NBA Finals, Tonys take hit

CBS’ Tonys — and even ABC’s Tony — suffered in the ratings Sunday night, thanks in large part to competition from HBO’s Tony.

The series finale of “The Sopranos” had an impact on both the “61st Annual Tony Awards” on CBS, which apparently hit a ratings low, and ABC’s coverage of the NBA Finals, in which Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs scored 30 points in leading his team to an easy victory.

Detailed ratings for “The Sopranos” (9-10:05 p.m.) won’t be issued by Nielsen until today, but metered-market overnights repping more than 55 of the nation’s biggest cities show the mob drama averaging a 6.4 household rating. This is a 42% rise over the previous week’s 4.5 overnight rating, which translated to 8 million viewers nationally.

In New York, “The Sopranos” topped an 18 rating, more than double the 8.2 CBS garnered for the Tony Awards — even though HBO is available in roughly just one-third of the nation’s homes.

Preliminary nationals for the Tony Awards, meanwhile, suggest Broadway’s biggest night hit a ratings low Sunday with a 1.2 rating/3 share in adults 18-49 and about 6.3 million viewers overall. In each of the two previous years, the show earned a 1.4/4 in the demo, while its previous low-water mark in total viewers was 6.5 million in 2005.

In Gotham, the Tony Awards’ 8.2 overnight household rating was down 13% vs. a year ago (9.4) and peaked in the 8:30 half-hour with a 10.1. Kudocast then dropped sharply to a 7.7 at 9 o’clock, suggesting many New Yorkers flipped over to HBO.

ABC’s NBA Finals game between the San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers averaged a mere 3.1/8 in 18-49 and 7.7 million viewers overall from 9 to 11 p.m. on Alphabet affils, which should translate into about a 3.5 rating in the demo and 8.2 million viewers overall in the nationals. This would be a significant decline from the 5.3/15 in 18-49 and 12.4 million viewers overall for last year’s Game 2 contest between Miami and Dallas.

There wasn’t much else happening on the broadcast side, which Fox led with repeats of “The Simpsons” at 8 (prelim 2.6/8 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall) and “Family Guy” (prelim 2.2/6 in 18-49, 4.5 million), while an original episode of returning laffer “The Loop” dipped to a 1.7/5 in 18-49 and 3.4 million.

NBC was up week to week with its two-hour “Dateline” (prelim 1.8/6 in 18-49, 7.3 million) and repeats of “Friday Night Lights” (prelim 1.1/3, 3.6 million) and “Law & Order: SVU” (1.8/5, 5.9 million).

Lifetime reported that its original drama “Army Wives” appears to have held up well in its second outing, with Sunday’s 2.9 overnight household rating even with the previous week’s premiere average, which became the net’s most-watched series preem in its 23-year history. This would buck a trend this year in which cable skeins including FX’s “Dirt” and, more recently, USA’s “The Starter Wife,” saw their ratings fall off noticeably following strong premieres.

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