big Bang repeat; and 30 Rock (2.9 mil/1.3) was down 13 percent in the demo.

RECAP | American Idol Top 3 Results: We’ve Got Tonight. Who Needs Tomorrow?

Elsewhere, American Idol‘s penultimate Season 11 results show (15.9 mil/4.2) hit seven- and five-week highs for a Thursday telecast, Touch (6.3 mil/1.8) dipped some and the penultimate Awake (2.1 mil/0.7) tied series lows.

Note: For Wednesday’s primetime ratings, I direct you to our friends at

What were you watching this finale-filled Thursday night?

Comments (69)

  • There was no way that ratings weren’t going to be bad for Community.
    3 new episodes in one night? Even 2 is crazy.

    Comment by Juan – May 18, 2012 09:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • No one watches this show. Period. The internet fans need to realize that.

      Comment by Brett Staffen (@brettstaffen) – May 18, 2012 09:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • 2,700,000 people watch it live. Period. More watch it time-shifted. Period. Additional people watch it online. Period. Ooo… this is fun.

        Comment by Lola – May 18, 2012 10:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • “No one watches this show. Period.”

        Obvously, this is a false statement in every way, shape or form. You even acknowledged that by stating that the show has fans. And I think most fans of the show do realize it is has low live television ratings. So what exactly were you trying to accomplish with your statement? Just to bash “internet fans”? Way to post that comment on the internet, buddy.

        Comment by Mike – May 18, 2012 10:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Oh Brett, you’re kind of right. You don’t watch Community. You are no one. Therefore, “No one watches this show” is pretty accurate. Now go home and shut up.

        Comment by Evan – May 18, 2012 10:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • No one cares about your opinion. Period. You need to realize that.

        Comment by brandy – May 18, 2012 11:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • You are the opposite of Batman. Period.

        Comment by Raksha – May 18, 2012 11:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • ^^ this. Community was absolutely brilliant last night. Has to be up there with Arrested Development as some of the best television comedy ever written.

          Comment by mst3k – May 18, 2012 11:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I agree with you so much! I always say Community and Arrested Development are the best comedies ever!!

            Comment by Duke Silver – May 21, 2012 08:58 AM PDT  
      • I do

        Comment by Watches Community – May 18, 2012 11:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • somebody is the britta of his “friends” group

        Comment by josh – May 18, 2012 01:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • You’re worse than Britta.

        Comment by Russ – May 18, 2012 05:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • You are an idiot.

        Comment by tripoli – May 18, 2012 05:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Thank you all for entertaining me! Plan worked. You can tell me 2 million watched it, yes, but more watched The Real Housewives on Sunday. That doesn’t say something? Your show isn’t everything!

        Comment by Brett Staffen (@brettstaffen) – May 18, 2012 10:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • You sir, are a giant bag of douche!

          Comment by Duke Silver – May 21, 2012 09:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What is HOUSE’s finale rating (or what will it be)? I guess we don’t know yet!

    Comment by quarryhillcreativecenter/ladybellefiske – May 18, 2012 09:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • ^^^ OK this was random. LOL

      Comment by lauren – May 18, 2012 09:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yeah House comes on Monday as in the 21st…

      Comment by Russ – May 18, 2012 05:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Enjoy your 3.9 Grey’s. After that way over-hyped crap finale, you won’t see those ratings next season. And it’s NOT because Lexington was killed off. No it was the airplane sized plot holes and horrid writing.

    Comment by kel – May 18, 2012 09:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Sorry I mean Lexi…dang auto correct.

      Comment by kel – May 18, 2012 09:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Errrm, 1. it can’t have been that bad if it scored a 3.9 and 2. It’s LEXIE.

      Comment by katy917 – May 18, 2012 09:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Get over yourself. Internet “fans” have complained about every finale and the show has done just fine. It’s back for 2 more seasons regardless, anyways. Not everything needs to be the way FANS want it. Let’s remember that creators are simply creating.

      Comment by Brett Staffen (@brettstaffen) – May 18, 2012 09:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Agree. I bet Shonda is smiling while reading all these comments, bad or good, cause THIS is the way she wants it. She wants the show to be talked about and it doesn’t matter if some people don’t like it. Face it, everyone will be curious and still watch the show next season. All these haters just have nothing to do with their lives.

        Comment by Kat – May 18, 2012 09:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I’m sorry, but this is too silly to allow to pass. Because taking time to comment about a t.v. show negatively means you have nothing to do with your life, but taking time to defend the t.v. show against those who don’t like it means that you have all sorts of stuff going on in your life! There is a logical inconsistency here.

          Comment by Lola – May 18, 2012 10:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • For the record, I stopped watching the show regularly two seasons ago, and didn’t even watch one episode at all this entire past season. I saw five minutes of the finale and felt justified in giving up on this show long ago. Ditto to Desperate Housewives, although I gave up on that much longer ago. I agree a lot of people lie to themselves with hyperbolic statements of “I’m not watching that show ever again”. But a lot of us really mean it, too. But it’s not like I’m counted in the ratings if I do or don’t watch, so… There’s nothing to be curious about with Grey’s. I get Shonda now. It’s all about one upping herself with disasters to her characters, whether it be cheating, surprise pregnancies, abortions, rapes, murders, attacking pregnant women and kidnapping their fetuses, plane crashes, car crashes, ghost sex, etc…. She is all about shock and awe and while it’s okay to do that sometimes, if that’s all you have in your bag of tricks, if you can’t actually have, say, character development, then i’m not interested. She’s the reason I’m scared to start enjoying Scandal. it was good for a short run, but all I can think is how is she going to ruin it when it has a full season order. (Oh, I already know. By focusing on the most annoying, stupid, and useless character the show has introduced so far- Quinn!). Sigh, Shonda, you make me cry. You start off with good premises but are too stuck on the ‘bigger is better’ philosophy. You’re a woman, you should know better.

          Comment by just saying – May 18, 2012 03:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • It has zero to do with SR & Co. doing things my way. I thought it was horribly boring lame and no where close to all the hype it got. I don’t care what they create as long as it holds my interest and this did not.

        Comment by kel – May 18, 2012 09:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • That’s right. For example, see Glee’s RIB trying to please everyone. And how’s the show doing now? If a writer has much more freedom and doesn’t listen to annoying fans, things can turn a lot better. For example, Santana was a background very unpopular character, they took their own route with her, and now she’s practically the only good thing (along with Beiste) on the show (and the fact that Naya Rivera is a very good actress doesn’t hurt either).

        Comment by Me34 – May 18, 2012 10:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I was getting ready to post the same thing. This was EXTREMELY over-hyped and it was quite the boring episode. The death of Lexi was ‘Meh’, and the rest of the episode was BLAH. Sooooo extremely cheesy.

      Comment by Kristen – May 18, 2012 09:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Go jump. Grey’s is stronger than ever and i am sick of the negativity towards the fantastic finale, even if it was sad and wrong. I am over this!!!

      Well done to Grey’s getting a 3.9 and even better Scandal a 2.4. Nice work on the finales Shonda.

      Comment by greysfan – May 18, 2012 09:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • IMO, this has been one of Grey’s strongest seasons. Definitely one of the strongest in the last few years. I have mixed feeling about the finale, but it was only one episode. A show heading into its ninth season needs this kind of buzz. When’s the last time Grey’s has caused this much internet buzz? Congrats to Shonda for doing her job. I’ll be back in the fall, and millions will join.

        Comment by Rolfe – May 18, 2012 11:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • “millions will join” = doubtful

          Comment by Kristen – May 18, 2012 01:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Really?? It’s been a boring season and that finale was TERRIBLY CHEESY. I can’t even get over how bad it was.

        Comment by Kristen – May 18, 2012 01:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Its been a great season 8. Not boring at all.

          Comment by greysfan – May 18, 2012 06:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • That’s your opinion. There has been some really strong storylines this year Teddy/Henry, Owen/Cristina, Meredith/Derek, Arizona/Callie/Mark, the Bailey stuff and Adele/Webber and others and yes there has been episodes which were boring as such but overall this season has been great. If you go back and watch the entire season again, which i did during the week leading up to the finale, you can actually see its not that bad.

          Comment by greysfan – May 18, 2012 07:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Grey’s writing has always sucked, but I’m still watching for the original cast. As long as Meredith, Cristina and Alex are around, I’ll be watching no matter how idiotic the writing is. Dinosaurs attack Seattle while the hospital inexplicably floods with red wine? I’m still there.

      Comment by tess – May 19, 2012 11:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mentalist finale was EPIC!!!!

    Comment by JJ – May 18, 2012 09:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • This is so true! Favorite moments from “The Mentalist” last night: Rigsby hungry humor, which we haven’t had in awhile and going for nachos. Jane and eggs. When Jane told Lisbon he loved her!! Sidenote: What if Lorelei is RJ? She’d be a good one, the way she was in the interrogation scene and the way she coldly asked for Lisbon’s dead body. “We’re helping the boss; she’s helping you.” loved that, so true to character. And LOL’d when Lisbon called Jane an SOB and his response that they were in a church. The hug. The hand holding. Jane being his funny, hopeful self. Lisbon being her amazing, steadfast, cool self. 

      Bruno is AWESOME. I’m sorry I ever doubted him based on spoilers. I’ll never do that again. The finale was amazing. Great writing; nobody gets the characters quite so perfect as Bruno. I was absorbed all the way through. The entire dialogue in the church was hilarious and fun. I love how he writes Jane and Lisbon! And I was afraid the episode would be too dark? It was perfect. Perfect amount of humor, intrigue, team moments, surprises and darkness, character and storyline progression too. The best part? Jane and Lisbon were fantastic together. So the script was my favorite, but I loved the acting, the sets, the lighting, everything. Ugh. If Bruno was here right now I’d so be hugging him and thanking him. He just made my night last night. Best.Showrunner.Ever.

      Comment by Natalie – May 18, 2012 10:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • This is such a great post. Thank you. I think if anyone one can answer this for me it is you. As I rely on CC I sometimes miss small details in the picture so can you tell me, the man in the back of the limo, tied up, mouth taped, was that the ‘boss’ from CBI? I replayed it a couple of times but can ‘t be sure, it looked like him.

        Comment by Joy – May 18, 2012 10:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Why thank you. It was just honestly what the episode made me feel. As for the person in the back of the limo, you are right, it was Wainwright, the boss of the CBI. They lose more bosses… That was another good twist last night. I thought Darcy would be the one to go, instead it was him. Such a great finale! Have a good day, Joy.

          Comment by Natalie – May 18, 2012 11:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Thank you. amazing small details you miss when your deaf. Anyone think they should bring Hightower back? she waa good in the roll and was cleared of any wrong doing so why has she just disappeared?

            Comment by Joy – May 18, 2012 11:47 AM PDT  
          • No prob. Glad to help. Hightower and Minelli were always my favorites, so I’d take either one back, tbh. :)

            Comment by Natalie – May 18, 2012 01:25 PM PDT  
      • I dunno, I didn’t really feel this year’s finale was as epic as last year’s, and it got tied up too neatly instead of being left on a cliffhanger that left me salivating for next season.
        On a sidenote, I’m of the Brett-Partridge-is-Red-John camp. If you don’t know who Brett Partridge is, look him up. There are some great YouTube voice comparisons of the two characters. I truly believe RJ is Brett Partridge, who showed up in The Mentalist’s pilot episode, and has appeared periodically throughout.

        Comment by DL – May 18, 2012 11:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • IDK, for me, this episode was about equal with last season’s just in a different way. I was absorbed and entertained throughout and I’m very interested to see what happens next season with Lorelei in custody, if it leads to something solid I think it would be good for fans and the show, I want to see who the new boss is going to be, Jane & Lisbon deal with Jane’s admission to Lisbon before he shot her, how the team and Jane interact at first next season since they weren’t very happy with him deceiving them, I want to see what happens with Grace and Rigsby since BH said something about her realizing what a good guy he is, and what will happen with Sara and Rigsby since he let her think he was dead all that time? Why is Loereli there in five episodes next season? Lots of juicy potential for that. To get back to my main point though, they were both excellent finales just last season we thought he killed RJ and we were curious as to how he’d deal with the shooting aftermath. Those were big things at the time, but since it wasn’t really RJ, in retrospect, not so big after all.

          Comment by @DL – May 18, 2012 11:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Totally agree. The finale was awesome and the writers really surprised me with Lorelai’s character. After reading the spoilers I was expecting her to be a woman “with a heart of gold” and she turned out to be an expert manipulator and a Red John minion to boot. Also loved all of Jane and Lisbon’s scenes – there seemed to be a lot of character development for both of them in the finale which IMO is very good.

      Comment by Spoiler Junkie – May 20, 2012 03:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What about Bones???

    Comment by Toni – May 18, 2012 09:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Bones was on Monday night so it should be in a different post

      Comment by starfairy679 – May 18, 2012 09:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Happy for Grey’s, don’t get what everyone is complaining about I really liked the finale, sad about Lexie but I still love Grey’s Anatomy. My favourite show and the performances were amazing!

    Comment by Olivia – May 18, 2012 09:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well said! Can’t believe how many people are complaining. I hoped against hope that it wasn’t Lexie, and I cried like a baby, but they handled it beautifully and I thought the acting was simply amazing!! They deserved the rating for Ellen Pompeo and Eric Dane alone!! I thought it was a brilliant episode, and what a perfect finale should be, especially in a week where most of the finales I have watched have been below par.

      Comment by katy917 – May 18, 2012 09:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • +1

      Comment by greysfan – May 18, 2012 09:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Holy balls, the Mentalist was AWESOME. Totally exceeded my expectations (which were admittedly low) and then some! The gift of Jane hugging Lisbon, saying he loves her, holding her hand; just too amazing… Then the whole bait and switch with Wainwright in the limo, the twisted interaction with Lorelai during interrogation; totally compelling. Alright BH, you’ve redeemed yourself, for now…
    As for Grey’s, seems like I’m the only person who doesn’t mind Lexie died. Sure it was terribly sad (I cried), but c’mon, her character had become pretty useless.

    Comment by Saint Alicia – May 18, 2012 09:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Grey’s has gone down hill. It should of ended after season five when it was still good. The season finale was the last straw. THis viewer is done for good.

    Comment by Kelly – May 18, 2012 09:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Okay see ya… you won’t be missed. There are still plenty of fans out there that will tune in to what is still one of the best and most consistent Network dramas out there on TV. I mean how many shows can shock an audience, and still get a passionate reaction from fans when things happen like this finale has.

      I say bravo Shonda and everyone else at Grey’s for the brilliant emotional and fantastic performances the show delivered last night!!!

      Comment by Robyn – May 18, 2012 11:24 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I can’t believe the ratings for those brain dead CBS procedurals. Who knew there were so many high school dropouts in America?

    Comment by Jo – May 18, 2012 09:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • -.-

      Comment by JJ – May 18, 2012 09:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well, the season finale of the great show Person of Interest totally kicked ass last night. So your comment is complete bullcrap to me.

      Comment by Justin – May 18, 2012 04:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Did all these shows just get together to give sad, depressing endings? I though NCIS was sad enough with Ducky. With Grey’s, Poor Lexie, poor Mark. I thought the plane crash scenes were good, the scenes as the hospital were dull. Never liked Teddy anyway.
    The Mentalist was crazy. I thought Jane lost his mind and then it was just a crazy plan he had in his head. And he told Lisbon he loved her before he “shot” her. Can’t get out of that one.

    Comment by Jenni – May 18, 2012 10:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Gotta say, when he told her he loved her I was pretty surprised, but pleased. And the way they “dealt” with it later was interesting. I’m looking forward to more development of that next season. I thought it was so Jane to tell her something like that right before he shot her. It was such a great episode last night. The spoilers didn’t do it justice. Now I can’t wait to see what they have planned for season 5. I don’t care where they move the show in the schedule, I’ll be there. :)

      Comment by @Jenni – May 18, 2012 10:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m happy that Grey’s ratings were up. I liked the part of the show at the crash site but the hospital stuff dragged.

    Comment by Bethany – May 18, 2012 10:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • person of interest was amazing last night. You should do a recap of that. One of the msot consistently good shows on tv and much better than grey’s or any of that stupid crap. I watched one episode of grey’s anatomy back in the day. It was code black and there was a bomb in someones stomach. After that I never tuned into that garbage again. Awake and Person of Interest are incredible and if NBC marketed it correctly instead of rushing it to screen without proper promotion, maybe it would still be on

    Comment by adam s – May 18, 2012 11:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Ah! At last!! A post about the mind blowing and fantabulous season finale of Person of Interest. What a great way to end it’s freshman run? I loved the finale so much that I watched it twice.

      The season finales of POI and The Mentalist were the top highlights for me this week. Cant wait for both these awesome shows to return in the Fall.

      And Ausiello et al, can you please give a recap of the POI episodes from next season. I know that POI is a procedural, but IMO it’s vastly different from other crime shows and POI’s mythology and it’s buldup throughout S1 was off the charts amazing.

      Comment by Spoiler Junkie – May 20, 2012 03:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m still VERY upset that they killed off Lexie on Grey’s. I don’t think I’ll ever get over this. She was my favourite character :’(

    Comment by Jenn – May 18, 2012 12:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The Mentalist was terrefic. Damn i couldn’t move myself while watching every second. It was such a great twist. When Jane confessed to Lisbon and then shot her, i was like, what the hell. A minute later, they are planning how to catch Red John. it was a creepy but a genious plan… I had no words. The acting was on point and amazing too. I loved the Church scene, but also Rigsby’s hungry behavior.

    The end was also good. I couldn’t believe, that they shot death another CBI Boss.

    Comment by Adam – May 18, 2012 12:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • There were so many epic moments in that finale but when he told her he loved her and then the fake shooting, that was a powerful moment. One of the top of the night for me. I’m just wondering whee Bruno’s going to go with it. Love and agree with your whole post.

      Comment by @Adam – May 18, 2012 01:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Hate to wonder if CBS cancels Rules of Engagement since it still ON THE BUBBLE. The Mentalist moves to Sundays may do better this Fall going up against football on NBC and the new ABC series 666 Park Avenue. Last night’s Touch still amazed me but I can’t wait for the two hour season finale in two weeks and I’m also looking forward to watch the “series finale” of Awake next Thursday ’cause I hate to see if this drama series ends up in a cliffhanger.

    Comment by bad kevin – May 18, 2012 05:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Shame about “Community” numbers. But since the show will be back, I won’t fret over it. I enjoyed the shows last night, so that’s all that really matters.

    Comment by Angela – May 18, 2012 06:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How? How? How? How do 7.1 million people tune into garbage like Rule of Engagement and brilliance like Community gets left out the cold?

    The Neilsen Ratings are bogus. They probably always have been. Such bull! We could easy measure ratings more accurately through cable and satellite boxes or the Internet. I honestly think the Neilsen families are a bunch of elderly people who have lost the remote and just keep it tuned to CBS for no good reason.

    Comment by Dr Poop – May 18, 2012 07:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Heaven forbid that the “elderly” that is 49+ watch TV. I’ll bet you sit in a dark basement in dirty underwear watching online.

      Comment by McNancy – May 19, 2012 01:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sorry but millions will not join GA in the fall. This was the last 11 million Shonda and company will ever see.

    Comment by Maryam – May 20, 2012 02:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I beg to differ!

      Comment by greysfan – May 20, 2012 02:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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