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TV ratings: 'How I Met Your Mother' ends with series high

TV ratings: 'How I Met Your Mother' ends with series high
Ted finally finishes telling his kids the story of how he met their mother. (Ron P. Jaffe / Fox)

"How I Met Your Mother" went out with a ratings bang Monday night. 

The CBS sitcom that for nine years followed a man's long search for a wife ended with its highest ratings ever, averaging more than 12.9 million viewers, according to early numbers from Nielsen. 

Among key 18- to 49-year-old viewers, for whom advertisers pay a premium, the final episode drew a rating of 5.3, also a series best. (A ratings point in 18-49 equals about 1.3 million viewers.)

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The hourlong farewell episode was easily the highest-rated show of the night in the 18-49 category and was second in overall viewership to ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," which averaged 13.7 million total viewers.

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The comedy has delivered strong numbers for CBS over its nine seasons and has spawned an upcoming spinoff called "How I Met Your Dad" starring Greta Gerwig.

CBS used the much-anticipated closer to launch the new "Friends With Better Lives," which pulled in about 8 million viewers and a rating of 2.7 in 18-49. "Mom" and "Intelligence" were both up week-to-week.

On NBC, "The Voice" fell 8% from a week ago to a 3.4, while "The Blacklist" was flat at 2.8. On average, NBC was the night's highest-rated network. 

Fox's "Bones" rose 7% to 1.5 and "The Following" was flat at 1.4. 

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Twitter: @rfaughnder

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