Season finales give CBS big boost

"Big Bang Theory's" season finale in which Amy and Sheldon (Mayim Bialik and Jim Parsons) tie the knot in front of Penny (Kaley Cuoco, left), Mark Hamill (Himself, center rear)), and Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki, right), helped propel CBS to No. 1 in the ratings last week).

NEW YORK — CBS soared in the ratings with major plot moves on the season finales of its two most popular shows.

On the comedy "The Big Bang Theory," Sheldon and Amy's characters tied the knot, while Pauley Perrette's character, Abby, signed off from "NCIS" after a decade and a half with the drama. Both programs reached more than 15 million viewers last week, well above any other show on the air, the Nielsen company said.

With the television season coming to an end — and networks presenting next season's schedules to advertisers in New York this week — broadcasters ran almost exclusively original programs last week.

Of the 20 most-watched shows, 13 were on CBS and four were on ABC. NBC had three, with two of them editions of "The Voice."

That led CBS to an easy victory in the prime-time ratings, as the network averaged 7.1 million viewers. NBC (4.46 million) and ABC (4.44 million) ran neck-and-neck for second. Fox had 2.6 million, Univision had 1.4 million, ION Television had 1.2 million, Telemundo had 1.1 million and the CW had 1 million.

TNT was the most popular cable network, taking advantage of the NBC playoffs to average 2.74 million viewers in prime time. Fox News Channel had 2.43 million, MSNBC had 1.62 million.

ABC's "World News Tonight" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 7.6 million viewers. The "NBC Nightly News" had 7.4 million and the "CBS Evening News" had 5.6 million.