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NBA helps ABC dunk rivals for week

NBC's 'Talent' is top show; HBO's 'Blood' leads cable

The concluding two games of the NBA Finals lifted ABC to an easy victory in key demos last week — even if the quick end to the series kept the net from reaping monster numbers for later contests that didn’t materialize.

As it was, the Miami Heat’s five-game series triumph over the Oklahoma City posted the best numbers for the first five games of any NBA Finals in eight years.

Other highlights for the week included nice starts for comedies “Soul Man” on TVLand and “Baby Daddy” on ABC, while HBO’s “Newsroom” got off to a solid start Sunday. And Disney Channel drew cable’s largest aud with a series high for comedy “Good Luck Charlie.”

TNT’s “Dallas” dropped off in its second week, but in its target demo it was still the top-rated drama on basic cable for the week.

Overall for the June 18-24 frame, ABC led with a 2.2 rating/7 share in adults 18-49, followed by Fox (1.5/5), Univision (1.3/4), NBC (1.2/4) and CBS (1.1/3). The Alphabet also won comfortably in adults 25-54 (2.5/7) and notched a victory in total viewers as well (6.4 million).

The NBA Finals peaked with Thursday’s Game 5 (7.6/23 in 18-49, 18.46m), in which the Heat finished off the best-of-seven series with a victory over the Thunder. In 18-49, it matched that of the NCAA men’s basketball championship on CBS in April for the top score for any telecast since the Academy Awards on ABC in late February.

On the entertainment side, NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” remained on top (2.9/9, 11.43m) while ABC’s “The Glass House” opened modestly (1.5/4, 3.98m).

On cable last week, USA led the way in the 18-49 and 25-54 demos, while Disney Channel prevailed in total viewers.

USA was paced by Monday’s “WWE Raw” (1.9/5 in 18-49, 5.07m) and Thursday dramas “Burn Notice” (1.2/3, 4.09m) and “Suits” (1.2/3, 3.80m).

At Disney, “Good Luck Charlie” hit a series high with that 7.48 million, along with series highs in kids 2-11 (3.8 million) and 6-11 (3.3 million). Episode drew a larger aud than every NBC comedy to air since the season premiere of “The Office” last September while outdrawing most of Fox’s live-action comedy episodes from last season.

TV Land’s “Soul Man,” starring Cedric the Entertainer, opened to 1.92 million viewers Wednesday, becoming the net’s second highest-rated launch to date in adults 25-54 and women 25-54 — behind only “Hot in Cleveland.”

ABC Family also launched its second biggest comedy to date that night with “Baby Daddy” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 1.65m). It roughly matched or slightly outperformed its “Melissa & Joey” lead-in (0.7/2, 1.49m), as the comedy returned with its largest aud to date in women 18-34 (510,000). TNT’s “Dallas” (1.3/4, 4.76m) declined by 17% in 18-49 from its potent bow last week, and was cable’s No. 1 drama for the week in 18-49 (tied with the net’s “Falling Skies”) and 25-54 (1.6/4). It didn’t hold up as well among viewers 50 and older, contributing to a roughly 30% decline in total viewers from its preem (6.86 million).

TNT also claimed basic cable’s most-watched drama of the week in “Rizzoli & Isles” (1.0/3, 5.36m)

HBO’s “Newsroom” (1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.14m) opened better than recent drama “Luck,” airing behind “True Blood,” which was television’s top-rated scripted telecast for the week in 18-49 and 25-54.

VH1’s “Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta” had a strong bow Monday (1.1/3, 1.93m), teaming with a new episode of “Single Ladies” (1.0/3, 1.81m) to lift the net to No. 1 among cablers for the night in women 18-49.

And the premiere of “Jersey Shore” spinoff “Snooki and JWow” did just OK for MTV on Thursday (1.1/3, 2.36m).

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