ABC certainly would have liked a seventh game, but it can’t complain about strong ratings for the NBA Finals.
The final three contests in the series between the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat towered over everything else in primetime last week, giving ABC its highest-rated summer sesh among adults 18-49 since 2004 and its most-watched summer week overall since 2001.
High-rated hoops action meant the Alphabet was able to promote its upcoming summer and fall offerings to a much larger audience than typically watches the nets in summer. In fact, Sunday’s Game 6, in which the Mavs prevailed for their first championship, delivered the highest young-adult, same-night rating (9.7/26 share) for any telecast since the Academy Awards on ABC in late February while drawing nearly 24 million viewers overall.
NBA action and reality shows accounted for the week’s top 11 primetime programs in 18-49. And among the top 25, there were only five scripted programs — all half-hour broadcast sitcoms.
Looking at the Nielsen estimates for the week of June 6-12, ABC rolled with a 3.5 rating/11 share in adults 18-49 — more than the combined delivery of NBC and Fox, which tied for second with a 1.7/5. They were followed by Univision (1.5/5), CBS (1.1/3) and top cabler USA (0.8/2).
ABC also cruised in adults 25-54 (3.7/10) and total viewers (9.20 million).
For ABC, Game 6 topped everything (9.7/26, 23.88m), but Thursday’s Game 6 (7.4/22, 18.32m) and Tuesday’s Game 5 (6.7/19, 16.13m).
This year’s six-game averages (7.1/20 in 18-49, 17.34 million viewers overall) finished down only a bit from last year’s seven-game Lakers-Celtics series for the second best in the last seven years.
The Alphabet also looked good on Monday with its winning reality tandem of “The Bachelorette” (2.6/8, 8.13m) and “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition” (2.2/6, 5.66m).
NBC claimed the top non-sports telecasts of the week in 18-49 with “The Voice” on Tuesday (4.6/12, 12.31m for its first two-hour live episode) and “America’s Got Talent” on both Tuesday (3.7/12, 12.93m) and Wednesday (3.7/10, 12.64m).
The net also won Friday in demos with Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals between Boston and Vancouver (1.6/6, 4.32m), though it came in below last year’s big Chicago-Philadelphia series.
Fox was paced by “So You Think You Can Dance” on Wednesday (2,8.9, 7.28m) and Thursday (2.5/8), while “MasterChef” returned with nothing-special scores on Monday (1.8/6, 4.40m).
CBS had its lowest-rated frame of the year for a second straight week, and doesn’t figure to compete in demos until “Big Brother” returns in a few weeks. Its top show in 18-49 was a repeat of “The Big Bang Theory” (1.9/6, 7.46m).
The Eye’s coverage of the Tony Awards on Sunday (1.2/3 in 18-49, 6.95m) was on par with last year.
USA led the cablers in all key categories, led by “WWE Raw” (1.7/5, 5.09m) and the season preems of “White Collar” (1.2/3, 3.90m) and “Covert Affairs” (1.2/3, 4.56m).
History moved up to second, led by “Pawn Stars” (2.6/7, 7.25m), “Swamp People” (1.7/5, 4.47m) and “American Pickers” (1.6/4, 5.29m).
Nickelodeon’s original movie “iParty With Victorious” (1.3/5 in 18-49, 7.32m) was cable’s most-watched program for the week, including 1.3 million kids 2-11.
ABC Family had a strong Monday with “Secret Life of the American Teenager” (1.5/4, 3.56m) leading into new series “Switched at Birth” (1.3/3, 3.30m), which established net records for a debut (Daily Variety, June 8).
Holding pretty steady heading into this Sunday’s finales were HBO’s “Game of Thrones” (2.66 million) and AMC’s “The Killing” (1.83 million).
At Starz, “Camelot” wrapped its first season with 1.03 million viewers for its first telecast Friday, lagging only the show’s season preem (1.23 million).