ABC, which appears to be getting close to announcing a second edition of Dancing With the Stars, was crowing about the finale last night, and with reason.
Dancing, airing at 9-10 p.m. Wednesday, garnered 22.4 million viewers (versus 19.3 million combined on the other five networks) and a 6.7 rating/19 share in adults 18-49.
The WB, meanwhile, was trumpeting the demo performance for the finale of Beauty and the Geek, which finished first in its 8-9 p.m. Wednesday time period for the fifth straight week among adults 18-34 (2.1/8) and persons 12-34 (2.0/8), while leading among women 12-34 (2.5/9), men 18-34 (1.9/8), men 12-34 (1.5/7) and men 18-49 (1.7/6).
ABC said Dancing achieved the highest viewer and 18-49 totals of any summer series since Fox’s American Idol on Sept. 4, 2002, which attracted 22.8 million viewers and a 10.7/30 in 18-49.
Compared to the finales of other big summer series from previous years, CBS’ first Survivor finale on Aug. 23, 2000, grabbed 51.7 million viewers and a 22.8/54 in 18-49. With Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, ABC collected 22.4 million viewers and an 8.7/22 in 18-49 on Aug. 29, 1999.
Dancing hit series highs across all relevant demographic categories, including teens and kids, making it the most-watched show of the summer. It got ABC’s largest summer audience in the slot since September 1994 and its strongest 18-49 number since September 1995.
Ranking behind only game seven of the NBA finals (7.6/23), it posted the second-highest rating of any show since the May sweeps.
As for Geek, which could reappear anywhere from November through January depending on casting, and possibly again next summer, The WB touted its gains since its opening week.
The finale placed third in total viewers (4.3 million)—1.1 million over its debut. But it had fewer viewers than the third episode, when it peaked at 4.5 million. It did gain over the previous week’s 3.9 million total, however.
Geek continued to increase during the second half-hour, jumping from a 1.9/7 in adults 18-34 to a 2.4/8; from a 1.7/7 in persons 12-34 to a 2.2/9; and from a 2.1/8 in women 12-34 to a 2.8/10.
Total viewers increased from 3.9 million to 4.7 million. It posted triple-digit gains over the same night a year ago in all 18-34, 12-34 and 18-49 demos.