Celebrity Apprentice finale ratings up, even against Lost’s finale

Ratings for The Celebrity Apprentice 3‘s two-hour finale on Sunday were up despite competition from the series finale of Lost, making it the second highest-rated finale in the celebrity edition’s history. Interest in Bret Michaels’ health probably contributed to the increase in viewers.

The finale was watched by 9.3 million viewers, and it had “the highest 18-49 rating for any telecast of ‘The Apprentice’ since Sunday, March 1, 2009 (the premiere of last year’s cycle of ‘Celebrity Apprentice’) and the biggest overall viewership for any ‘Apprentice’ since Thursday, March 27, 2008 (the finale of that cycle of ‘Celebrity Apprentice’),” according to an NBC press release. Only about 8.7 million people watched Joan Rivers win last year, though that was down significantly from the first season’s Thursday finale.

This year, in the last half hour, viewership peaked to 10.312 million viewers, rather close to Lost’s 13.087 in the 10:30 half-hour, according to TV By the Numbers, which points out that the finale “was up 48% vs. last week, scoring a 3.4 adults 18-49 rating, that’s also up 10% vs. last season’s finale, and the best ratings of the three Celebrity Apprentice finales to air on a Sunday.”

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