Veteran Reality Show Sinks to Historic Low

May 14, 2012  •  Post A Comment

A long-running prime-time reality show aired its season finale Sunday night and wound up with the lowest ratings for a finale in the show’s history, according to Nielsen overnights.

TVbytheNumbers.com reports that CBS’s “Survivor” averaged a 2.8 rating in the key 18-49 demo for its two-hour finale. While that number was slightly better than the 2.7 for last week’s “Amazing Race” finale, it was down a whopping 30% from the “Survivor” finale last spring and the worst-ever finale in the show’s long run. The “Survivor” reunion show that followed it managed a 2.4, down 29% from the reunion show last spring and “Survivor’s” lowest-rated reunion ever.

Elsewhere on CBS Sunday night, the 7 p.m. broadcast of “60 Minutes” was down a hefty four-tenths of a ratings point from a week ago, pulling only a 1.2 in viewers 18-49.

ABC fared better with its two season finales Sunday: “Once Upon a Time” averaged a 3.2 rating in adults 18-49, rising 7% from a week earlier; and the two-hour series finale of “Desperate Housewives” also clocked in with a 3.2, rising 19% from a week ago and also beating the 3.1 average for last year’s season finale.

Fox’s animation lineup was generally down, leaving the network solidly in third place overall. NBC saw slight improvement for “Dateline” (up one-tenth from last week to a 0.8 average rating in 18-49) and the canceled “Harry’s Law” (up 25% to a 1.0), but “Celebrity Apprentice” tied its series low with a 1.8.

In the end ABC carried the night, finishing on top in the 18-49 demo with a 2.8 average rating for prime time, ahead of CBS (2.3 average), Fox (1.7) and NBC (1.3). ABC also prevailed in a close race in total viewers, averaging 9.49 million to 9.43 million for CBS, 5.51 million for NBC and 3.60 million for Fox.

One Comment

  1. It might be time to come up with some new programming? Are all reality shows on the ratings slide?

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