Big Brother 9 finale ratings down from last season but “consistent” with this season

The days following the finale of Big Brother 9 passed without much coverage of its ratings, perhaps because they weren’t exactly spectacular. CBS did mention the finale in a press release, but gave it only one sentence, one that only pointed out that the show improved week to week. Perhaps that’s because the ratings were down significantly compared to last season.

The Sunday finale was watched by 6.39 million viewers, and “was up +4% in adults 25-54 (2.9/07 from 2.8/07) and +5% in adults 18-49 (2.3/06 from 2.2/06) compared to last week,” according to CBS. Oddly, CBS’ 6.39 million number is about .4 million less than the total number of viewers that some other publications, like Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, are reporting: 6.7, or 6.65, million viewers.

Either way, though, those numbers are way down from last season’s finale; 8.5 million people watched the end of Big Brother 8, which means there was a loss of just over 2 million viewers season to season using CBS’ numbers. It’s also a loss of somewhere between a half-million and 1 million viewers from the ninth season debut (again, depending upon which number you use), which was watched by 7.3 million viewers. Still, the finale’s numbers are an improvement over the severe ratings dip it took earlier this season.

So what does that mean? This winter season “was no ratings juggernaut, its ratings were very consistent,” according to TV by the Numbers. And The Hollywood Reporter says basically the same thing, that the finale’s numbers were “on par with its usual numbers.” MediaWeek’s Marc Berman, who cites the 6.39 million number, gives perhaps the most astute summation of what the numbers mean: “Trust me when I predict we will never see another winter edition of Big Brother again.”

CBS Reclaims Number One Spot Among Viewers [CBS press release]
Nielsen Ratings Apr 27: Housewives Desperate for Last Year’s Ratings [TV by the Numbers]
Yet again, ABC is Sunday best [Hollywood Reporter]
National Ratings in Prime-Time: Week of April 21, 2008 [MediaWeek]
discussion by

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.