Is Tony Soprano past his prime? Sunday's Season 6 closer for "The Sopranos" was the HBO mob drama's lowest-rated finale since its first season back in 1999.
An average of 8.9 million total viewers tuned in, down 19% compared with the previous season finale in June 2004, according to figures from Nielsen Media Research.
The first-season finale, in April 1999, averaged 5.2 million viewers. Since then, every season ender had delivered at least 9 million viewers, after adjusting for rounding; the best, the Season 4 wrap-up in December 2002, notched 12.5 million.
Overall, average ratings for this season's 12 episodes dipped 12%, to 8.6 million total viewers, compared with last season.
"Sopranos" has been buffeted this season by complaints of weak stories, and disappointed fans singled out the Sunday finale as particularly uneventful. The series is set to return in 2007 with eight final episodes.