NBA Finals dunk competition

ABC rolls behind first three games of series

ABC cruised to a primetime ratings victory last week behind the opening three games of the NBA Finals and a solid start for the summer’s first new broadcast show.

The series between the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks is tracking at a seven-year high for the Finals, with all three contests topping the 15 million viewer mark, according to Nielsen.

Also, the net’s “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition” opened a winner Monday, faring especially well for a 10 p.m. bow.

Meanwhile, NBC claimed the week’s top two non-sports shows with hot reality contests “The Voice” and “America’s Got Talent.”

Overall for the May 30-June 5 frame, the first week of TV’s 14-week summer season, ABC led in adults 18-49 with a 2.9 rating/9 share, well ahead of runner-up NBC (1.7/5). Fox and Univision tied for third (1.5/5), followed by CBS (1.2/4) and top cabler USA (0.9/2).

ABC also led with ease in adults 25-54 (3.1/9) and total viewers (7.7 million to 6.6 million for usual leader CBS).

For the Alphabet, the NBA Finals dominated on Tuesday (6.5/18 in 18-49, 15.28m), Thursday (6.5/19, 15.52m) and Sunday (6.1/17, 15.34m). And through three games, the series is trending slightly above last year’s popular Lakers-Celtics matchup for the best averages since 2004.

Compared to when Miami and Dallas met in the 2006 Finals, this year’s pairing is up by more than 25% in both 18-49 (6.4/18 vs. 5.0/15) and total viewers (15.3 million vs. 12.1 million).

On the entertainment side, ABC’s only real success came Monday, where the debut of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (2.4/6, 7.11m) built slightly in demo rating on its lead-in from “The Bachelorette” (2.2/6, 7.23m). The 2.4 tops every new ABC show from last summer.

Elsewhere, NBC had a good counter to hoops action Tuesday with the season preem of “America’s Got Talent” (4.3/12, 15.28m), which logged its best demo preem score in four years, and “The Voice” (4.9/13, 14.41m), which belted out its highest notes in four weeks.

Fox was mostly repeats besides “So You Think You Can Dance” on Wednesday (3.1/9, 8.57m) and Thursday (2.9/10, 8.06m), while CBS got off to its typically slow summer start and was led by a repeat of “The Big Bang Theory” (2.0/7, 7.42m).

Spanish-language Telemundo’s finale of novela “La Reina del Sur” (Queen of the South) on Monday became the most-watched program in the network’s 19-year history (2.1/5 in 18-49, 4.19m). It was the No. 1 broadcast program in its slot — English or Spanish — among men 18-49 and adults 18-34.

In cable, USA was back on top behind “WWE Raw” (1.8/5, 4.87m), but History ran a solid second thanks mostly to “Pawn Stars” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 5.20m), original special “Gettysburg” (1.1/3, 3.80m) and a good fifth-season launch for “Ice Road Truckers” (1.1/3, 3.06m), which was up by 20% or more in key categories vs. last year’s opener.

The “MTV Movie Awards” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 4.51m) came in down slightly from last year but still lagged only basketball in 18-49 for its two-hour Sunday block.

Also Sunday, A&E’s second-season premiere of drama “The Glades” (1.0/3, 3.01m) was up vs. its year-ago season averages. On the same night, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” drew a series-high 2.72 million viewers and AMC’s “The Killing” was on the upswing with 1.98 million; both shows wrap June 19.

VH1 kicked off its summer sked Monday with the third-season preem of “Basketball Wives” (1.0/3, 1.83m) and the series debut of romantic dramedy “Single Ladies” (1.0/3, 1.85m), the net’s first hourlong scripted series. Together, they combined for VH1’s highest-rated night since October 2009.

And Monday saw good showings by E!’s “Khloe & Lamar” (1.4/3, 2.48m) and Bravo’s “Real Housewives of New Jersey” (1.3/3, 2.50m).

Discovery moved up to fifth among cablers in demos for the week thanks to Monday’s “American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior” (1.5/4, 3.22m) and Tuesday’s “Deadliest Catch” (1.7/4, 3.58m).

TNT’s summer Wednesday lineup got off to a sluggish start with the debut of legal dramedy “Franklin & Bash,” starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer (0.9/2 in 18-49, 2.75m), and the return of “Men of a Certain Age” (0.5/1, 1.85m).

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More TV News from Variety

Loading