Season 11's semi-final performance show rose 7% in metered markets to 4.8 with 18-49 adults between 8pm and 10pm, picking up an audience of 17.3m.
Criminal Minds' last episode of 2011/12 took 13.5m (3.5) for CBS between 9pm and 11pm, securing the network a second place finish.
Elsewhere, Suburgatory ended on a sour note with 5.4m (1.8) at 8.30pm, despite a solid lead-in from The Middle (6.5m/1.9).
The rest of ABC's scripted lineup - Modern Family (9.3m/3.9), Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 (4.8m/2.0) and Revenge (6.9m/2.0) - also lost viewers.
A Betty White's Off Their Rockers double bill enchanted 5.1m (1.4) and 5.4m (1.5) for NBC in the 8pm hour, while Law & Order: SVU had 5.5m (1.7) later on.
America's Next Top Model, The CW's sole new broadcast, mustered 1.1m (0.5) in the 9pm slot.