May 23, 2013 9:03am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'MasterChef' Returns Steady, 'Criminal Minds' and 'Modern Family' Lead
The last night of the 2012-13 season brought a demo tie for CBS and ABC, the two nets that also share bragging rights for the May sweep.
CBS started the evening with comedy encores before a robust two-hour finale of Criminal Minds (2.7 adults). The episode grew a tenth of a point from last week, improving in its second half to easily win the 10 p.m. hour. Still, the episode was down nine tenths of a point from last year's ender. CBS averaged a 2.2 rating with adults 18-49 and 8.9 million viewers.
The Middle (2.0 adults) kicked off the night on ABC, inching up a tenth of a point from last week to pull an even score with last year's finale. Modern Family (3.6 adults), the night's top-rated series, was down a tenth of a point from last week and half of a point from last year's finale. How to Live With Your Parents (2.2 adults) closed its brief run up two tenths of a point from last week. Nashville (1.9 adults), besting Chicago Fire, grew two tenths of a point in its freshman finale. ABC also averaged a 2.2 rating with adults 18-49, pulling in 6.9 million viewers.
MasterChef, seeing its first in-season premiere at the start of its fourth run, averaged a 2.1 rating with adults 18-49 and 5.2 million viewers. Compared to last year's one-hour June premiere, the first hour was off by three tenths of a point and the second hour was off by one tenth. Among total viewers, the series showed improvement, up about 3 percent.
On NBC, Dateline (1.4 adults) grew a tenth of a point from last week. Law & Order: SVU (1.6 adults) was also up by the same measure, though the series lost four tenths of a point from its 2012 finale rating. Chicago Fire (1.7 adults) dropped three tenths of a point in its hour, giving NBC an average 1.6 rating with adults 18-49 and 6.3 million viewers.
The CW movie Love Happens averaged a 0.3 rating with adults 18-49 and 1.1 million viewers.
Univision averaged a 1.3 rating with adults 18-49 and 3.2 million viewers.