CBS' 'Mother' finale sees record audience

This image released by CBS shows Josh Radnor as Ted, left, and Cristin Milioti as Tracy in a scene from the finale of "How I Met Your Mother," that aired Monday, March 31, 2014. The CBS comedy "How I Met Your Mother" attracted its biggest audience as it said farewell. After nine years, the show drew 12.9 million viewers for its series finale Monday. That's when viewers finally found how actor Josh Radnor's character met his wife. (AP Photo/CBS, Ron P. Jaffe)

NEW YORK (AP) — A series-record 12.9 million viewers checked out the final episode of the CBS comedy "How I Met Your Mother" on Monday to finally find out how actor Josh Radnor's character met his wife.

It was a quick hello and goodbye for the title character, whose death was also revealed in the finale after nine seasons.

AMC's wildly popular "The Walking Dead" finished its fourth season on Sunday with 15.7 million viewers, second only to CBS' "NCIS" as the most-watched program on the air last week. It wasn't a record for the series, which recorded a bigger number for the beginning of this season, but AMC had its biggest audience ever for the discussion show "Talking Dead" that followed it.

Death benefitted the CBS drama "The Good Wife." A week after the surprise killing of actor Josh Charles' lawyer character Will Gardner, the drama hit the Nielsen company's top 10 with just under 11 million viewers.

After only five episodes, ABC pulled Christian Slater's new drama "Mind Game" off the schedule. Last week's episode managed 2.1 million viewers.

The Thursday edition of Fox's "American Idol" slipped out of Nielsen's top 20. It sunk below 8 million last week, a week after the show's Thursday edition had the series' smallest viewership since 2002.

Fox's comedies "New Girl" and "Brooklyn Nine Nine" get plenty of critical raves, but they aren't finding much of an audience. Both had about 2.5 million viewers last week, Nielsen said.

CBS easily won the week in prime time, averaging 9.1 million viewers. ABC had 6.3 million viewers, NBC had 5.9 million, Fox had 4.1 million, Univision had 2.7 million, the CW had 1.6 million, Telemundo had 1.22 million and ION Television had 1.18 million.

Behind NCAA tournament basketball, TBS was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 3.7 million viewers in prime time. The Disney Channel had 2.25 million, USA had 2.14 million, AMC had 1.94 million and History had 1.86 million.

NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 9.6 million viewers. ABC's "World News" was second with 8.5 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 7.6 million viewers.

For the week of March 24-30, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "NCIS," CBS, 17.52 million; "The Walking Dead," AMC, 15.68 million; "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 15.54 million; "Dancing With the Stars," ABC, 14.65 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 14.3 million; "The Voice" (Monday), NBC, 12.85 million; "The Voice" (Tuesday), NBC, 12.45 million; "Person of Interest," CBS, 12.23 million; "The Good Wife," CBS, 10.96 million; "The Black List," NBC, 10.8 million.

The top 10 list is for the period ending Sunday, so this Monday's edition of "How I Met Your Mother" is not listed.


ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.