'Survivor' Finale Wins Big for CBS

ABC's two-hour "Desperate Housewives" season ender drops from previous season; NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" remains steady.
"Survivor: Redemption Island"

The finale and reunion show of reality staple Survivor: Redemption Island paid off for CBS on Sunday, just as upfront presentations begin in New York this week.

The season ender, which crowned “Boston” Rob Mariano sole survivor (and fan favorite), averaged 12.5 million total viewers from 8 to 11 p.m. and drew a 3.8 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary numbers. (For the actual two-hour finale, Survivor averaged 13.1 million and a 4.0 rating.)

Though Survivor easily topped the night in both categories, the 22nd season finale was down slightly compared to the previous season, set in Nicaragua (13.6 million, 4.1). With the help of 60 Minutes (12 million, 1.7), which led off at 7 p.m., CBS was the Sunday victor by a comfortable margin.

ABC’s primetime soap Desperate Housewives (10 million, 3.0) sank more than 2.5 million viewers for its supersized Season 7 finale compared to last season, when it drew 12.8 million and a 4.0 in the key demo. In season, Housewives did improve slightly from the previous week in the demo. Housewives still proved fruitful as it continues to age; the drama was the night’s highest-rated scripted primetime telecast.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (8.5 million, 2.1) and America’s Funniest Home Videos (7.3 million, 1.8), up 7 percent, led off the night.

NBC ranked third on the night in viewers and the demo, with the penultimate episode of Celebrity Apprentice (6.6 million, 2.4) remaining steady. There had been speculation that Donald Trump would announce a run for presidency but the mogul told ad buyers at NBC’s upfront presentation on Monday, to the audience cheering: “I will not be running for president as much as I’d like to.”

Fox’s animation block was steady for the most part, with rookie Bob’s Burger (4.7 million, 2.2) jumping the most (10 percent). American Dad (3.9 million, 1.7) and The Cleveland Show’s Comic-Con finale (4.9 million, 2.3) rose slightly. Family Guy (6.5 million, 3.3) and The Simpsons (6 million, 2.5) were flat.

Email: philiana.ng@thr.com