Steve Carell's Last 'Office' Episode Draws Strong Ratings for NBC

11:18 AM PST 04/29/2011 by Marisa Guthrie
NBC

The NFL draft on ESPN and NBA playoffs on TNT divert viewers from broadcast as many series post declines.

Steve Carell’s last episode of The Office was the top-rated scripted show of the night boosting NBC to a second place tie with CBS in the 18-49 demographic behind Fox and American Idol.

On a night when the broadcast networks faced stiff competition from the first round of the NFL draft on ESPN and the NBA playoffs on TNT, Fox averaged a 4.2 rating in the 18-49 demographic with 14.4 million viewers overall while NBC and CBS averaged a 2.5 rating each, with NBC pulling in 5.2 million viewers compared to CBS’ 10.9 million.

American Idol (5.5, 19 million) was down 5 percent week-to-week and Bones (2.8, 9.8 million), down 13 percent.

CBS’ entire lineup of The Big Bang Theory (3.2, 10.4 million), Rules of Engagement (2.3, 7.7 million), CSI (2.3, 10.5 million) and The Mentalist (2.6, 13.2 million) was down double digits. The Mentalist won the 10 p.m. hour, but Rules hit a season low and CSI sunk to a series low.
 
On NBC, the expanded Office aired from 9-9:53 p.m., garnering a 4.1 rating with 8.3 million viewers from 9-9:30 p.m. and a 4.0 rating with 8.0 million viewers from 9:30-10 p.m., according to preliminary numbers from Nielsen. If those numbers don’t drop, it will give The Office its best performance in the 9 p.m. half hour since January (when snowstorms pounding the northeast kept many viewers inside in front of their televisions). By comparison, Will Ferrell’s first episode of The Office two weeks ago pulled in a 4.0 rating with 7.7 million viewers. Parks and Recreation, which was also super-sized, pulled in a 2.3 rating with 4.6 million viewers from 10-10:30 p.m., while 30 Rock (1.9, 3.9 million) was down 14 percent.
 
ABC averaged a 2.3 rating with 7.9 million viewers overall with a Royal Wedding-themed edition of 20/20 (1.3, 6.9 million viewers), Grey’s Anatomy (3.5, 10.3 million) and Private Practice (2.2, 6.6 million). Grey’s was down nearly 30 percent compared to its previous original on March 31 while Private Practice dropped 19 percent.

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