In her pursuit of love, Ashley found her happy ending. In the ratings, The Bachelorette did not.
Read our recap of The Bachelorette finale
The two-hour finale of ABC's dating show averaged 9.50 million viewers while scoring a 2.7 among 18-to-49-year-olds — a whopping 29 percent less than last year in the demo. Then at 10/9c, the "After the Final Rose" postgame show drew 9.31 million and a 2.8 demo rating — down by 26 percent from 2010. This season of the franchise tied Season 4 (with DeAnna Pappas) as the lowest-rated ever.
Ashley failed to galvanize much excitement, and fans expressed their frustration, if not displeasure, with the whole psychodrama involving Bentley.
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On the up side, the Season 7 climax beat its competition by a mile. The only first-run competition came from Fox, which aired Hell's Kitchen against The Bachelorette's first hour (5.45 million viewers, 2.4 demo rating) and MasterChef against the second (5.36 million, 2.3). The Bachelorette was also the most-watched show on Monday nights all summer — but mostly against reruns.
In the final prime-time hour, "After the Final Rose" beat out reruns of CBS' Hawaii Five-0 (4.40 million viewers, 0.9) and NBC's Harry's Law (3.16 million, 0.6).
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CBS stuck with reruns of its comedies in the first two hours — How I Met Your Mother (3.74 million), and two episodes of Mike & Molly (4.06 million and 4.81 million) sandwiched around Two and a Half Men (5.24 million).