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Spoilers ahead for the two-night finale of Hannah Brown's season of The Bachelorette on ABC.
Hannah Brown's renewed search for love as leading lady of The Bachelorette turned out to be one of the most melodramatic TV events of the year so far. Although all she wanted was to wind up engaged to a good man, the on-screen antics of Luke Parker combined with the off-screen reveals that some of her suitors were definitely there for the wrong reasons meant that her journey was far from straightforward. In the finale, she had to choose between Jed Wyatt and Tyler Cameron, and a whole lot of people tuned in to see what she decided.
Despite spoilers revealing some of the biggest twists of the finale -- namely, that Hannah would dump Jed after confronting him about the secret girlfriend he'd had right before joining The Bachelorette -- a huge audience watched the Bachelorette finale live, and the spoiled were treated to a live twist that even host Chris Harrison didn't seem to see coming. How did the finale fare in the ratings? Read on to find out!
In Live+Same day calculations, July 29's first night of the two-part (and four-hour) finale was watched by 5.7 million total viewers and scored an impressive 1.6 rating in the valuable 18-49 demographic. With young adults, the rating was also 1.6. The Monday totals put ABC a whopping 45% ahead of NBC in the ratings for the night. And that was only the first night!
The second night of the finale was July 30, which scored a 2.1 rating in the 18-49 demo, besting NBC's America's Got Talent in the same 8-10 p.m. ET time slot by a whopping 75%. I guess even an elderly acrobat team dressing like characters from Up just didn't have the same appeal as Hannah's romantic future! The second of the two-night finale earned a 3% bump in total viewers and 11% bump in young adults.
The two hours of the July 30 finale, when split, qualify as the Top 2 highest-rated Live+Same day entertainment telecasts of the whole summer to date. The finale also beat the numbers from the Bachelorette finale from this time last year, centering on Becca Kufrin, who already had plenty of people rooting for her after she'd been jilted by Arie Luyendyk, who belatedly switched from her to her runner-up.
Hannah Brown's finale was also 10% higher than Becca Kufrin's last year in total viewers, and 17% higher in the 18-49 demo. The numbers amounted to the top Bachelorette telecast since the 2017 season finale. The Bachelorette finale was a winner on social media as well, with a season-best 2.2 million social interactions.
Considering how much of the season was devoted to Luke Parker's antics and later Jed's bad behavior, I have to wonder if ratings will drop in subsequent seasons with how Bachelor casting will be different. Hannah may be on her way to a happily-ever-after with one of her Bachelorette guys, but not with the guy whose proposal she initially accepted. Colton Underwood had his fence jump, and Hannah had her windmill sex and sketchy guys; what's in store in the future?