'Dancing with the Stars 4' two-night finale waltzes off to big ratings
By Christopher Rocchio and Steve Rogers, 05/31/2007
Dancing with the Stars' fourth-season two-night finale waltzed all over ABC's competition last week, as its final performance episode was Monday night's most-watched television show and it's live two-hour Tuesday night finale generated the network's largest non-sports audience in that time period in eight years.
Dancing with the Stars 4 final performance episode aired from 8PM to 9PM last Monday night, averaging 20.2 million total viewers and a 5.3/15 rating/share in the Adults 18-49 demographic. It defeated its nearest competition during that time period, NBC's Deal or No Deal, in total viewers by 10.3 million and also bested the first hour of 24's season finale on Fox (3.6/10 ratings/share) by 47% among Adults 18-49. In addition to being the most-watched television show on Monday night, it also ranked No. 1 among Women 18-49 with a 7.8/21 rating/share as well as among Kids 2-11 with a 2.9/11 rating/share.
Tuesday night's live Dancing with the Stars 4 finale -- which saw two-time Olympic gold medalist speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno and his professional partner Julianne Hough capture the mirror ball trophy -- aired from 9PM to 11PM and averaged 23 million total viewers and a 6.7/17 rating/share among Adults 18-49. It defeated its nearest competition during that time period, CBS' Jesse Stone movie, by 10 million viewers in total viewers and also bested Fox's season premiere of On the Lot (3.9/10 rating/share) by 72% in Adults 18-49 from 9-10PM.
Excluding sporting events, Dancing with the Stars fourth-season finale attracted ABC's largest audience in that time period since May 25, 1999 and was also the network's top rated show in that time slot among Adults 18-49 since October 10, 2000.
The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman's After the Final Rose special served as a lead-in for Dancing with the Stars 4 finale on Tuesday night, and ABC was actually able to outdraw Fox and finish first among average viewers during the final Tuesday night of the May sweeps ratings period. Although Fox's Tuesday night broadcast of American Idol's final sixth-season performance episode performed well in the 8PM ET/PT hour, On the Lot's debut didn't do anywhere near as well in the 9PM ET/PT time period, resulting in the two shows combining for a full-night average of 16.8 million total viewers.
Fox's 16.8 million total viewers average fell well short of the 18 million total viewers that ABC's After the Final Rose special and Dancing with the Stars finale averaged on the night -- allowing ABC to become the first network ever to average more viewers than Fox during a Tuesday night Idol broadcast since the megahit show first became part of Fox's regular season schedule in 2003.