Wipe your eyes, last night’s “This Is Us” series finale just scored the show’s best “live” ratings since November 2020.
The end of Season 6 (and the series) drew a 1.27 rating among adults 18-49, according to Nielsen. That is the key demo for entertainment programming, the one that most ad-supported shows use to sell their commercial time. In terms of total viewers, which count anyone age 2 or older (though really, your toddler probably should not be a regular primetime viewer), 6.4 million Americans tuned in to say goodbye to the Pearsons.
Both of those numbers mark the NBC drama’s best performance since early on in Season 5. That season’s second episode (a 1.31) was the last to top this one in ratings among (relatively) young adults. The subsequent episode, number 503, was the last one to have more overall viewers with 6.6 million. Both of those episodes had “The Voice” as their lead-ins.
The final “This Is Us” episode actually enjoyed the top rating in the main demo for any broadcast entertainment series telecast without an NFL lead-in the 2021-22 TV season.
The tears rolled down to a second screen, too: On social media, the “This Is Us” series finale generated 1.5 million interactions, the most for any scripted series finale on broadcast or ad-supported cable this season. As a matter of fact, the only scripted television episode this season with more social interaction was the March 15 Season 2 premiere of NBC comedy “Young Rock.” Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has 16.1 million Twitter followers, 317 million Instagram followers, 52.7 million TikTok followers, and 59 million Facebook followers — and he knows how to use them.
While there was an especially strong urge to watch “This Is Us” in real-time last night, the show has been filling up DVRs since its 2016-17 debut. Including one week of delayed viewing, “This Is Us” has been the number-one broadcast drama among adults 18-49 every season since it launched. This year, it was actually the number-one entertainment series — so, drama or comedy — in the key demo. (That final claim is through 16 episodes of the 18-episode season, so the chasm should only widen.)
If you were not among the millions who bawled it all out last night and don’t mind some spoilers, read IndieWire’s review of Dan Fogelman’s farewell here.