NBC topped its closest weekly competitor by 71% in adults 18-49 last week on the strength of the NBA Finals — the second-highest-rated basketball finals ever.
Nielsen reported that the six-game Chicago Bulls-Utah Jazz series that ended Friday night posted a combined average 16.8 national rating and a 30 share, second only to the 1993 finals pitting the Bulls and the Phoenix Suns, which drew a 17.9/33. Last year, the NBA Finals averaged a 16.7/31.
Chicago won all three series, with the Bulls taking a four games to two victory in this year’s matchup. Friday’s Game 6 did an 18.5/35, easily winning the night, but falling behind Wednesday’s Game 5, which scored a 20.1/35.
NBC won the week of June 9-15 in households and all key demos. Its adults 18-49 average was a 5.8 rating and 19 share. ABC’s average was a 3.4/11; Fox 3.0/11; and CBS 3.0/10. In households, NBC averaged a 9.4/18; CBS 7.1/14; ABC 6.3/12; and Fox 4.5/9.
Fox’s “Summer Blast” is looking more like a fizzle. The second primetime outing of “Mad TV” and “Ruby Wax” on Monday of this week (June 16) dropped significantly from the prior week.
“Mad TV” rated a 4.0/8 in households, down from last week’s 4.9/9, making it the lowest rating for a Fox original in the timeslot since last August. “Ruby Wax” fell to a 3.1/6 from last week’s 4.4/8, the lowest original since last July.
With its movie “Twisted Desire,” NBC won the night in households, with a 10.0/18 and adults 18-49 (9.2).
CBS won the night in households, while Fox took top honors in adults 18-49. The CBS Sunday movie “The Man From Left Field” won its timeslot, averaging an 8.7/16.
Fox’s adults 18-49 average was a first-place 4.5, despite the fact that “Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction” hit its lowest rating of four outings from 8 to 9 p.m.
CBS won in households for the 34th time out of 39 outings with a 6.9/16, while Fox just edged out the Eye Web in adults 18-49, with a 2.9.
NBC tied Fox for first place from 8 to 9 p.m. in adults 18-49 with its over-run coverage of “U.S. Open” golf. At 8 p.m., Fox’s “Cops” (4.3/10) received its lowest household rating for an original episode since Oct. 28, 1995.
NBC easily won the night with Game 6 of the NBA Finals, averaging a 13.2/26 in households and an 8.6 in adults 18-49 for the entire evening.
Game 6 averaged an 18.5/35, trailing Game 5 and placing 10th among all-time NBA Finals games.
In total viewers, the game placed third among all NBA games with an estimated 56 million viewers.
NBC romped despite a worst-yet 76% retention of its 18-49 “Seinfeld” lead-in for “Suddenly Susan.” NBC averaged an 11.1/20 in households and a 7.6 in adults 18-49, topping its closest competitor, CBS, by seven share points in households.
NBC’s “Men Behaving Badly” began its summer Thursday run with a 97% retention of its “Friends” lead-in among adults 18-49.
Another cliffhanger ending in the Chicago-Utah basketball series produced the best Game 5 rating ever for an NBA finals and the third-highest NBA rating ever.
At 8 p.m., both “Grace Under Fire” and “NewsRadio” hit all-time lows for a second week in row.
Property values are also plunging for “Pacific Palisades,” which slipped to Fox’s worst rating that hour since last Aug. 7 and worst ever for a firstrun program.
NBC edged ABC by one-tenth of a ratings point in adults 18-49. At 10 p.m., a firstrun “Dateline NBC” made the difference by topping a rerun of “NYPD Blue” by 2 shares in that demo.
“Dateline” pulled NBC well ahead of the competition on Monday, June 9 (Daily Variety, June 11).
Each rating point represents an estimated 970,000 households, or 1% of the country’s TV homes. The share is the same sort of percentage, except that it’s measured against only the households in which TV is being watched during the timeslot involved.
(Gary Levin and Tom Bierbaum contributed to this report.)