'The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman' ends with a ratings bang
By Christopher Rocchio and Steve Rogers, 05/31/2007
The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman's two-hour season finale on ABC last Monday night was the most-watched telecast of the reality dating series in three years, winning its time period in both total viewers and the Adults 18-49 demographic.
The season finale of The Bachelor's tenth edition -- which saw U.S. Navy Lieutenant Andy Baldwin award his final rose and propose marriage to 26-year-old San Francisco social worker Tessa Horst -- was watched by an average of 12.7 total viewers and achieved a 2.8/12 ratings/share, making it the No. 1 show in its 9PM to 11PM time period. It was also the most-watched episode of The Bachelor franchise since the May 19, 2004 fifth-season finale that saw recently retired professional football player Jesse Palmer select Jessica Bowlin.
The night following Officer and a Gentleman's season finale, ABC also aired aThe Bachelor: After the Final Rose special -- a move that marked the first time since the Spring 2005 broadcast of The Bachelorette's third season that a The Bachelor or The Bachelorette edition concluded with the broadcast of an After the Final Rose special.
While Officer and a Gentleman's After the Final Rose special aired against American Idol's sixth-season final performance show on Fox, it was still able to post a 2.7/8-tie rating share among Adults 18-49 as well as a 2.1/7 rating/share among Adults 18-34, giving ABC its highest ratings in the Tuesday 8PM to 9PM time period since last December.
With Officer and a Gentleman's After the Final Rose special serving as a lead-in for Dancing with the Stars' special two-hour fourth-season finale, ABC was actually able to outdraw Fox and finish first among average viewers during the final Tuesday night of the May sweeps ratings period. Fox aired the one-hour debut of On the Lot after Idol's final sixth-season performance episode, and although Idol performed well, the two shows combined for an average of 16.8 million total viewers -- a mark that fell well short of the 18 million total viewers that ABC's After the Final Rose special and Dancing with the Stars finale averaged on the night.
In doing so, ABC became the first network ever to average more viewers than Fox during a Tuesday night Idol broadcast since the megahit show first became part of Fox's regular season schedule in 2003.