NBC ices competition with Stanley Cup Finals

With the TV season over and repeats aplenty, NBC found a way to win the Memorial Day primetime race — not with a comedy, drama or reality show, but with the drop of the puck.

Peacock’s game two primetime broadcast of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks earned the network the top number Monday night, barely edging past ABC’s reality programming.

The Blackhawks’ three-hour 2-1 win gave NBC a 2.4 rating/7 share in the 18-49 demo (5.9 million viewers), following Saturday’s game one contest that also fared well. The next two games of the Finals move to Philadelphia and will be aired on sports cabler Versus, the home of the NHL.

Two-hour episode of the “The Bachelorette” (2.4/7, 7.5m), combined with the premiere of 10 p.m. skein “True Beauty” (2.1/6, 5.4m) gave ABC second place. “True Beauty” took a 32% dive from its previous season premiere in January 2009 and “The Bachelorette” fell by about 15% from its launch a week ago.

Third-place CBS went with all repeats, with “Two and a Half Men” (2.6/7, 9.7m) and “The Big Bang Theory” (2.9/8, 9.4m) being the two most watched shows of the night. “CSI: Miami” (1.8/5, 8m) easily took the 10 o’clock timeslot in the demo.

Fox also offered repeats and fared poorly. “Lie to Me” (0.9/3, 3.2m) and an encore of “The Good Guys” pilot (0.9/2, 2.9m) failed to gain any traction.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 2.4/7; ABC, 2.3/7; CBS, 2.1/6; Univision, 1.4/4; Fox, 0.9/3; CW, 0.2/1.

In total viewers: CBS, 7.7 million; ABC, 6.8 million; NBC, 5.9 million; Univision, 3.3 million; Fox, 3.1 million; CW, 609,000.

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