‘The Bachelor’ Gets Beat, Five Shows That Outperformed The Finale

Emily Wickersham and Mark Harmon
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Fence-jumping drama and a two-part finale with a twist ending gave The Bachelor a hefty boost in last week’s Nielsen ratings, but there were still a handful of shows that bested the final shows of the reality show’s latest season, The Orlando Sentinel reports. It was the Navy crime procedural NCIS that took the top spot, while both episodes of The Bachelor’s hotly anticipated two-part finale failed to crack the top five.

Here’s what the top 10 looked like, according to Nielsen.

1. NCIS, 12.1 milllion viewers (CBS)

2. The Voice, 10.5 million viewers (NBC)

3. 60 Minutes, 10.1 million viewers (CBS)

4. FBI, 9 million viewers (CBS)

5. NCIS: Los Angeles, 8.5 million viewers (CBS)

Tied for sixth place were each installment of The Bachelor’s two-part finale, with each bringing in 8.2 million views a piece. The Bachelor is aired on ABC.

CBS claimed four out of the top five last week in a continued strong performance for the network, which has been the most-watched for eight of the last nine weeks. But even as CBS continues to dominate overall, they do come up short against some key viewer demographics, namely the advertiser-coveted “young adult” group. ABC, with younger-skewing programs like The Bachelor has been winning out in that demographic for the last month. Viewers 18 to 49 tuned in the largest numbers for The Bachelor, followed by NBC‘s reality singing show The Voice and their drama This is Us.

While advertisers continue to rely on the viewership numbers provided by Nielsen, the business of tracking television watching has become more complex as time goes on. Where once viewership was tracked by hand using paper diaries in real homes throughout the country, the company has increasingly turned towards technology for helping networks report on who is watching (or not watching) their programming, as Forbes reports.

“Nielsen has been working with clients and partners to better measure online and mobile viewers, like asking TV networks to install software in their digital video players, websites, and apps to track their digital audiences, and striking data deals with partners like Facebook to anonymously collect the demographics of the more than 180 million American Facebook users who watch those digital videos or use those websites and apps,” said Kelly Abcarian, who is a senior vice president at Nielsen.

As more viewers turn to on-demand services and streaming viewing, the measurement of those views will continue to shift. In the meantime, Nielsen remains the analyst of record when it comes to ratings for network television programming.