It was a ratings battle between aging reality shows Wednesday night as Fox's wannabe pop stars took on CBS' marooned survivors.
The season finales of Fox's "American Idol" and CBS' "Survivor" went head-to-head Wednesday, and though the singing contest has struggled with declining ratings in its 13th season, it looks like it narrowly beat its reality rival.
According to early numbers from Nielsen, "American Idol" averaged 10.1 million viewers, while "Survivor" had 9.3 million. "Idol" also was slightly ahead among the key 18-to-49-year-old audience, notching a rating of 2.6 vs. "Survivor's" 2.5.
A major caveat, though: "American Idol" overran its usual time slot by six minutes and "Survivor" overshot by longer (13 minutes), so the ratings for both are likely to change in the final numbers.
One thing not likely to change is that both are diminished from a year ago. The 2013 "Survivor" finale (which aired on a Sunday, so the comparison is not quite apples-to-apples) earned a 2.7 in 18-49 and 10.2 million viewers overall. "Idol" was down 28% from last year when it concluded on a Thursday.
While the reality stalwarts dueled, ABC's "Modern Family" ended its fifth season with a big wedding and another ratings victory, posting a rating of 3.6 in 18-49 and drawing 10.2 million viewers total. In overall viewership, that's up from last year but down by a tenth of a point in the key demographic group.
After the finale of its canceled comedy "Mixology," ABC debuted the new season of "Motive" to a 0.9 in 18-49, down 30% from last season's opener.
On NBC, the first season closer of the Dick Wolf spinoff "Chicago P.D." rose 7% from last week to a 1.6 in 18-49, after "Law & Order: SVU" ended its current cycle with the same number. "Revolution's" finale was down 45% year-over-year to a 1.1.