‘Idol’ vs. ‘Dancing’: Which Season Finale Hit a Historic Low in Tuesday’s Ratings? (Hint: Maybe They Both Did!)

May 23, 2012  •  Post A Comment

Tuesday was a big night for performance competitions, with Fox airing this season’s performance finale of “American Idol” while ABC put up the two-hour performance finale of “Dancing with the Stars” and NBC banked on its “America’s Got Talent” franchise.

It probably didn’t go as well as hoped, as both “Idol” and “Dancing” notched historic lows, TVbytheNumbers.com reports. “Idol” was the night’s top show with a 4.2 average rating in the key 18-49 demo, according to Nielsen overnights, but that number was an all-time low for an “Idol” performance finale. The show dropped 14% from last week’s 4.9 — the same percentage decline recorded last year for the performance finale.

“Dancing with the Stars” averaged a 3.2 in 18-49 for the two-hour block from 9-11 p.m. — equaling the 3.2 turned in by “America’s Got Talent” for the 9 p.m. hour. “Dancing” was up big from last week’s series-low 2.2, but it was still a series low for a performance finale.

Fox also had the season finale of “Glee,” which pulled a 3.0 in viewers 18-49 — the show’s best number since February, and a five-tenths improvement from a week ago.

When all was said and done, Fox and ABC wound up tied for the lead for prime time as a whole with 3.6 average ratings in 18-49, followed by NBC with a 2.1, Univision with a 1.7 and CBS — which aired an all-repeat lineup — trailing with a 1.5. Total viewers went to ABC with14.6 million, topping Fox’s 11.0 million, CBS’s 8.6 million, NBC’s 6.5 million and Univision’s 4.2 million.

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