Younger Viewers Flock to One-Hour ‘Office’ Finale

Jim Carrey on 'The Office.'  (Photo: NBC)

Jim Carrey on 'The Office.' (Photo: NBC)

“The Office” season finale on NBC was the demo winner Thursday night among scripted shows, but “The Mentalist” finale on CBS was highest rated.

The one-hour “Office” finale, with its parade of guest-star applicants (including Jim Carrey) for the regional manager’s job, scored a 3.8 rating in the 18-49 age group coveted most by NBC – a strong showing for the series, which drew 7.067 million viewers overall, according to Nielsen overnights.

But it was the two-hour “Mentalist” from 9 to 11 (8-10c) that averaged the most viewers of any scripted series – 13.754 million. With the finales of “The Big Bang Theory” and “Rules of Engagement” drawing 11.119 million and 8.795 million at 8 and 8:30, respectively (7 and 7:30c), CBS was the scripted-series winner Thursday night.

In fact, the two-hour “Mentalist” beat both of ABC’s drama finales – “Grey’s Anatomy” (9.576 million) followed by “Private Practice” (7.468 million). “Grey’s” scored a respectable 18-49 rating though – a 3.4.

The biggest disappointment of the night – ratings-wise – had to be the one-hour season finale of “Parks & Recreation” from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. (9-10c) on NBC. “Parks & Rec” averaged just 3.982 million viewers, with a 2.2 rating in the demo. It just goes to prove – again – that viewers don’t exactly flock to sitcoms after 10 p.m. Fortunately, “Parks & Rec” is slated for 8:30 Thursdays (7:30c) next fall.

Of course, Fox won the night based on the strength of the unscripted “American Idol,” which drew 21.193 million viewers from 8 to 9 (7-8c) and scored a 6.2 among 18-49s.

None of the scripted shows on the other networks came anywhere near “Idol’s” numbers.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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