Let's take a look at the Summer 2012 season (the eighth overall) of The Bachelorette on ABC.
Rating the Ratings: It was quietly a pretty successful summer for The Bachelorette, dropping just 1% year-to-year and finishing with very nearly the same ratings as The Bachelor in the regular season. I find this a very pleasant surprise for the franchise considering 1) the last three Bachelor/ette seasons were all down at least 18%; and 2) ABC has had a pretty dreadful summer on almost every other front. Better yet, the trend improved as the summer went on. The premiere was down 7% and the season was typically down in that range till about the beginning of July, when the show began to pull ahead year-to-year. The 3.1 demo for the finale (up from last summer's 2.8) was especially impressive considering it aired on a special night (Sunday). Grade: B+.
Here's the now updated War of 18-49 post for The Bachelorette.