Delayed Nielsen Ratings Bring Series Highs for 'This Is Us' Finale

This is Us Episode 117 Mandy Moore Milo Ventimiglia - Publicity - H 2017
Justin Lubin/NBC

TV executives went three full days without the live-plus-same-day Nielsen ratings they've all more or less blown off in recent years — and somehow half of Hollywood did not grind to a halt.

Despite the frantic tone by some covering the Nielsen Media delay, caused by an power outage at its Florida data collection facility, the week's ratings mystery was more or less greeted with shrugs and Liz Lemon eye rolls. And now that the numbers are starting to come in, there are at least a few noteworthy surprises.

Tuesday's This Is Us freshman finale was even bigger than many might have expected. Easily the highest-rated effort to air on broadcast this week, it averaged a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49 and 12.7 million viewers. Both of those numbers marked series highs for the breakout, worth the wait for execs at  NBC or 20th Century Fox.
It's been one hell of a run for the breakout drama, which has its latest live-plus-seven day scores averaging a 4.6 rating in the key demo and 15 million viewers. What's more, its been the first broadcast newcomer since Fox's Empire to substantially grow its showing from beginning to end of the season. 
The lead-in did not do that much for newcomer Trial & Error. NBC's new comedy averaged a 1.3 rating in the key demo at 10 p.m. That's fine enough for a sitcom premiere, but pretty lackluster considering the lead-in. 

Monday night was a bit of a coup for ABC. The network's two-hour Bachelor finale managed to outperform NBC's The Voice in head-to-head competition among adults 18-49. The dating show wrapped with a season high 2.7 rating among adults 18-49, pulling just 4 percent more young viewers than the typically dominant singing franchise. (The race for total viewers, however, was no contest — with The Voice topping The Bachelor by 3.8 million viewers with an average audience of 12.2 million.)

ABC managed to actually win the demo for the night, with its After the Final Rose (2.3 adults) special doubling the showing of NBC's Taken (1.2 adults). Either way you cut it, both ABC and NBC were heads above CBS and Fox.

Sunday was a different story. NBC earned top honors by a narrow margin, thanks in particular to another winning night for Little Big Shots. The variety-reality hybrid earned a 1.7 rating in the key demo and 10 million viewers, topping the night by both measures. (Lead-outs Chicago Justice (1.2 adults) and Shades of Blue (0.9 adults) were essentially steady.)

The CBS lineup of NCIS: Los Angeles, Madam Secretary and Elementary was reasonably steady — as was ABC's drama block, though that news was less auspicious for the latter. Freshman Time After Time limped in with a 0.6 rating among adults 18-49 and 2.3 million viewers, while the third iteration of American Crime kicked off its new night with just a 0.5 rating in the demo, losing well over half of its year-ago premiere.