By James Hibberd
April 29, 2011 at 04:20 PM EDT
  • TV Show

Steve Carell’s touching final episode of NBC’s The Office delivered the show’s best performance since at least January. The Office was seen by 8.1 million viewers and delivered a 4.1 preliminary adults 18-49 rating. That’s a strong recent number for the show, up 24 percent from last week, but not really unusual. The number will rise a bit in the final ratings since the episode was 52 minutes long and the rest of the hour showed the start of Parks & Recreation (Read Ken Tucker’s take on Carell’s final episode here).

Fox was out in front with American Idol (19 million, 5.5) and Bones (9.8 million, 2.8), which was down 13 percent against The Office.

NBC tied CBS for second place, with the Peacock also airing Community (3.5 million, 1.5) and 30 Rock (4 million, 1.9).

CBS had Big Bang (10.5 million, 3.2) down 14 percent and Rules of Engagement (7.8 million, 2.3) down 12 percent. CSI (10.5 million, 2.3) hit a series low and The Mentalist (13.3 million, 2.6) was down 13 percent from its last original episode.

ABC had a 20/20 Royal Wedding special (6.9 million, 1.5) leading into Grey’s Anatomy (10.3 million, 3.5), down 29 percent, and Private Practice (6.7 million, 2.2), down 19 percent.

CW’s Vampire Diaries (2.6 million, 1.2) was steady, but Nikita (1.7 million, 0.6) didn’t help its pickup chances by falling to a season low.

Episode Recaps

The mockumentary-style sitcom chronicles a group of typical office employees working 9-5 at the Scranton branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company.
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