Andy Rooney concluded his final essay for “60 Minutes” last night in front of an audience that may have reached more than 17 million viewers. Early Nielson reports show about 17.4 million people turned in for the CBS broadcast, although those stats don’t account for the NFL overrun into the program’s typical 7 p.m. timeslot.

The appearance was Rooney’s 1,097th essay for the newsmag broadcast, which was proceeded by an interview with Morley Shafer.

The seasoned writer’s final segment was similar to most of his work over the past three decades, says Elizabeth Flock of BlogPost:

 In typical curmudgeon fashion, Rooney, 92, told viewers in a final message that if they saw him out and about to leave him alone. ”Please, just let me eat my dinner,” he said.


But Lisa de Moraes of The TV Column found some softer spots:

In an unusually non-crotchety final commentary, Rooney told viewers, “Not many people in this world are as lucky as I’ve been.”

“I’ve done a lot of complaining here, but I can’t complain about my life,” the 92-year-old commentator added.

De Moraes estimated the show pulled in about 16 million viewers for the farewell edition, which would be up by around 3 million than this season’s debut episode. Lara Logan’s interview with free-solo rock climber Alex Honnold aired earlier in the broadcast. Logan and camera crews captured an unbelievable feat by Honnold, who climbed the sheet face of Sentinel Mountain in Yosemite National Park without any ropes or protection.

More on Andy Rooney and “60 Minutes”:

Andy Rooney stepping down from ‘60 Minutes’

Andy Rooney crowd inches toward 17 million for final regular ‘60 Minutes’ commentary

Andy Rooney signs off ‘60 Minutes’ for the last time (video)

Andy Rooney's best 'Sunday Morning' essays

Andy Rooney'sfinal "60 Minutes" sign off