NBA closer huge for ABC

Tonys on CBS steady vs. last year

CBS’ annual telecast of the Tony Awards again drew about 7 million viewers Sunday, but it was no match for the deciding game of the NBA Finals on ABC, which soared well above 20 million.

Reliable demographic and total-viewer detail won’t be available for a while, but Game 6 of the NBA Finals averaged an 8.6 rating/22 share in adults 18-49 and 21.1 million viewers overall on ABC’s stations from 8 to 11 p.m., according to Nielsen, making it easily the top-rated game of the series; and these numbers are expected to rise in the nationals. The Dallas Mavericks’ title-clinching 105-95 victory over the Miami Heat averaged a 15.0 household rating in Nielsen’s metered-market overnights, making it the top-rated Game 6 in the last 11 years.

In the last seven years of the NBA Finals, only last year’s Game 7 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics rated higher (18.2). That game ended up drawing a whopping 28 million viewers in the nationals.

At CBS, the “65th Annual Tony Awards,” hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, averaged a 1.2 rating/3 share in adults 18-49 (up a tick vs. last year) and 6.9 million viewers overall (off a tad vs. 2010) from 8 to 11. The most-watched Tonys of the last five years remains the 2009 show, featuring Harris’ first hosting gig on the kudocast. Sunday’s show, which aired behind “60 Minutes” (1.1/4 in 18-49, 9.2 million viewers overall), peaked in its opening half-hour of 8 p.m., drawing 8.4 million viewers.

Fox aired repeats of its animated comedies, starting slowly with “American Dad” (1.0/4 in 18-49, 2.3 million viewers overall) and “Bob’s Burgers” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall) before gaining steam with “The Simpsons” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.1 million viewers overall), “The Cleveland Show” (1.4/4 in 18-49, 3.0 million viewers overall), “Family Guy” (2.0/5 in 18-49, 4.1 million viewers overall) and a second helping of “American Dad” (1.7/4 in 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall).

NBC aired “Dateline” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 3.8 million viewers overall) and repeats of reality shows “Minute to Win It” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall) and “America’s Got Talent” (1.3/3 in 18-49, 4.8 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 7.3/20; Fox, 1.4/4; Univision, 1.3/4; CBS, 1.1/3; NBC, 1.0/3.

In total viewers: ABC, 18.0 million; CBS, 7.5 million; NBC, 4.1 million; Fox, 3.0 million; Univision, 2.7 million.

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