Audiences tune in to watch Detroit hoist Cup

The Detroit Red Wings’ series-clinching victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night notched a second-place finish for NBC, likely grabbing the best numbers for a Stanley Cup Finals hockey game in five years. Fox still prevailed in most categories with another two-hour installment of “So You Think You Can Dance.”

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, “So You Think You Can Dance” continues to draw strong — and amazingly consistent ratings — with each airing. Wednesday’s episode averaged a 3.5 rating/11 share in adults 18-49 and 9.3 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m., easily winning its time period.

NBC ran second earlier in the evening and then soared to the timeslot lead at 10 o’clock for the closing hour of Stanley Cup Finals coverage. Numbers for live sports are always subject to revision in the nationals, but the game’s 3.0 rating/9 share in adults 18-49 and 7 million viewers overall from 8 to 11 p.m. would make it the best scores for any hockey game since Game 7 of the Cup Final between New Jersey and Anaheim in 2003.

The 7 million viewers would also be a larger audience than all but one NBA playoff game this spring leading into the finals. The fourth game of the Los Angeles Lakers-San Antonio Spurs series on TNT last week corralled 7.25 million viewers.

There wasn’t much happening elsewhere, meanwhile, with ABC getting decent numbers for repeats of “Wife Swap” (1.7/6 in 18-49, 5.1 million viewers overall) and “Supernanny” (2.1/6 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall) before fumbling at 10 o’clock with the series finale of “Men in Trees” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 5.2 million viewers overall).

At CBS, repeats of “The Price Is Right” (1.5/5 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall) and “Criminal Minds” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 8.2 million viewers overall) didn’t do much, but “CSI: NY” perked up some at 10 p.m. (2.2/6 in 18-49, 9.2 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: Fox, 3.5/11; NBC, 3.0/9; ABC, CBS and Univision, 1.7/5; CW, 0.6/2.

In total viewers: Fox, 9.3 million; CBS, 8.1 million; NBC, 7.0 million; ABC, 5.5 million; Univision, 4.0 million; CW, 1.6 million.

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