'Idol' vs. 'Survivor' finale ratings fight: It's a tie

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UPDATE BELOW: Fox’s American Idol finale surged Wednesday night to likely edge out CBS’ Survivor finale in the ratings.

In a very tight race with numbers that will be notably adjusted later today, American Idol averaged 10.1 million viewers and a 2.6 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic, while Survivor had 9.5 million and a 2.5 rating. While Survivor has been topping the music competition series in recent weeks, Fox’s ‘ol “Death Star” still had enough firing power last night to come from behind with a 24 percent week-to-week boost to take the lead. Both these numbers do not include, however, several minutes of overrun into the 10 p.m. hour, when viewership peaked for both shows as their respective winners were revealed (6 minutes worth for Idol, 13 minutes worth for Survivor). So Fox and CBS expect their ratings to be adjusted upward by a tenth of a point or two in the demo when the Nielsen’s national numbers are released later today. Idol will likely retain its lead among total viewers, though things could squeak closer in the demo.

Put more simply: Idol very likely won, but it’s too close to call given the overrun. Normally we do not update morning ratings stories in the afternoon, but we’ll make an exception this time and add the final numbers later today since this is a pretty unique situation. In the meantime, here’s our recaps for Survivor and for Idol.

Also Wednesday: CBS’ Survivor: Cagayan Reunion was down 18 percent from last spring and marked the franchise’s lowest-rated reunion yet (despite interrupting the main telecast every commercial break with live reminders from the upcoming special). NBC’s Revolution series finale was down from last week. The Chicago PD  finale hit a three-week high. ABC’s The Middle finale was up a tick. ABC’s Modern Family finale, which featured Mitch and Cam’s wedding and had its biggest audience since December and matched last year’s finale in the demo. The CW’s The 100 tied its low.

UPDATE: It’s a tie in the demo — both Survivor and Idol got a 2.6 rating, with Idol maintaining its lead in total viewers.

Full chart:

NET/TIME/SHOW  18-49 demo  total viewers (+000)
FOX 8-10P AM IDOL- 2.6 10,142
ABC 8-9P MIDDLE- 2.0 7,532
9:00P MODRN FMLY- 3.6 10,233
9:30P MIXOLOGY- 1.3 4,013
10-11P MOTIVE- P 0.9 4,064
CBS 8-1030P SURVIVOR- 2.5 9,299
10:30P SURVR REUN- S 1.8 6,817
NBC 8-9P REVOLUTION- 1.1 4,205
9-10P LAW&O:SVU- 1.6 6,274
10-11P CHICAGO PD- 1.6 6,222
CW 8-9P HUNDRED- RS 0.2 801
9-10P HUNDRED,THE- 0.5 1,422

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