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May 23, 2008

'Grey's' and 'Betty' finales; reality premieres

Two drama series finales and two reality show premieres marked Thursday night as the broadcast networks' transition to summer. The one thing they all had in common: lower ratings compared with last year.

ABC led the night with the finales of "Ugly Betty" (8.8 million viewers, 2.8 preliminary adults 18-49 rating and a 9 share) and a two-hour "Grey's Anatomy" closer (17.8 million, 6.9/18). As expected considering the way scripted shows have recently trended, both were lower than last May -- "Betty" was down 22% and "Grey's" was off 24%. Still, the "Grey's" finale was television's highest-rated scripted telecast in nearly four months.

In second place, Fox aired the two-hour premiere of its flagship summer series "So You Think You Can Dance" (8.6 million, 3.4/10). Down only 8% from last year, the show enjoyed the now-flattering distinction of being the least eroded of the night.

NBC was third, airing a special 90-minute "Deal or No Deal" (10.3 million, 3.4/10) followed by the premiere of "Last Comic Standing" (5.9 million, 2.4/6). "Comic" was down 17% from its premiere last year.

CBS and the CW aired repeats.


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