Ratings: 'ER' finale dominates Thursday

The series finale of ER ruled Thursday night, bringing in more than 17 million viewers between 10 and 10:30 p.m., the show’s highest ratings in years. (Though still nowhere near its numbers during its ’90s heyday.) In the Motherhood and Samantha Who? both saw substantial drops this week, with Samantha falling all the way down to 4.8 million viewers — a major drop from its 10 million-plus watchers earlier this season (when it aired after Dancing With the Stars). Survivor‘s and Bones‘ numbers both dropped slightly, and CSI was down to 14 million from its season average of over 17 million.


























Time Show Viewers (in millions)
8 p.m. Survivor (CBS)
ER Series Retrospective (NBC)
Bones (Fox)
In the Motherhood (ABC)
Smallville (The CW)
8:30 p.m. Samantha Who? (ABC) 4.8
9 p.m. ER (NBC)
Hell’s Kitchen (Fox)
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
Supernatural (The CW)
4.9 (repeat)
10 p.m. Eleventh Hour (CBS)
Private Practice (ABC)
3.8 (repeat)


Comments (16 total) Add your comment
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  • Al

    WOW, 17 million for the finale is dominating. How the mighty have fallen. I remember the days, about a decade ago, when ER used to average about 25-30 million viewers a night, and the special episodes would snag like 40 million viewers and above. What is wrong with TV ratings these days? It must be because of the intense competition of cable networks. Dramas just don’t work on network TV anymore, they’re much better on either cable or HBO because they tend to be more creative. Comedies still work for network TV, but dramas are so much better on cable TV.

  • Trish

    They should put Samantha Who back in it’s old time slot!

  • peeps

    So many people record thes programs, or rely on DVRs or Tivo so the numbers are skewed.

  • S. Marsden

    Everything else on prime-time was reruns. Hardly a contest.

  • Rachel

    17 mil? I know I tivo’d just to see it unterrrupted, so I missed the big push for the other shows! Yea!

  • Darcy

    CSI was not a rerun. It aired its special 200th episode.

  • Dee

    This episode was very disappointing… even more so as the 200th episode. This is the 200th episode of the show, and to honor that, they should have dedicated more time to the people who have been on the show for 200 episodes!!!
    I love Laurence Fishburne, and I don’t blame him for the terribleness of this episode… but man. This has really killed CSI for me.

  • Wojo

    CSI showed their 200th episode and it sucked. But of course CBS will blame the ER finale for the low ratings instead of the fact that they aired the worst episode of CSI ever!!

  • Alan

    Shame on ABC for putting Samantha Who on hiatus. I hate it when networks put shows on hiatus, it ruins their momentum, especially if they bring it back in a different timeslot. Grrr!

  • jason

    as someone said, network dramas will never do well anymore when you can go to cable and see a naked person, see someone murdered, or hear them say f*#k or smoke dope. THAT is why shows don’t do well anymore, cable is too powerful

  • Rhia

    Disappointing finale numbers for ER, but acceptable in these current times. I guess the last show received the highest finale number was Friends in 2004, with almost 54 million viewers.

  • Matt2

    One of the most unexciting Thursday night performances for new episodes of some series in a while, new episodes failed to live up to expectations. Survivor is starting to look tired at 8pm. But the 8pm hour is open for grabs on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The most shocking Thursday night result has to be the 14 million CSI got for its 200th episode opposite a Grey’s Anatomy repeat. Both ER and CSI should be thankful Grey’s was a repeat. Neither one would have been strong enough to handle a steadily strengthening Grey’s Anatomy. Meanwhile you have to wonder why programmers at ABC can’t find a decent muti-cam family sitcom. Then again that’s not only an ABC problem. No major network has a hit Family sitcom, single cam or otherwise.

  • Ben W

    ABC is so stupid about Samanthta Who? Why did they go and eff up a good thing?
    I LOVE that show and I had no idea where to find it til I randomly saw it on the schedule and DVRed it. They really shouldnt waste good shows like that

  • EntertainmentBlogger

    ER deserved at good send-off. One of the best series ever. Will really miss it.
    And I agree, ABC really messed up with Samantha Who? They moved it around too much. Stopped and stalled (by deciding that Bachelor was worth 2hrs…uggh). Funny show and now at risk of NOT being renewed because ABC programmers are stupid.


  • queen bey

    Ahh, tv ratings, it’s a shame that the networks are relying on a tired old system to determine when to keep or cancel a show these days. There’s too many ways to watch your favorite show. I did watch the ER finale, I’d stopped watching ER years ago, mainly because my husband hates hospital dramas and because of the new show on the block. However, I’m continue to be baffled as to why CBS is dominating in the ratings with some of its tired, formula tv dramas, my daughter and I have come to the conclusion that some older Americans turn on the Price is Right and just leave the tv there for the rest of the day. I’m pissed at ABC for canceling Life on Mars, but happy that they did show a finale. Unlike Eli Stone or Pushing Daisies which were both innovative and funny, they just went off to tv land heaven. Let’s see how the Unusuals will do after Lost on Wednesday nights, I’m almost afraid to watch because I’m tire of being disappointed.

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