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Finale of Survivor led CBS BUT marketed lowest-rated final episode

May 12, 2003

The finale of "Survivor: The Amazon" led CBS to victory on Sunday but it also marked the lowest-rated final episode of the six "Survivor" installments to date.

The 8-10 p.m. finale that saw 21-year-old Jenna take the crown and the $1 million prize averaged 21.9 million viewers and an 8.7 rating/22 share in adults 18-49, according to preliminary estimates from Nielsen Media Research. That was on par with the show's Nielsen average in the Thursday 8 p.m. berth this season but not much of a bounce for the big payoff episode. In adults 18-34, the finale pulled a healthy 7.2/21 in adults 18-34 and 9.8/23 in adults 25-54.

Not surprisingly, viewership peaked between 9:30-10 p.m. with an average of 24.4 million viewers and 10.1/23 in the demo.

At 10 p.m., the finale was followed by "Survivor: The Amazon Reunion." The special held up well with an average of 18.8 million viewers and 8.6/22 in adults 18-49.

NBC and Fox ran a distant second to CBS for the night in total viewers and adults 18-49, respectively. NBC was carried by back-to-back episodes of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" from 9-11 p.m., which were the second most-watched programs of the night behind the "Survivor" festivities. That boosted NBC to a nightly average in viewers of 10 million.

Fox's second place showing in adults 18-49 (3.9/11) was aided by "The Simpsons (news - Y! TV)" and "Malcolm in the Middle (news - Y! TV)" from 8-9 p.m. The 9 p.m. "Beverly Hills, 90210" reunion special didn't do too much business for Fox, averaging 7.6 million viewers and 3.9/9 in adults 18-49.

ABC pretty much sat out the night, running a distant fourth (7.4 million, 2.5/7) with its 7-10 p.m. telecast of "E.T." (7.4 million, 2.5/7) capped at 10 p.m. by "Dragnet" (7.2 million, 2.4/6).

For the night, CBS averaged 18.6 million viewers and 7.0/19 in adults 18-49.