Game 5 expected generates series-best scores

ABC dominated Thursday’s primetime ratings race with Game 5 of the NBA Finals, which produced the series’ top overnight rating to date. The only real competition, Fox’s ”So You Think You Can Dance,” saw a noticeable week-to-week decline.

The Dallas Mavericks’ victory over the Miami Heat averaged a 12.6 overnight household rating, according to Nielsen, up about 10% from Tuesday’s Game 4 for the highest of this series. Over the last seven seasons, only last year’s Boston Celtics-Los Angeles Lakers series (12.8 overnight rating) scored higher.

When nationals are released this afternoon, the game was expected to top a 7 rating in adults 18-49 , roughly three times the score of any other program on the evening. Action continues Sunday evening on ABC, with the Mavericks in position to take the championship with a victory.

Fox ran second with a two-hour installment of ”So You Think You Can Dance” (2.4/7 in 18-49, 8.1 million viewers overall), which was down 17% week to week; the falloff was especially pronounced among men 18-49 (down 29%), likely due to the NBA competition. Fox notes that the dropoff is in line with what the competition series saw last year with its third Thursday telecast.

CBS hung in there with repeats of its regular lineup: ”The Big Bang Theory” (1.8/6 in 18-49, 7.3 million viewers overall), ”Rules of Engagement” (1.6/5 in 18-49, 6.0 million viewers overall), ”CSI” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 7.4 million viewers overall) and ”The Mentalist” (1.3/4 in 18-49, 7.7 million viewers overall).

NBC struggled throughout the evening, with repeats of ”Community” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall), ”30 Rock” (0.6/2 in 18-49, 2.0 million viewers overall), ”The Office” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 2.3 million viewers overall) and ”Parks and Recreation” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 2.0 million viewers overall) and the second firstrun episode of hourlong romantic series ”0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.3 million viewers overall).

Univision moved up to second among the broadcasters in adults 18-49, getting a boost from the Gold Cup soccer match between Mexico and Cuba, which averaged a 1.7/5 in 18-49 and 3.6 million viewers overall from 9 to 11.

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: ABC, 5.1/15; Fox, 2.4/5; Univision, 1.7/5; CBS, 1.4/4; NBC, 0.8/2; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: ABC, 12.9 million; CBS, 7.2 million; Fox, 6.9 million; Univision, 3.7 million; NBC, 2.2 million; CW, 1.0 million.

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