Reality rules ratings race

CBS thrives on 'Survivor' finale

Reality shows again dominated the ratings race last week, with “American Idol” lifting Fox to victory among young adults and the “Survivor” finale giving CBS a lift.

The Eye moved up to a second-place tie with ABC in adults 18-49 while prevailing outright in adults 25-54 (edging out Fox) and total viewers. NBC, meanwhile, was again aided by recent entry “The Voice” but finished behind basketball-boosted TNT for the week.

Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on TNT between the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat set an NBA cable record Sunday, drawing 11.11 million viewers and ranking fifth among all primetime programs for the week in adults 18-49 (4.6/13). Two other pro basketball games on TNT, one in the East and one in the West, also made the week’s top 25.

Overall for the May 9-15 frame, the penultimate complete week of the TV season, season leader Fox led in adults 18-49 with a 2.8 rating/7 share, followed by ABC and CBS (tied for second at 2.4/7). TNT moved up to fourth (2.0/6), ahead of NBC (1.7/5) and Univision (1.2/3).

For Fox, “American Idol” continues to pace ahead of last year in overall audience, claiming the week’s top two spots in the program rankings with Wednesday’s performance show (7.1/20 in 18-49, 23.05 million viewers overall) and Thursday’s results show (6.5/20, 22.45m).

Also for the net, “Glee” was on the rise to make the top 10 in 18-49 (3.7/11, 9.29m), and “Bones” (3.2/8, 10.48m) took advantage of its “Idol” lead-in to win its slot, or share for the lead, in various categories on Thursday.

CBS wrapped “Survivor: Redemption Island” with winning scores on Sunday (4.0/10, 13.30m), rising about 30% above its most recent regular-slot average opposite “Idol” on Thursday.

Also looking good for the Eye were comedy “The Big Bang Theory” (3.4/11, 10.76m) and dramas “NCIS” (3.5/11, 17.62m) and “Criminal Minds” (3.3/9, 13.29m) — with “NCIS” standing as the week’s No. 1 scripted skein in both adults 25-54 (4.9/13) and total viewers.

Sealing their fates with soft perfs, meanwhile, were rookies “Mad Love” (1.9/5, 5.11m) and “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” (2.1/6, 9.30m).

ABC’s top dogs in demos were Wednesday comedy “Modern Family” (4.3/11, 10.15m) and Monday reality series “Dancing With the Stars” (4.2/12, 20.74m). Net’s top drama was “Grey’s Anatomy” (3.2/9, 9.63m), but Monday’s “Castle” was close behind (3/18, 12.60m) while also leading all Alphabet scripted shows in total viewers.

At NBC, music competish “The Voice” (4.7/12, 10.45m) fell off in its third week as it changed formats and moved to a later 10 p.m. start time; still, it ranked behind only Fox’s “Idol” for the week in 18-49.

Biggest drain on the net’s bottom line continues to be Monday, where “Chuck,” “The Event” and “Law and Order: L.A.” combined for a measly 3 share in adults 18-49.

There wasn’t much else to crow about for the Peacock, though, as “The Office” was the net’s only other rep in the top 25. Aside from the NBA Playoffs, cable’s top shows among young adults were History’s “Pawn Stars” (2.4/6 in 18-49, 6.20m), USA’s “WWE Raw” (1.9/5, 5.07m), History’s “Swamp People” (1.7/4, 4.08m) and Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch” (1.4/3, 2.90m). Top scripted show was “Law and Order: CI” (1.1/3, 3.83m)

Also, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” edged up to another high in its fifth week Sunday (1.2/3 in 18-49, 2.58m), and Discovery Channel’s “Killing Bin Laden” also scored on the same night (0.9/2, 2.42m).

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