March 28, 2008 / 9:36 PM / 10 years ago

"Apprentice" finale gives NBC Thursday win

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - NBC enjoyed a rare Thursday night ratings victory thanks to the two-hour season finale of “Celebrity Apprentice,” which was won by British newsman Piers Morgan.

Piers Morgan talks to fans after an appearance on the Today Show in New York, June 19, 2006. REUTERS/Keith Bedford

The reality franchise led the night with 12.1 million viewers, a huge boost from the 8.0 million who tuned in for the previous season finale in April 2007. But it was a far cry from the 28.1 million tally for the first season finale in 2004.

“Apprentice” lead-in “Deal or No Deal” (11.2 million) came in second for the 8 p.m. hour against CBS’ presentation of the NCAA regional semifinals, for which reliable data were not available.

NBC, which used to own Thursdays with such shows as “Friends,” “Seinfeld” and “ER,” averaged 11.8 million viewers for the night, followed by CBS (9.7 million), Fox (8.7 million) and ABC (6.0 million).

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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