American Idol Series Finale Ratings

Ratings: American Idol Ends Its Run With 3-Year Highs, 13 Million Viewers

This… is American Idol‘s final ratings report.

Fox’s onetime juggernaut wrapped its 15-season run on Thursday night with a total audience of 12.9 million viewers, while scoring a 3.0 demo rating. That marks the reality competition’s best finale numbers since Season 12 (when it closed with 14.3 mil/3.6).

At its peak, Idol drew 38.1 million (!!!) to its Season 2 finale, while its all-time finale low was Season 14’s audience of 8 million.

TVLine readers gave the star-studded milestone coronation ceremony event-palooza an average grade of “A-.”

Elsewhere in the ratings….

ABC | Grey’s Anatomy (7.3 mil/2.1) dipped a tenth, Scandal (5.9 mil/1.7) was steady and The Catch (4.9 mil/1.1) ticked up.

THE CW | Legends (2 mil/0.7) was steady, The 100 (1.3 mil/0.5) ticked up.

NBC | The Blacklist (6.2 mil/1.2) dipped a tenth in the demo to a season low.

CBS | Big Bang (13.2 mil/3.0) was down 7 and 14 percent. The Odd Couple opened Season 2 with 7.8 mil/1.6, down a bit from its freshman finale but on par with Life in Pieces‘ most recent outing. Mom (7.3 mil/1.5), 2 Broke Girls (5.9 mil/1.4) and Rush Hour (4.8 mil/0.9) each slipped two tenths in the demo.

Want scoop on any of the above shows? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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20 Comments
  1. kmw says:

    I expected ABC’S line up to dip more but they stayed pretty good. Nice that Idol did so well.

    • Max says:

      Idol usually beats Scandal. If not for Jlo & Seacrest, one would think the show would still be profitable. Will be interesting how and if they bring it back. Former Idols would judge and mentor for cheap. But remember Idol in its heyday was before smartphone and social media. You’re likely never gonna get 30 million viewers watching a live TV show outside a major sports event or crisis again

      • Observer says:

        ” If not for Jlo & Seacrest, one would think the show would still be profitable” Yes, their combined annual “take” would be enough to produce a whole new show, without using celebrities,

    • sarah t says:

      I’m glad that Idol did well too. I remember the “glory days” of those high, high numbers. My guess is Idol will probably take a break for 2 or 3 years. Let momentum build somewhat (and hopefully for the Voice to taper off, end completely) then Fox will bring it back with Seacrest and the original 3 judges. Lately, Fox has been doing reboots with original cast members and though this isn’t a drama, I’m guessing they’ll bring back the original judges for a new season and see how it does. It will likely be touted as a 1 season deal (and maybe even abbreviated somewhat more) but if it does well, they might do another run. I honestly think this season would’ve been even stronger if they would have gotten Simon, Randy and Paula back as the judges full time. I really like Keith, Harry and J. Lo but the original judging panel still holds a special place in my heart.

  2. Mike says:

    I found the murphy scene in the 100 to be rather kinky

  3. Mr. Smith says:

    Enjoyed The Odd Couple. Besides the Big Bang Theory, this is my favorite CBS comedy.

  4. Maxx Dog says:

    Actually surprised it wasn’t higher. I am curious as to why women won often in early seasons and then latter seasons were all wmwg with 8 of 9 last winners white men.

    • ike s. says:

      i think it had to do with allowing the contestants to play instruments. If not for that some of those WGWG winners would not have won. The instruments made people focus less on voice.

      • Crystal Bowersox played guitar and Jena Irene played piano, and there were other female contestants who played instruments. (And they were both superb vocalists and musicians.)

  5. I’ll miss Idol. I could’ve used about two more hours of alumni performances (and performances for each of the S15 top 10!)

  6. Denise says:

    I am disappointed in this final season. I wanted to marinate and really enjoy my memories. Although I have been a loyal fan, I do not remember everyone’s name, etc. I needed more in depth reminiscing. Instead they threw everyone in a blender and spit out a few at a time. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the few minutes I got with the idols but needed more.

    • Observer says:

      If they would have cut J. Lo’s drawn-out skimpy costume act,,,,also Kara DioGuardi trying to sing,, and gave that space to the gathering of former Idols – it would have improved the final episode. ,

  7. Kara says:

    The finale disappointed me in several ways. I watched it to see old faces, not watch J-Lo pretend she can sing. They went by so fast I didn’t even realize a couple of them were there until I read reviews. But the ratings jump proves one thing. This show didn’t HAVE to faceplant. There’s lots of us out there who would have kept watching if not for a series of really bad decisions and inability to tap into what viewers in the core group wanted.

  8. Sur says:

    Why did Constantine get so much face time on Idol??? I just don’t understand…

  9. Hellas13 says:

    100 ticked up? How can that be when everyone was going to stop watching? Guess they didn’t after all…