Idol down. The season finale of Fox's ailing American Idol claimed just 14.3 million viewers Thursday, a record low, down a steep 33% from last year's 21.5 million, and ranked behind season sendoffs of CBS' NCIS (18.8 million Tuesday) and The Big Bang Theory (15.5 million Thursday). ABC edged Fox for a weekly win among young adults, the first time Fox has lost an Idol finale week.
More season finales. CBS' Elementary and ABC's Grey's Anatomy (9 million viewers apiece Thursday); CBS' mother-meeting How I Met Your Mother (8.6 million) and ABC's Castle (11.2 million, both Monday). Among series finales, NBC's The Office closed its doors with 5.7 million Thursday; CBS' Golden Boy had 6.9 million Tuesday, and CW's 90210 mailed it in with a low 540,000 for two Monday episodes.
Billboard up. ABC's Billboard Music Awards drew 9.5 million Sunday, its best showing since 2003. Against it, CBS' Academy of Country Music Tim McGraw special was low with 6 million, and the season finale of NBC's Celebrity Apprentice claimed a worst-yet 5.3 million, down from 6.9 million last spring. The opener of Discovery's North America won 3.4 million, and Tuesday's season opener of Fox's So You Think You Can Dance was low with 5.1 million, rising to 7 million behind Idol on Wednesday.