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MAY
14
3 YEARS

TV Ratings: 'Desperate Housewives' Climbs in Series Finale

Although nowhere near as strong as its glory days among adults 18-49, the two-hour closer matched its season high and topped the most recent season ender.

Desperate Housewives finale 2012
Ron Tom/ ABC

ABC brought home a win Sunday night with the swan song for its eight-season keystone, Desperate Housewives. The series, which averaged 23.7 million viewers and a 10.7 rating among adults 18-49 during its premiere run in the 2004-05 season, ended on a relatively quiet note given its gargantuan beginnings. Fast affiliate ratings give the two-hour ender 11.1 million viewers and a 3.2 rating among adults 18-49. That demo score grew 19 percent from the penultimate episode and matches its high from the season premiere and tops the most recent finale.

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Lead-in Once Upon a Time tied Desperate Housewives for the top broadcast of the night. The finale rose 7 percent for a 3.2 in the demo as well, airing after America's Funniest Home Videos pulled a 1.6 with 18-49-ers. ABC averaged a 2.8 rating with adults and 9.5 million viewers for the night.

CBS came in a narrow second among viewers (9.4 million) and a more distant 2.3 rating among adults 18-49. 60 Minutes dropped tied a season low of 1.2 in the demo, while the Survivor finale -- airing on a special night -- tied Wednesday's score of a 2.8 rating with adults. The reunion earned a 2.4 rating with 18-49-ers.

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Fox's animation block saw dips against the competitive lineup of finales, giving the network an average 3.6 million viewers and a 1.7 rating among adults 18-49 for the night. The Cleveland Show was down just a tenth of a point, earning a 1.3 adults rating, while The Simpsons (1.9) and Family Guy (2.3) were both down about 15 percent. Bob's Burgers earned a 1.8 adults rating, and American Dad earned a 2.0.

The now-canceled Harry's Law pulled a 1.0 rating in the demo for NBC, rising two-tenths of a point, before The Apprentice dropped a tenth, earning a 1.8 with adults 18-49. Factoring in a rising Dateline (0.8), NBC averaged a 1.3 adults rating and 5.5 million viewers.