Lowest-Ever Rating for Season Finale of NBC Staple TVbytheNumbers

A franchise show that has delivered big numbers for NBC in the past had its lowest-rated season finale ever Sunday night, as “Celebrity Apprentice” mustered only a 2.2 rating in the key 18-49 demo, according to Nielsen overnights. reports that the show’s two-hour finale did improve from the 1.8 the reality competition managed a week earlier. For prime time overall, NBC placed third in viewers 18-49.

ABC had the top show of the night, the two-hour “Billboard Music Awards,” which pulled in a 2.7 average in viewers 18-49. ABC won the night outright, with a 2.4 average for prime time, ahead of Fox’s 1.9, NBC’s 1.6 and CBS’s 1.3. CBS went with two episodes of “60 Minutes” (1.4 average and 1.5) and the two-hour “Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt” (1.2 average rating).

The CBS strategy paid off with a win in total viewers, with the Tiffany Network averaging 11.3 million for prime time, to 7.0 million for ABC, 5.6 million for NBC and 4.1 million for Fox.

Fox’s best performer was a one-hour “Family Guy” at 9 p.m., which earned a 2.5 average in 18-49. The season finale of “The Simpsons” managed a 2.1, while the season finale of “The Cleveland Show” pulled in only a 1.3.