According to updated in-home viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research, the December 1 penultimate episode of NBC's Average Joe set new series ratings highs, drawing 14.1 million overall viewers and a 7.2/18 rating/share in the Adults 18-49 demographic.

The performance equaled television's highest Adults 18-49 rating for any reality show on any network since the November 19 finale of ABC's The Bachelor. Average Joe soared 44 percent above its 18-49 rating of the previous week and saw last night's rating increase by a powerful 1.2 rating points from its first half-hour to its second, an exceptional build for a 10 p.m. show.

Average Joe was #1 for the time period in all key adult and adult-female categories. The Average Joe episode drew NBC's highest regular series programming Adults 18-49 rating in the Monday 10-11 PM ET hour with since a Dateline NBC broadcast on June 8, 1998.

The two-hour series finale of Average Joe is scheduled for Monday, December 8, from 9-11 PM ET. The network has recently announced that a second edition of the series, also filmed this past summer and entitled Average Joe: Hawaii, will premiere on January 5, 2004.