'24' series finale ratings: A humble goodbye

24-castImage Credit: Brian Bowen Smith/FoxJack Bauer gave a heartfelt goodbye to Chloe, but only the die-hard fans tuned in to watch: Monday’s two-hour series finale of 24 finished third in its timeslot among adults 18-49 (2.7 rating/8 share) and averaged 8.9 million viewers, according to preliminary ratings. The show also finished in third place among adults 18-34 but was No. 2 in teens.

Thanks to the second-to-last installment of Dancing with the Stars, ABC finished first in viewers last night (12.48 million), followed by CBS (11.88 million). NBC was in fourth with 5.90 million. CBS won the night among adults 18-49 (3.9/11), thanks to finales of How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement, Two and A Half Men, Big Bang Theory and CSI: Miami.

The premiere of ABC’s The Bachelorette, meanwhile, averaged a mere 2.8/8 among adults 18-49, down 7 percent from last year’s premiere on May 18 and the lowest-rated Bachelorette bow ever in the important demographic. And the Chuck finale on NBC clocked in with its lowest rated episode ever (1.8/5), and was down 25 percent from last season’s finale on April 27.

For more on the finale:
Executive Producer Howard Gordon answers some burning questions!
The final ’24 review: The show is over. ‘Shut it down.’

’24’ star Kiefer Sutherland reflects on drama’s heart-stopping run on Fox


Comments (69 total) Add your comment
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  • Tim

    Those ratings seem pretty low. Does that include all the people that haven’t left my house yet from the Lost party Sunday night?

    • Katie

      Right? Who could watch TV after that.

      • davem

        people with lives

      • Wow

        People with more brain power than you.

      • Bob Aroonietoonie

        Haha burn.

    • Tony

      Overal Season 1 was the best Finale of the Bunch. Season 5 was the best Season

      • d

        couldnt agree more!!!

  • Christian

    Why do we care about the ratings of shows that won’t be up for renewal ever again?

  • Q

    24 is similar to Lost, which didn’t see a ratings spike in it’s finale either. If people didn’t watch all season, why would they tune in to the finales?!? Personally I enjoyed 24, and will miss it on monday nights

    • Lily

      Of course, ew has done very little coverage of 24’s finale, unlike Lost’s. And Fox did very little coverage of 24’s finale as well. That said, I enjoyed it. Thought it was great and very moving and will greatly miss the wonderful television show. It has been stellar for 8 years. Jack and Chloe rock. Can’t wait for the movie.

      • nikkido

        A first happened last night. I actually cried during 24. It was very moving and Jack/Chloe rocks.

    • elsie

      Actually, LOST did see a bump in its finale ratings. But not a huge one. I agree though, with either show, why watch the end if you haven’t been keeping up?

      My guess is LOST was up a bit because people bothered to watch it all at teh same time on Sunday night, as opposed to catching up on it later in the week on hulu or itunes.

      • Dave

        I think the slight bump for Lost’s ratings could have also been due to season 1-2 fans who ditched the show at that time only to return to watch the finale now, wanting to see if mysteries from those seasons would be wrapped up. Those people were probably disappointed.

  • DW

    I gave up on Chuck once the first 13 episodes of the current season were over. I wonder how many others did the same?

    • DFSF

      What a relief it’s coming back, huh?

  • zane

    I don’t understand these ratings systems. Have YOU ever known one single person who has one of those boxes? I think the Nielsen ratings are absolutely wrong and not even close to the number of actual people watching. It’s a totally outdated technology that’s not representative of the viewing public. I know tons of people who LOVE Chuck and everyone was glued to it last night!!

    • MSR

      I agree. The ratings system needs an overhaul and fast. It’s hard to believe only 8.9 million watched the show. It’s frustrating something better can’t be devised.

      • Lily

        Agree Zane and MSR. A ratings system overhaul!

      • Nielsen Disliker

        I completely agree with the ratings overhaul. It’s been statistically proven that they are inaccurate. Nielsen is archaic and completely outdated.

      • MC

        I have one of those boxes, but sadly it did not count for 24 last night as I went to my mom’s house to watch it with friends and family.

      • S.O.

        Then maybe someone (or some company) needs to come up w/ a system (cable/DVR box) that accurately counts what is being watched during certain times & include all regions of the country, not just the East Coast & Midwest please.

      • MC

        I live in California.

    • NoChance

      Yes. My sister and her husband had a Nielsen box a few years ago.

  • Pat

    never heard of 24

    • Chappel

      It’s right between 23 and 25.

    • Nady

      24 is the best series in the world. I dont even know if can watch another series.

  • Kath

    Why is so much importance placed on ratings? it only reflects a small portion of TV viewers in this country, which is over 250+ million. so ratings are worthless. On that note I have a BIG complaint with EW. Why is it that land mark shows like 24 (8 seasons), and Law and Order (20 Seasons). Are left to quietly into the night, and yet all we hear about is Lost!! If any show deserved the BIG send off it was Law and Order. Such a shame to see a show that is part of TV history, finish like that.

    • Annoyed

      There are, like, 80 versions of L&O. Plus, like, 500 hours of reruns a week. Yes, it’s a landmark show, but it’s not really going anywhere.

      Lost changed TV in some respects and isn’t as ubiquitous, doesn’t have any spinoffs (that are essentially the same show), and won’t have the life in reruns like L&O. There is mystery, intrigue, and a sense of “how will it end” that other shows can’t match, especially a formulaic cop/lawyer show.

      Lost is a singular show, a pop culture phenomenon, and it deserved a special sendoff.

    • Lyle

      Ratings do only reflect a portion but they are important regardless. The importance is because stations don’t spend millions to air shows just to be nice. They make the money from advertisers and those advertisers mainly target a certain demo and the ratings determine that, even if it’s a flawed estimation. Even though the boxes aren’t fully accurate they are the best way to estimate who is potentially watching live. People may skip commercials live but are more likely to do so with dvrs.

    • SteveC.

      LOST is beyond great. That’s why. Everyone should watch LOST, you may actually learn something from that show, and it might actually make you think unlike some shows…

  • Abby

    way to go NBC, renewing a show with dreadful ratings (Chuck), and worst part is that they’re only going to drop even more.

    • RCM

      Thanks to Leno, NBC has more slots than shows so middling shows like Chuck stay. I’m actually kind of surprised the fall schedule doesn’t have 5 nights of deal or no deal.

      • Kenn

        I have been a diehard 24 fan since day 1, but enjoy chuck. You guys really don’t think Chuck’s ratings took a hit because of 24’s finale

    • Vikki Sixx

      Funny how Chuck’s ratings went down once NBC added it to their OnDemand lineup as a free viewing. It is my fave show on television since The Shield ended but even I switched to watching it OnDemand so I don’t have to deal with commercials and can DVR other stuff at the 8-9 block on Monday. I wish they would factor in OnDemand viewings Nielsen ratings. Chuck has the viewers. I can promise you that.

  • MB

    So what? It doesn’t bother me that more people saw “Iron Man” than “Crazy Heart.” Or that the Jonas Brothers are more popular than the Avett Brothers. I’m happy with my choice last night.

  • Johnny

    I give a what about the ratings! I got bigger fish to fry like what the hell I’mma do now without 24 on mondays?!!! Dammit Jack! HURRY UP & MAKE THE DAMN MOVIE!!!!

  • Matt

    I’m not mocking fans of the show, but I’ve watched Chuck a few times now and am I missing something? I honestly don’t understand the cult obssession with it…not particularly funny and the action is just so-so standard stuff. They should give the blonde a spin-off show where she runs around in a red bathing suit saving people from drowning.

    • Rae

      I think you hit the nail on the head when you said “cult obsession.” Chuck is a monomyth told in spoof format, and spoofs just aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Everything you *really* need to know about Chuck is right there in the opening title sequence – little animated dude running around doing iconic spy stuff and kung fu set to fun music and silly sound effects.

      I know my words probably won’t win anyone over, but I love the show because it’s fun to watch, I enjoy the characters, and it never takes itself too seriously, which is a great contrast to most other hour-length shows out there. I’m glad it got picked up, but I know that if/when NBC gets a few hits in its schedule, that’ll be it for Chuck. 3+ seasons is way more than I ever expected, though, so I’m enjoying the ride while it lasts. :)

      • Yeah

        I agree 100%. I mean Shaw did say Mwahaha last night. =) I would take it over the dramatic styling of CSI:Miami and that dumbass Horatio Caine any day of the week.

  • Liz

    Too many people watching dumb mind candy like Dancing w/the Stars. I’m scared for this country.

    • Yeah

      That doesn’t include the other drivel like The Hills, Jersey Shore, and the whore Housewives of Wherever.

      • Tony Cunningham

        Couldn’t agree more!

  • waya

    I didn’t even realize it was the finale until I turned on Fox at 8:00 for House, and found 24 instead! Not a whole lot of advertising I suspect. But 24 this year has been very bland compared to years past, but after the ending, I am interested in how they do a film.

  • Matt

    Fox really didn’t promote the series finale that much. Which is probably the reason for the low ratings.

    • Ajay C

      @ Matt

      You know I’ve been posting where ever I could about the lack of attention 24 had received for the series finale. ABC went all out for lost with a 2 hr summary preceding the finale, and a post finale celebration on Jimmy Kimmel. So what did FOX do for 24? Nothing! The 24 finale deserved a spectacular send off, even if a follow up movie in the works.

  • NJM

    They need to move Chuck or Chuck should have ended last week.

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