'Glee,' 'Dance' also score for net
Fox didn’t miss a beat last week, riding the finales of “American Idol” and “Glee” into a strong start for summer staple “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Net dominated the ratings race in a week that became heavily populated by repeats as the Memorial Day holiday approached. In fact, no entertainment program hit the 10 million-viewer mark in the four days following the “Idol” conclusion on Wednesday, the last day of the TV season.
The frame also saw rising numbers for the conclusion of hockey and pro basketball’s playoff semifinal rounds.
TNT was probably sad to see its best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals series between Miami and Chicago wrap in five games. Games 4 and 5 ranked among primetime’s top 10 programs in adults 18-49 last week, and the matchup became cable’s most-watched NBA playoff series on record.
In hockey, Versus drew 2.55 million viewers Friday for Game 7 of the NHL’s Eastern Conference Finals between Boston and Tampa Bay. Aud was the largest to date for a non-Stanley Cup Finals contest on the network.
Overall for the week of May 23-29, according to Nielsen, Fox averaged a 3.3 rating/11 share in adults 18-49, miles ahead of runner-up ABC (1.8/6). Spanish-language broadcaster Univision, with its full slate of original programs, moved up to third (1.5/5), with CBS, NBC and basketball-boosted TNT tied for fourth (1.3/4).
Fox also cruised in key demos as well as total viewers, averaging 10.6 million to 7.1 million for runner-up ABC.
At Fox, which last week wrapped the May sweep and 2010-11 season a winner in adults 18-49, “American Idol” had an impressively strong finale (9.2/26 in 18-49, 29.29m) — up 12% in the demo and 21% in total viewers vs. last year’s conclusion. For the season, “Idol” retained 95% of its year-ago 18-49 average (8.3 vs. 8.7) while drawing 5% more total viewers (25.0 million vs. 23.9 million).
Following “Idol” on Tuesday, “Glee” wrapped its second season with strong scores (4.6/11, 11.80m), rising 28% from the previous week, when it aired in its regular 8 o’clock slot and setting a series high in teens (5.6/19, excluding its post-Super Bowl episode).
The music didn’t stop for Fox on Thursday, where “So You Think You Can Dance” (3.3/10, 9.45m) posted its best premiere 18-49 score in two years and its largest overall aud for an opener since 2007.
At ABC, “Dancing With the Stars” wrapped its most-watched season to date with Monday’s performance show (4.7/14, 22.86m) and Tuesday’s two-hour finale (4.6/11, 21.42m), which shot up by 28% over last year’s spring conclusion.
Also, “The Bachelorette” looked good in its season opener on Monday (2.8/7, 9.02m), and the net’s “Modern Family” (4.2/11, 10.31m) wrapped its soph season nicely — and was expected to pad its 18-49 score by at least 2 full ratings points, based on recent DVR playback trends.
Of note at NBC was Tuesday’s finale of “The Biggest Loser” (3.1/8, 8.20m), which was down year to year but posted its best demo score in 16 weeks.
And CBS had one of its quietest frames of the year. It included the finale of “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” (1.8/5, 7.25m) and burnoff episodes of “Chaos” on Saturday (averaging a 0.5/2 in 18-49).
TNT led the cablers thanks to its NBA games on Tuesday (4.2/11 in 18-49, 9.77m) and Thursday (4.4/14, 10.41m), with ESPN a solid second behind its two games in the Western Conference finals (3.2/9 in 18-49, 7.41m on Monday and 2.9/8, 7.01m on Wednesday).
Comedy Central scored well on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, with “Tosh.0” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 2.96m) and “South Park” (1.4/4, 2.53m) even though both young-male skeins opposed the NBA Playoffs.
Also clicking opposite tough competish was Bravo’s “Real Housewives of New Jersey” on Monday (1.4/4, 2.74m) and Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch” on Tuesday (1.6/4, 3.52m).