Demonstrating that early season media reports of its ratings decline in the face of increased Thursday night competition had been greatly exaggerated, Survivor: Guatemala finished its season with a bang, setting season ratings highs with each of its final four broadcasts and delivering the long-running CBS reality series' best finale ratings since May 2004's Survivor: All-Stars.

Although overruns of CBS' Sunday afternoon NFL football broadcasts caused it to get off to a late start in many television markets, Survivor: Guatemala's two-hour finale (airing from 8:23-10:32PM) averaged 21.18 million viewers, a 11.9/17 rating/share in households, a 9.3/19 in the Adults 25-54 demographic, a 7.7/17 in Adults 18-49, and a 5.3/13 in Adults 18-34. While the broadcast's odd run times made exact time period comparisons difficult, CBS finished first in the Sunday, December 11 8:30-10:30PM time period in households, viewers, Adults 25-54 and Adults 18-49.

Benefiting from ABC's decision to preempt Desperate Housewives in favor of a special two-hour Extreme Makeover: Home Edition broadcast, Survivor: Guatemala's finale was up significantly from last fall's finale of Survivor: Vanuatu -- 7% in viewers, 9% in households (from 10.9/16), 8% in Adults 25-54 (from 8.6/17), 3% in adults 18-49 (from 7.5/16) and even in Adults 18-34. The performance represented the best Survivor's finale performance in viewers, households, and Adults 25-54 since Survivor: All-Stars' broadcast on May 9, 2004.

Although it aired until nearly 11:30PM in the eastern part of the United States, Survivor: Guatemala's reunion show also held up well versus Vanuatu's finale. Airing from 10:32-11:23PM, Survivor: Guatemala Reunion averaged 15.21 million viewers, a 9.2/15 rating/share in households, a 6.9/16 in the Adults 25-54 demographic, a 5.7/14 in Adults 18-49, and a 4.0/11 in Adults 18-34.

Like its finale, Survivor: Guatemala's penultimate episode also performed well and dominated its time period. Survivor: Guatemala's Thursday, December 8 episode averaged 20.21 million viewers, a 11.6/18 rating/share in households, a 8.8/21 in the Adults 25-54 demographic, a 7.1/19 in Adults 18-49, and a 5.2/15 in Adults 18-34 -- a performance that represented the show's third consecutive season high among both viewers and households.

With three broadcasts in the same week, Survivor: Guatemala dominated the weekly ratings for the week ending December 11. Survivor: Guatemala's Sunday finale placed third in the weekly viewership rankings (trailing only fellow CBS Thursday night programs CSI and Without A Trace), followed by Thursday's episode (fourth place) and the reunion show (eleventh place.)

All three broastcasts performed even better among the week's Adults 25-54 demographic rankings, placing second (Survivor: Guatemala finale -- trailing only CSI), third (Survivor: Guatemala Thursday), and eighth (Survivor: Guatemala Reunion.) The broadcasts also dominated the week's Adults 18-49 rankings, placing second (Survivor: Guatemala finale -- again trailing only CSI), fourth (Survivor: Guatemala Thursday), and ninth (Survivor: Guatemala Reunion.)