NBA Finals brings in 11.5 million viewers

The third game of the NBA Finals on ABC is expected to tower over everything else on Tuesday when final nationals come in, though Fox’s “Glee” finale and NBC’s second week of “America’s Got Talent” both hung tough on the night.

According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, the Los Angeles Lakers’ victory over the Boston Celtics averaged a 4.8 rating/13 share in adults 18-49 and 11.5 million viewers overall on ABC’s stations from 9 to 11 p.m., but these numbers include neither the entire duration of the game or viewing in Los Angeles, where the game started shortly after 6 o’clock — and ratings are expected to improve markedly in the nationals. The first two games of the series averaged a 6.1 rating/18 share in 18-49 and 14.9 million viewers overall, up roughly 10% in both categories vs. last year for the event’s best start in six years.

Elsewhere on the night, Fox was up week to week both with “Hell’s Kitchen” at 8 (3.2/10 in 18-49, 6.9 million viewers overall) and “Glee” at 9 (4.6/12 in 18-49, 10.9 million viewers overall). The first-season finale of “Glee” logged the show’s best-ever numbers for an episode not following “American Idol,” as well as the best this season for the conclusion of any rookie series.

At NBC, the time-period debut of “Losing It With Jillian” settled for a third-place 2.1/6 in 18-49 and 7.6 million viewers overall in the night’s opening hour, down from its premiere (2.6/8 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall), which followed “America’s Got Talent.” Speaking of “Talent,” it drew a potent 3.7/10 in 18-49 and 13.0 million viewers overall, impressively matching its week-two score of last season (when it didn’t face the NBA Finals or a firstrun hit like “Glee”). And following “Talent” at 10, a special repeat of “Law & Order” did a 2.1/6 in 18-49 and drew 5.9 million viewers overall.

CBS lagged its rivals with repeats of “NCIS” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 11.1 million viewers overall), “NCIS: Los Angeles” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 9.5 million viewers overall) and “The Good Wife” (1.2/3 in 18-49, 7.0 million viewers overall), although “NCIS” did win its hour in total viewers.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 4.3/12; Fox, 3.9/11; NBC, 2.6/7; CBS, 1.6/5; Univision, 1.5/4; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: ABC, 10.5 million; CBS, 9.2 million; Fox, 8.9 million; NBC, 8.8 million; Univision, 3.7 million.

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